Jay Livingston
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Kordite
N 40° 21.998 W 080° 14.087
17T E 564968 N 4468732
Quick Description: Market on Rt. 980 (S. McDonald St.), McDonald.
Location: Pennsylvania, United States
Date Posted: 9/20/2006 6:56:03 PM
Waymark Code: WMR10
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member unimoggers
Views: 68

Long Description:
The marker reads: "Prolific composer and writer of popular songs for motion pictures and television from the 1940s to the 1990s. Born and raised in McDonald. Along with partner Ray Evans, Livingston earned Academy Awards for the songs “Buttons and Bows,” “Mona Lisa,” and “Que Sera, Sera.” His most enduring and popular song was “Silver Bells.” He also wrote themes for television series “Bonanza” and “Mister Ed” and scores for Broadway shows."

Livingston, born Jacob Harold Levinson in 1915, grew up on Station Street in McDonald. His parents, Rose and Maurice, owned and operated a shoe store at Arabella Street and East Lincoln Avenue.

Jay had two brothers, Mort, now deceased, and Alan, who later held several prominent posts in the entertainment field. He was president of Capitol Records, president of NBC-TV network programming and senior vice president of 20th Century Fox Film Corp.

The brothers attended the former McDonald High School, and Jay Livingston wrote its alma mater. After graduating in 1933, he left McDonald to study composition and orchestration at the University of Pennsylvania. He had learned piano as a child.

While in college, Livingston organized a dance band, joined by reed-instrument player Ray Evans from Salamanca, N.Y. They performed together in nightclubs and on cruise ships, beginning a lifelong collaboration that yielded a long list of hits for Broadway and Hollywood.

After graduating from Penn in 1937, the pair moved to New York City to work on Tin Pan Alley, where they wrote for stage stars Ole Olsen and Chic Johnson, according to a biography compiled by the New York Songwriters Hall of Fame.

During World War II, Livingston joined the Army. Upon his return in 1945, he and Evans moved to Hollywood to compose music for movies. They scored their first big hit with "To Each His Own," a song for the Olivia de Havilland film of the same name.

From then on, the pair composed a slew of songs for film and television, and starting in 1947, they wrote all the material for Bob Hope's personal appearances.

The duo won their first Academy Award in 1948 for "Buttons and Bows," popularized by Dinah Shore in the movie, "The Paleface." They won two additional Oscars, in 1950 for "Mona Lisa," from the movie "Captain Carey," and in 1956 for "Que Sera, Sera," written for Alfred Hitchcock's 1956 remake of his 1934 film "The Man Who Knew Too Much," starring Doris Day and James Stewart, a native of Indiana, Pa. The tune later was used as the theme to "The Doris Day Show."

The team created several memorable television themes, including "Bonanza" (1959) and "Mister Ed" (1961), the latter sung by Livingston.

Some other popular Livingston/Evans songs are "Silver Bells" (1951), recorded by Bing Crosby; "Tammy," from the movie "Tammy and the Bachelor" (1957); and the title song for "The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Hour" (1968).

After a fruitful career in Hollywood, Livingston and Evans returned to New York to compose and arrange music for stage and nightclub performers.

In October 2001, at age 86, Livingston died in Los Angeles after a bout with pneumonia.
Marker Name: Jay Livingston (1915-2001)

County: Washington

Date Dedicated: 10/07/2004

Marker Type: Roadside

Location: Rt. 980 (S. McDonald St.) and Panhandle Trail, McDonald

Category: Music & Theater, Motion Pictures & Television, Performers

Website: [Web Link]

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