Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Songwriter George David Weiss R.I.P.

George David Weiss, who wrote such songs as "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" and "Can't Help Falling in Love with You," passed on August 23 at the age of 89.

George David Weiss was born on April 9, 1921 in New York City. He attended the Julliard School of Music. After graduation he worked as an arranger for such big bands as those of Johnny Richards and Vincent Lopez. He was drafted during World War II, serving as band leader for Fort DuPont in Delaware. Following World War II Mr. Weiss established himself as a songwriter. In 1947 he contributed the song "Fun and Fancy Free" to the film of the same name. In 1948 he contributed the song "Melody Time" to the movie of the same name. He would work frequently on Broadway as a composer, working on the musicals Mr. Wonderful (1957), First Impressions (1959), and Maggie Flynn (1968). He contributed the song "Send Me No Flower" to the play of the same name (1960--not to be confused with the Doris Day-Rock Hudson film of the same name).

Over the years George David Weiss would write several classic songs, including "The Lion Sleeps Tonight (based on a Zulu song from the 1930's)," "What a Wonderful World," "Can't Help Falling in Love," ''Snoopy and the Red Baron's Christmas," and "Oh, What It Seemed to Be."

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