Monday, July 16, 2012

Whose Who In Knickerbocker Village History: Joe Darion

He and his wife Helen lived at 10 Monroe Street, apt GD6, from approximately 1940-1949. Born in New York City in 1917 his real name was Joseph Schmul. Darion studied journalism at City College of New York and served in the Navy during World War II. After the war, he began writing lyrics. He had three Top 10 hits in the 1950s: "Changing Partners," the Patti Page ballad; "Ricochet," recorded by Teresa Brewer; and "The Ho Ho Song," a comedy number from Red Buttons. He also wrote children's songs such as "The Growing-Up Tree", "The Midnight Train", "The Lollipop Tree", "The Goonie Bird Song" and "Little Red Train to the Zoo". Darion's first Broadway show was "Shinbone Alley," a jazz opera. He also wrote "Illya Darling," an adaptation of the movie "Never on Sunday." His biggest hit was his writing for Man of La Mancha. He wrote the lyrics to the "Impossible Dream!"Joining ASCAP in 1951, he wrote for radio, TV, films, theatre and concerts. His chief musical collaborators include George Kleinsinger, Ezra Laderman, Guy Wood, John Benson Brooks, Herman Krasnow, and Mitchell Leigh. He died in 2001.

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