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Ken Darby (I) (1909–1992)

Composer ("How the West Was Won"), songwriter ("Make Mine Music"), choral director, conductor, arranger, singer and author, educated at Christian College and a student of Tibor Serly, Ernst Toch, Herman Hand, and Victor Young. He originated The King's Men male vocal quartet in 1929 and appeared on radio, films, concerts, television and recordings. ... See full bio »

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Won 3 Oscars. Another 1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »

Known For

The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp
The Wizard of Oz
The Wizard of Oz Music Department
How the West Was Won
How the West Was Won Music Department
South Pacific
South Pacific Music Department


Hide Hide Show Show Music department (75 credits)
  Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color (TV Series) (sequence music - 1 episode, 1979) (music - 1 episode, 1957)
- Baseball Fever (1979) ... (sequence music)
- Adventures in Fantasy (1957) ... (music)
 1969 The Great Bank Robbery (vocal arranger)
 1968 Finian's Rainbow (associate music supervisor)
 1967 Camelot (music associate)
 1967 The World: Color It Happy (TV Movie) (music supervisor)
 1965 The Greatest Story Ever Told (choral supervisor)
 1962 How the West Was Won (choir - uncredited) / (music associate)
 1962 State Fair (associate: Alfred Newman)
 1961 Flower Drum Song (associate music supervisor)
  The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp (TV Series) (chorus - 203 episodes, 1955 - 1961) (music by - 8 episodes, 1956 - 1958) (performer - 5 episodes, 1959) (choral director - 2 episodes, 1955 - 1961) (singer - 1 episode, 1959)
- The Outlaws Cry Murder (1961) ... (choral director) / (chorus)
- Gunfight at the O.K. Corral (1961) ... (chorus)
- Just Before the Battle (1961) ... (chorus)
- Wyatt's Brothers Join Up (1961) ... (chorus)
- Requiem for Old Man Clanton (1961) ... (chorus)
 1960 Elmer Gantry (associate music supervisor)
 1959 Journey to the Center of the Earth (associate conductor: songs)
 1959 Hound-Dog Man (music associate)
 1959 Porgy and Bess (music associate)
  The Adventures of Jim Bowie (TV Series) (composer - 54 episodes, 1956 - 1958) (singers - 6 episodes, 1958)
- The Puma (1958) ... (composer: theme music) / (singers: theme song)
- Man on the Street (1958) ... (composer: theme music) / (singers: theme song)
- The Cave (1958) ... (composer: theme music) / (singers: theme song)
- A Night in Tennessee (1958) ... (composer: theme music) / (singers: theme song)
- Bad Medicine (1958) ... (composer: theme music) / (singers: theme song - as The Ken Darby Singers)
 1958 South Pacific (associate conductor) / (associate music supervisor)
 1957 The Three Faces of Eve (vocal supervisor)
 1957 Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter? (vocal supervisor)
 1957 Bernardine (vocal supervisor)
 1957 An Affair to Remember (vocal supervisor)
 1957 Desk Set (vocal coach - uncredited)
 1956 The Girl Can't Help It (vocal supervisor)
 1956 Love Me Tender (vocal supervisor)
 1956 Ford Star Jubilee (TV Series) (choral arrangements - 1 episode)
- The Wizard of Oz (1956) ... (choral arrangements: archive footage)
 1956 Bus Stop (vocal supervisor)
 1956 The King and I (associate music supervisor)
 1956 Carousel (associate: to Alfred Newman)
 1955 The Girl in the Red Velvet Swing (vocal supervisor)
 1955 Seven Cities of Gold (vocal supervisor)
 1955 How to Be Very, Very Popular (vocal supervisor)
 1955 House of Bamboo (vocal supervisor - uncredited)
 1955 Soldier of Fortune (vocal supervisor)
 1955 Daddy Long Legs (vocal supervisor)
 1955 A Man Called Peter (vocal supervisor)
 1954 There's No Business Like Show Business (music arranger: vocals) / (vocal supervisor)
 1954 The Egyptian (vocal supervisor)
 1954 Demetrius and the Gladiators (vocal director)
 1954 Three Coins in the Fountain (vocal director)
 1954 River of No Return (songs: lyrics) / (vocal director)
 1953 The Robe (choral director - uncredited)
 1953 The Girl Next Door (vocal director)
 1953 Call Me Madam (vocal director)
 1953 Tonight We Sing (choral director)
 1953 Down Among the Sheltering Palms (vocal director)
 1952 Stars and Stripes Forever (vocal director)
 1952 O. Henry's Full House (vocal director)
 1952 With a Song in My Heart (vocal director)
 1951 Meet Me After the Show (vocal director)
 1951 Take Care of My Little Girl (associate musical director)
 1951 Bird of Paradise (associate musical director)
 1951 Call Me Mister (vocal arranger - uncredited)
 1950 My Blue Heaven (vocal director)
 1950 Wabash Avenue (vocal director)
 1949 Dancing in the Dark (vocal director)
 1949 The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad (vocal arranger)
 1949 You're My Everything (vocal director)
 1949 The Beautiful Blonde from Bashful Bend (vocal director)
 1949 Mr. Belvedere Goes to College (vocal arranger - uncredited)
 1949 Down to the Sea in Ships (vocal arranger - uncredited)
 1948 So Dear to My Heart (vocal director)
 1948 Melody Time (musical director)
 1947 Nelly Was a Lady (musical director)
 1946 Song of the South (vocal supervisor)
 1946 The Whale Who Wanted to Sing at the Met (Short) (musical director)
 1946 Make Mine Music (associate music director)
 1944 Step Lively (vocal director)
 1944 Show Business (vocal director)
 1943 Higher and Higher (vocal director)
 1943 Nobody's Darling (vocal arranger)
 1943 We've Never Been Licked (vocal arranger)
 1943 Shantytown (vocal arranger - as Kenneth Darby)
 1942 Ice-Capades Revue (music arranger - uncredited)
 1942 Seven Days' Leave (music advisor) / (vocal advisor)
 1939 At the Circus (vocal and orchestral arrangements)
 1939 The Wizard of Oz (orchestral and vocal arrangements)
Show Show Soundtrack (128 credits)
Show Show Composer (9 credits)
Show Show Actor (31 credits)
Show Show Thanks (1 credit)
Show Show Self (2 credits)

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Personal Details

Other Works:

He was featured, along with Cliff Edwards (the original Jiminy Cricket), Julietta Novis and The King's Men, on Decca Records' 1940 studio cast 78-rpm album of the songs from Walt Disney''s Pinocchio (1940). This four-record set was later released as the reverse side of a Decca LP which also featured the studio cast recording of... See more »

Publicity Listings:

1 Print Biography | See more »

Alternate Names:

Kenneth Darby | The Ken Darby Singers | The King's Men | Ken Darby's Octet | Ken Darby Quintet

Did You Know?

Personal Quote:

(When Walt Disney criticized his proposed score for The Legend of Johnny Appleseed (1948)): "That is just a cross section of one man's opinion."


His choral group, the Ken Darby Singers, sang backup for Bing Crosby on Crosby's original 78-RPM recording of "White Christmas." This version was not recorded directly from the soundtrack of Holiday Inn (1942), the 1942 movie for which composer Irving Berlin wrote the song. Soundtrack albums for live action films did not come into being until 1947.

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