Real name: Robert Reiniger Meredith Willson
Effective period / Period of releases: 1957 - 1964Meredith Willson (born 18 May 1902, Mason City, Iowa, USA – died 15 June 1984, Santa Monica, California, USA) was an American composer, songwriter, conductor and playwright. Willson played the flute and piccolo and was a member of John Philip Sousa’s famous band from 1921 to 1923. He then joined the New York Philharmonic Orchestra from 1924 to 1929. He is best known for writing the book, music, and lyrics for the 1958 Tony Award winning hit musical The Music Man. The cast recording of The Music Man won the first Grammy Award given for best cast album. Also remembered for playing a regular character on the Burns and Allen radio program, musical director for numerous radio shows and his work on films. He received Academy Awards nominations for writing the music for Charlie Chaplin's The Great Dictator (1940) and William Wyler's The Little Foxes (1941). Many of his songs have become standards, including Till There Was You a hit for the Beatles in 1963.