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Marion, George

George Marion, Jr., librettist and lyricist, had a career spanning the golden years of lighthearted musical comedies in Hollywood and on Broadway. During his Hollywood days, he began writing titles for silent films, winning an award at the first Oscar ceremony in 1929 for Wings. In the 1930's he delighted depression audiences with The Big Broadcast, featuring Bing Crosby, The Gay Divorcee with Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, and romantic screenplays like Love Me Tonight, with songs by Rodgers and Hart. His first college musical film, Sweetie, set a standard for the genre with a comical song that stopped the show when audiences clapped through the next scene and projectionists had to rewind and run the number again. He brought his fondness for the college scene to Broadway with TOO MANY GIRLS (1939), complementing a showstopping score by Rodgers & Hart . Marion took off for Manhattan and never returned to Hollywood. In the 1940's he joined Fats Waller in EARLY TO BED, a jaunty 1943 musical from which two of the songs found a later and longer life in the timeless and well-traveled AIN'T MISBEHAVIN'. His lovely 1945 operetta-like musical, MARINKA, with music by the eminent European composer Emmerich Kalman (SARI, GOLDEN DAWN), also had a good run, which was not the case for some of his other Broadway efforts. Born in 1899 Marion saw, but didn't really accept, dramatic shifts in the theater musical style. TOO MANY GIRLS best combined his love of words with his sense of fun. He died in 1968.

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