Composer Hugh Martin Passes – Garland’s Songwriter
For people of a certain age — my parents and me — Judy Garland was a giant in the music world. While Somewhere Over the Rainbow became Garland’s signature song, there are others which are the favorites of millions of her fans. Those songs were penned by Hugh Martin. Three of the best known are from Meet Me In St. Louis, a film Garland starred in, in 1944. It remains a favorite of mine and will forever be associated with my mom who loved The Trolley Song.
Hugh Martin, the composer, lyricist, arranger and pianist best known for creating the Judy Garland standards “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” “The Boy Next Door” and “The Trolley Song,” died on Friday at his home in Encinitas, Calif. He was 96.
Mr. Martin wrote the music and lyrics for five Broadway musicals: “Best Foot Forward” (1941, with Mr. Blane), “Look Ma, I’m Dancin’!” (1948), “Make a Wish” (1951). “High Spirits” (1964, on which he collaborated with Timothy Gray on book, music and lyrics) and the 1989 stage version of “Meet Me in St. Louis,” for which he wrote new songs.
Besides “Meet Me in St. Louis” his film credits include the movie version of “Best Foot Forward” (1943), “Abbott and Costello in Hollywood” (1945), “Athena” (1954), “The Girl Rush” (1955) and “The Girl Most Likely” (1958), all with Mr. Blane. On his own he wrote the songs for a 1958 television musical, “Hans Brinker.”