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Biography

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Overview (3)

Date of Birth 8 September 1896New York City, New York, USA
Date of Death 30 July 1983New York City, New York, USA  (Parkinson's disease)
Birth NameHoward M. Dietz

Mini Bio (2)

Dietz was an unusual, but not illogical, combination: a publicist-lyricist. Of his upbringing, he wrote, "We lived in cycles of Manhattan, inheriting neighborhoods as they became passe, from Yorkville to Harlem, to Washington Heights, to West End Avenue, to Riverside Drive. As a result, I got to know kids from all over town -- marble shooters, button pitchers, stoop handballers, and other dazzling athletes who used the city for a outdoor gym." He went on to Townsend Harris high school ('Ira Gershwin' and E.Y. Harburg were among his fellow students) and, after a brief stint as a reporter, to journalism school at Columbia University. First prize in a slogan-writing contest sponsored by a cigarette company landed Dietz an advertising job; his employer introduced him to Samuel Goldwyn, whose publicity staff Dietz joined, and Jerome Kern, who became his collaborator on a 1924 Broadway musical, "Dear Sir". In 1929, for a Broadway revue called "The Little Show", Dietz first teamed with the lawyer-turned-composer Arthur Schwartz. With interruptions, their partnership lasted more than 30 years, producing such songs as "Dancing in the Dark", "By Myself" and "You and the Night and the Music". Many of their Broadway numbers (and a new one, "That's Entertainment") were used in The Band Wagon (1953), although some of Dietz's lyrics from the 1920s and 1930s had to be toned down for 1950s MGM. Dietz served as a publicist for the Goldwyn company and its successor, MGM, for decades, but his Broadway credentials (he wrote sketches and "books" as well as lyr ics) earned him a seat at the so-called Algonquin Round Table with George S. Kaufman, Robert Benchley et al.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: David S. Smith

Song lyricist ("Moanin' Low", "Dancing in the Dark", "That's Entertainment") and film executive, educated at Townsend Harris Hall and Columbia University. He edited college publications, and wrote newspaper columns, winning a prize in an ad-writing contest, which led to a position as an agency copywriter. After WWII military service in the US Navy (during which he wrote the score for the USCG revue "Tars and Spars"), he became a director of advertising and promotion for Samuel Goldwyn, and for MGM in 1924. After a twenty-plus-year film-company career , he became vice presient of Loew's Inc. His Broadway stage scores include "Dear Sir", "Keep Off the Grass", "Inside USA", "The Gay Life", and "Jennie", and he wrote sketches for "Merry-Go-Round", "The Little Show", "The Second Little Show", "Three's a Crowd", "The Band Wagon", and "Flying Colors", and was the librettist for "Revenge With Music" and "Between The Devil", and was the co-librettist for "Sadie Thompson". He wrote songs for "Queen High" and "Oh, Kay!". Other works include the radio score for "The Gibson Family" (the first radio musical serial). Joining ASCAP in 1929 (he became a director in 1959), he collaborated musically with Arthur Schwartz, Vernon Duke, Jerome Kern, Jimmy McHugh, and Ralph Rainger, and his other popular-song compositions include "Something to Remember You By", "All Lanes Must Reach a Turning", "Heaven on Earth", "High and Low", "I Guess I'll Have to Change My Plan", "I've Made a Habit of You", "Right at the Start of It", "The Moment I Saw You", "Something to Remember You By", "All the King's Horses", "Lucky Seven", "Hoops", "Confession", "New Sun in the Sky", "I Love Louisa", "Alone Together", "A Shine on Your Shoes", Smoking Reefers", "Louisiana Hayride", "A Rainy Day", "Two-Faced Woman", "Fatal Fascination", "How High Can a Little Bird Fly?", "Under Your Spell", "If There Is Someone Lovelier Than You", "When You Love Only One", "You and the Night and the Music", "Wand'ring Heart", "Thief in the Night", "Paree", "Farewell, My Lovely", "What a Wonderful World", "Love Is a Dancing Thing", "The Hottentot Potentate", "Loadin' Time", "Get Yourself a Geisha", "By Myself", "I See Your Face Before Me", "Triplets", "How Can We Be Wrong?", "On the Old Park Bench", "The Love I Long For", "The Dickey-Bird Song", "My Gal Is Mine Once More", "Haunted Heart", "Blue Grass", "Rhode Island Is Famous for You", "Magic Moment", "Come a-Wandering With Me", "Why Go Anywhere at All?", "Who Can? You Can!", "Waiting for the Evening Train", and "Before I Kiss the World Goodbye".

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Hup234!

Spouse (3)

Lucinda Ballard (? - ?)
Elizabeth Hall (? - ?) (first)
Tania G. Montagu (? - ?) (second)

Trivia (4)

He devised the familiar MGM trademark from the lion mascot of his alma mata, Columbia University. Wrote the lyrics for more than 500 songs mostly in collaboration with Arthur Schwartz.
Designed the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) Leo the Lion's roar logo and suggested its Latin motto "Ars Gratia Artis" (roughly, "Art for Art's Sake"). It first appeared on the Goldwyn Pictures Corporation film Polly of the Circus (1917) and passed to MGM when Goldwyn merged with two other companies about 1924.
Inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1972.
Biography in: "The Scribner Encyclopedia of American Lives". Volume One, 1981-1985, pages 233-234. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1998.

Personal Quotes (2)

When there's a shine on your shoes, there's a melody in your heart.
A day away from Tallulah is like a month in the country.

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