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Roger Edens (November 9, 1905 – July 13, 1970) was a Hollywood composer, arranger and associate producer, and is considered one of the major creative figures in Arthur Freed's musical film production unit at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
during the "golden era of Hollywood".

Contents

1 Early career and work with Judy Garland 2 Birthday parties 3 Show Boat 4 Personal life 5 Awards and honors 6 References 7 External links

Early career and work with Judy Garland[edit] Edens was born in Hillsboro, Texas. His parents were of Scots-Irish ancestry. He worked as a piano accompanist for ballroom dancers before going to work as a musical conductor on Broadway. He went to Hollywood in 1932 along with his protege Ethel Merman, writing and arranging her material for her films at Paramount. In 1935, he joined MGM as a musical supervisor and occasional composer and arranger, notably of music for Judy Garland. He also appeared on screen opposite Eleanor Powell in a cameo in Broadway Melody of 1936. Arthur Freed, producer of musicals at MGM, was impressed by Edens and soon made him integral to his production team, which was rapidly growing and featured many of the greatest talents, recruited by Freed himself. Freed built a cabinet around himself, and in the early 1940s made Edens associate producer. The unit made dozens of popular and extremely successful musical films in the 1940s and into the 1950s, including Meet Me in St. Louis
Meet Me in St. Louis
(1944), Easter Parade (1948), On the Town (1949), Show Boat (1951), An American in Paris
An American in Paris
(1951), Singin' in the Rain (1952), and The Band Wagon
The Band Wagon
(1953). Edens eventually separated from the MGM unit in the mid-fifties, when the musical film's days of glory were coming to an end. He had his own office, and worked on such projects as Funny Face
Funny Face
(1957) with Audrey Hepburn, Fred Astaire, and Kay Thompson
Kay Thompson
at Paramount. Edens is considered to be an important creative musical figure from the end of the 1930s until the beginning of the 1960s. His career at MGM allowed him to work with the top musical performers including Judy Garland, of whom he was the original trainer and overseer, and a lifelong friend.[1] He wrote special material for Garland, including the famous "Dear Mr Gable - You Made Me Love You" (1937), "Our Love Affair" (1940) for Strike up the Band - which received an Oscar nomination for best song of that year - and the music for the "Born in a Trunk" sequence in A Star Is Born (1954).[2] Edens was responsible for writing "It's A Great Day for the Irish" to showcase Garland's powerhouse voice in 1940; she sang it in the film Little Nellie Kelly (1940). This became one of Garland's biggest hits and an Irish-American
Irish-American
anthem played by military and marching bands every St. Patrick's Day world over. He continued to compose, score, and arrange MGM musicals throughout the 1940s. He also produced a number of films after the mid-1950s and wrote special material for Garland's Palace Theatre debut in 1951 and for her London Palladium
London Palladium
concerts the same year. Birthday parties[edit] Edens and Kay Thompson
Kay Thompson
had the same birthday (November 9). From 1942 through 1957 they gave joint birthday parties during which each presented a surprise production number using special material which featured their friends— Judy Garland, Lena Horne, Gene Kelly, Dorothy Dandridge, Maureen O'Hara, Ray Bolger, Ann Sothern, Danny Kaye, Charles Walters, Cole Porter, Hugh Martin and Ralph Blane among others—each never telling the other while rehearsing what the other was planning to present. Show Boat[edit] It was Edens, along with producer Arthur Freed, who was the real guiding force behind M-G-M's 1951 screen version of Show Boat. Edens headed the search for the right singer-actor to play Joe, the key supporting character who sings "Ol' Man River", and he discovered William Warfield
William Warfield
after reading a rave review of his performance in a New York song recital. Edens also supervised cuts to the film after it was felt by the producer and director that the original cut was too slow. Personal life[edit] Before moving to California, Edens had been married to Martha LaPrelle, but they spent much time apart and eventually divorced.[3] By the time he knew Judy Garland, he was living as a gay man.[1] In the latter part of his life, Edens was in long-term relationship with screenwriter and playwright Leonard Gershe. Edens died of cancer in Los Angeles, California
Los Angeles, California
on July 13, 1970. Awards and honors[edit]

Academy Award for Best Score (nominated) 1939: Babes in Arms (film) (w. Georgie Stoll) Academy Award for Best Score (nominated) 1940: Strike Up the Band (w. Georgie Stoll) Academy Award for Best Song (nominated) 1940: "Our Love Affair" from Strike Up the Band - Music & Lyrics Academy Award for Best Score (nominated) 1942: For Me and My Gal (film) (w. Georgie Stoll) Academy Award for Best Song (nominated) 1947: "Pass That Peace Pipe" from Good News - Music & Lyrics (w. Ralph Blane & Hugh Martin) Academy Award for Best Score (Won) 1948: Easter Parade (w. Johnny Green) Academy Award for Best Score (Won) 1949: On the Town (w. Lennie Hayton) Academy Award for Best Score (Won) 1950: Annie Get Your Gun (w. Adolph Deutsch)

(8 nominations, 3 Awards) References[edit]

^ a b Luft, Lorna (1999). Me and My Shadows: A Family Memoir. Simon and Schuster. p. 206. ISBN 978-0-671-01900-6.  ^ Leonard Gershe received sole credit due to a contractual issue. Personal letter from Gershe to Jim Johnson Archived 2009-01-20 at the Wayback Machine. ^ Mann, William J. (2001). Behind the screen: how gays and lesbians shaped Hollywood, 1910-1969. Viking. p. 273. ISBN 978-0-670-03017-0. 

External links[edit]

Roger Edens on IMDb Roger Edens at the Internet Broadway Database
Internet Broadway Database
Roger Edens at Find a Grave

v t e

Academy Award for Best Original Score

1930s

Louis Silvers
Louis Silvers
(1934) Max Steiner
Max Steiner
(1935) Leo F. Forbstein
Leo F. Forbstein
(1936) Charles Previn
Charles Previn
(1937) Erich Wolfgang Korngold/Alfred Newman (1938) Herbert Stothart/Richard Hageman, W. Franke Harling, John Leipold, Leo Shuken (1939)

1940s

Leigh Harline, Paul J. Smith, Ned Washington/Alfred Newman (1940) Bernard Herrmann/ Frank Churchill and Oliver Wallace (1941) Max Steiner/ Ray Heindorf and Heinz Roemheld (1942) Alfred Newman/ Ray Heindorf (1943) Max Steiner/ Morris Stoloff and Carmen Dragon
Carmen Dragon
(1944) Miklós Rózsa/ Georgie Stoll (1945) Hugo Friedhofer/ Morris Stoloff (1946) Miklós Rózsa/Alfred Newman (1947) Brian Easdale/ Johnny Green
Johnny Green
and Roger Edens (1948) Aaron Copland/ Roger Edens and Lennie Hayton (1949)

1950s

Franz Waxman/ Adolph Deutsch and Roger Edens (1950) Franz Waxman/ Johnny Green
Johnny Green
and Saul Chaplin (1951) Dimitri Tiomkin/Alfred Newman (1952) Bronisław Kaper/Alfred Newman (1953) Dimitri Tiomkin/ Adolph Deutsch and Saul Chaplin (1954) Alfred Newman/Robert Russell Bennett, Jay Blackton and Adolph Deutsch (1955) Victor Young/Alfred Newman and Ken Darby (1956) Malcolm Arnold (1957) Dimitri Tiomkin/Andre Previn (1958) Miklós Rózsa/Andre Previn and Ken Darby (1959)

1960s

Ernest Gold/ Morris Stoloff and Harry Sukman (1960) Henry Mancini/Saul Chaplin, Johnny Green, Sid Ramin and Irwin Kostal (1961) Maurice Jarre/ Ray Heindorf (1962) John Addison/Andre Previn (1963) Richard M. Sherman
Richard M. Sherman
and Robert B. Sherman/Andre Previn (1964) Maurice Jarre/ Irwin Kostal (1965) John Barry/ Ken Thorne (1966) Elmer Bernstein/Alfred Newman and Ken Darby (1967) John Barry/ Johnny Green
Johnny Green
(1968) Burt Bacharach/ Lennie Hayton and Lionel Newman (1969)

1970s

Francis Lai/ The Beatles
The Beatles
(John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr) (1970) Michel Legrand/ John Williams
John Williams
(1971) Charlie Chaplin, Raymond Rasch and Larry Russell/ Ralph Burns
Ralph Burns
(1972) Marvin Hamlisch/ Marvin Hamlisch
Marvin Hamlisch
(1973) Nino Rota
Nino Rota
and Carmine Coppola/ Nelson Riddle
Nelson Riddle
(1974) John Williams/ Leonard Rosenman
Leonard Rosenman
(1975) Jerry Goldsmith/ Leonard Rosenman
Leonard Rosenman
(1976) John Williams/ Jonathan Tunick (1977) Giorgio Moroder/ Joe Renzetti (1978) Georges Delerue/ Ralph Burns
Ralph Burns
(1979)

1980s

Michael Gore (1980) Vangelis
Vangelis
(1981) John Williams/ Henry Mancini
Henry Mancini
and Leslie Bricusse (1982) Bill Conti/Michel Legrand, Alan and Marilyn Bergman (1983) Maurice Jarre/Prince (1984) John Barry (1985) Herbie Hancock
Herbie Hancock
(1986) Ryuichi Sakamoto, David Byrne
David Byrne
and Cong Su (1987) Dave Grusin
Dave Grusin
(1988) Alan Menken
Alan Menken
(1989)

1990s

John Barry (1990) Alan Menken
Alan Menken
(1991) Alan Menken
Alan Menken
(1992) John Williams
John Williams
(1993) Hans Zimmer
Hans Zimmer
(1994) Luis Enríquez Bacalov/ Alan Menken
Alan Menken
and Stephen Schwartz (1995) Gabriel Yared/ Rachel Portman (1996) James Horner/ Anne Dudley
Anne Dudley
(1997) Nicola Piovani/ Stephen Warbeck (1998) John Corigliano (1999)

2000s

Tan Dun
Tan Dun
(2000) Howard Shore
Howard Shore
(2001) Elliot Goldenthal
Elliot Goldenthal
(2002) Howard Shore
Howard Shore
(2003) Jan A. P. Kaczmarek
Jan A. P. Kaczmarek
(2004) Gustavo Santaolalla
Gustavo Santaolalla
(2005) Gustavo Santaolalla
Gustavo Santaolalla
(2006) Dario Marianelli (2007) A. R. Rahman
A. R. Rahman
(2008) Michael Giacchino
Michael Giacchino
(2009)

2010s

Trent Reznor
Trent Reznor
and Atticus Ross
Atticus Ross
(2010) Ludovic Bource
Ludovic Bource
(2011) Mychael Danna (2012) Steven Price (2013) Alexandre Desplat
Alexandre Desplat
(2014) Ennio Morricone
Ennio Morricone
(2015) Justin Hurwitz
Justin Hurwitz
(2016) Alexandre Desplat
Alexandre Desplat
(2017)

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 22338827 LCCN: n88094647 ISNI: 0000 0001 1606 2669 GND: 173996922 BNF: cb140034267 (data) BNE: XX846257 SN

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