Description: Composer of music, USA

Known For: He is best known for his score for the classic 1944 MGM musical “Meet Me In St. Louis”

Instruments: Piano
Music Styles: Musical theater

Location: AL, United States of America

Date Born: 11th August 1914
Location Born: Birmingham, Alabama, United States of America

Date Died: 11th March 2011
Location Died: CA, United States of America


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Hugh Martin

An American musical theater and film composer, arranger, vocal coach, and playwright.

He is best known for his score for the classic 1944 MGM musical Meet Me In St. Louis, in which Judy Garland sang three Martin songs, “The Boy Next Door,” “The Trolley Song,” and “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.”

The last of these has become a Christmas season standard in the United States and around the English-speaking world and is widely considered one of the greatest Christmas songs of all time.

Martin became a close friend of Garland and was her accompanist at many of her concert performances in the 1950s including her legendary stint at the Palace Theater.

Martin wrote the music, and in some cases the lyrics, for five Broadway musicals: Best Foot Forward (1941); Look Ma, I’m Dancin’! (1948); Make a Wish (1951); High Spirits (1964) (music and lyrics, with Timothy Gray); and Meet Me In St. Louis (1989), a stage version of the film with an expanded score by Martin and Ralph Blane.

Martin’s first Broadway credit was as an arranger for the 1937-1938 musical Hooray for What! and was a vocal or choral arranger for such later Broadway musicals as The Boys From Syracuse (1938–39), Too Many Girls (1939–40), DuBarry Was a Lady (1939–40), Cabin in the Sky (1940–41), and Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1949–51), Top Banana (1951–52), and Lorelei (1974). He was also one of the vocal arrangers for Sugar Babies (1979–82).

As a performer, Martin appeared on Broadway in Hooray for What!, Where Do We Go From Here (1938), and Louisiana Purchase (1940–41).

Ralph Blane was Martin’s songwriting partner for most of his work, and the two recorded an album of their best songs entitled Martin and Blane Sing Martin and Blane with the Ralph Burns Orchestra in 1956 (now available on CD).

Martin and Blane were twice nominated for the Academy Award for Best Song, for “The Trolley Song” in 1944, and for “Pass the Peace Pipe” (also co-written by Roger Edens) from Good News in 1947.

Hugh Martin was a member of the Songwriters Hall of Fame and Alabama Music Hall of Fame and lived in Encinitas, California. Martin died on March 11, 2011.