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Hugh Martin
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Songwriter
    (August 11, 1914-March 11, 2011)
    Born in Birmingham, Alabama
    Co-wrote 'The Boy Next Door,' 'The Trolley Song,' and 'Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas' with Ralph Blane
    Penned songs for 'Meet Me in St. Louis,' 'Best Foot Forward,' and 'Good News'
    Broadway vocal arranger for 'The Boys From Syracuse' (1938–39), 'Too Many Girls' (1939–40), 'DuBarry Was a Lady' (1939–40), 'Cabin in the Sky' (1940–41), 'Top Banana' (1951 - 52) and 'Gentlemen Prefer Blondes' (1949–51)
    He walked off of several film projects over disagreements with vocalists and how to style their songs.
    He butted heads with Judy Garland over the lyrics to 'Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,' which she deemed too depressing.
    For instance, the opening lines were supposed to be 'Have yourself a merry little Christmas/It may be your last./Next year we may all be living in the past' (you be the judge...)
    He also wrote the somber verse 'faithful friends who are near to us/will be near to us no more' (which eventually evolved into the more hopeful 'once more').
    He relented and agreed to make the changes to the song only after being pressed by Judy's co-star Tom Drake who chastised him for being stubborn.
    Ironically, he would later go on to rework the song to fit his own Seventh Day Adventist leanings, retitling it 'Have Yourself a Blessed Little Christmas.'
    He wasn't exactly modest about his contributions, at one point saying: 'all of the so-called Martin and Blane songs were written entirely by me (solo) without help from Ralph or anybody else.'
    He further claimed that his inexperience and lack of business savvy resulted in his being cheated out of royalties and sheet music credits by Blane.
    He was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame (1983).
    He received four Tony nominations, three of which were for 'High Spirits.'
    He received Oscar nominated for Best Song for 'The Trolley Song' and 'Pass That Peace Pipe' (1944; 1947).
    He said: 'I don't write for money, I write for love.'
    His career as a musical arranger began after he penned a letter to Richard Rodgers, who liked it enough to invite him to arrange a song for his show, 'The Boys from Syracuse.'
    He would become close friends with Garland and was her accompanist at many of her concert performances, including her appearances at the Palace Theater.
    He collaborated, at the age of 80, with Michael Feinstein for a 1995 special edition CD ('Michael Feinstein Sings The Hugh Martin Songbook').
    'Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas' became an immediate hit largely because it resonated among United States troops serving in World War II, and their families.
    It remains one of the most widely covered holiday songs, ranking #76 in AFI's '100 Years ... 100 Songs,' in 2004.

Credit: BoyWiththeGreenHair


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