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J. Livingston; Composer for TV, Movies

July 11, 1987

Jerry Livingston, a prolific composer who gave the world such nonsensical songs as "Mairzy Doats," such beautiful ballads as "The Twelfth of Never" and such television themes as "77 Sunset Strip" and "Hawaiian Eye," has died at 78.

Livingston died July 1 in Los Angeles after what was described as a long illness.

During a career that began when he played piano while a high school student in Denver, Livingston wrote dozens of tunes including "Under a Blanket of Blue," "The Story of a Starry Night," "It's The Talk of the Town," "Chi-Baba Chi-Baba, "A Dream Is a Wish Your Heart Makes" and "Bibbidi Bobbidi-Boo" from Walt Disney's "Cinderella" and "Wake the Town and Tell the People."

He also composed "The Sons of Westwood," one of the UCLA fight songs, and was nominated three times for an Academy Award for his work on "The Hanging Tree," "The Ballad of Cat Ballou" and "Cinderella."

Later he wrote the title songs for such television shows as "Caspar the Friendly Ghost," "Bourbon Street Beat," "The Bugs Bunny Show" and "Lawman."

Livingston led his own orchestra while a student at the University of Arizona, moving in 1932 to New York City where he played piano for several dance bands before his composing career began in earnest.

Among his chief collaborators were Mack David, Helen Deutsch, Milton Drake, Ralph Freed, Al Hoffman, Bob Merrill, Mitchell Parish and Paul Francis Webster.

He is survived by his wife, Ruth, a son and two grandchildren.

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