David Mann 1 of 1
Thom Drewke January 06, 06
David Mann b. Oct. 3, 1916, Philadelphia, PA, USA. d. March 1, 2002, New York, NY, USA né: David Freedman David was already playing piano, by ear, at age 3 or 4, amazing his family. At age 13, he was playing around Philadelphia, PA and supporting an extended family. He attended the Curtis Institute (in that city), where, when David was graduating, Leonard Bernstein, was entering, and so the two men became friends. In 1939, he changed his name from Freedman to Mann for the radio station WCAU 'Mann-Irwin Show'. Gene Irwin (né: Isadore Morton Rudy), the son of a grocery store owner, was a childhood friend that Mann knew from his old neighborhood. Gene became an architect, but along the way did write some songs, - two of which met with moderate success, "Five O'Clock Whistle" and "The Widow Brown". (Gene died in the mid 1990s.) In late 1939, Mann moved to New York City and became a steady Decca Records "session man", playing on everybody's 'cuts' and arranging for them as well. At night, he would go uptown and "jam" with all the greats. David was in Charley Spivak's orchestra , until 1941 when he walked out due to an endless string of dates where the pianos were badly out of tune. He also worked with the Jimmy Dorsey band, singer Gordon Macrae, and Artie Shaw's orchestra. All the while, he was composing, and had an office in the Brill Building (a building in New York City where many composers and music publishers have their offices). Over his wonderful career, David has written a great many Hit songs including "Dearie", "No Moon at All", "In The Wee Small Hours of the Morning", "Somebody Bad Stole De Wedding Bell", "Dont Go To Strangers", and many others. ( There's an interesting sidenote to one of David Mann's hits. Bob Shannon of WCBS Radio often recants, "There I've Said it Again" -the Bobby Vinton version of 1963- was the last #1 hit in the USA before The British Invasion. It was knocked out of 1st place by The Beatles' hit "I Want to Hold Your Hand".) During World War 2, Mann joined the U.S. Army, where he was also seen in his various movie roles as pianist with Artie Shaw and Jimmy Dorsey. Upon his discharge from the army in 1945, the Army had the honor of placing one of their own, at the behest of the White House, as personal pianist to President Truman. That honor was usually reserved for a Navy man. David Mann served for less than a year in that position, but spent many evenings sitting at the elbow of President Truman while Truman was playing poker (Truman would say that David was bringing him luck), and David also spent many evenings playing piano on the SS Williamsburg, formerly the Nourmahal, owned by the Astors. Mann appeared in the films: 'Twenty Grand', 'I Dood It', 'Four Jills and A Jeep', 'Pin-Up Girl', and (during his Artie Shaw days) 'Second Chorus', starring Fred Astaire, Burgess Meridith and Paulette Goddard and Shaw's orchestra. He went to Hollywood in the 1950's where he composed the scores for three Disney Natur
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