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     Parish, Mitchell (10th July 1900-31st March 1993)

    He was a lyricist and poet born Michael Hyman Pashelinsky to Lithuanian parents who moved to the United States in 1901.  They further moved from their new home in Shreveport, Louisiana to settle in New York and he would begin to write lyrics while he was in his teens/early 20s.  He studied law at the Columbia and New York Universities but decided that he wanted to make songwriting his career.  Making his name known for the songs he had worked on Tin Pan Alley made use of his talents, and by the time of the late 1920s his works such as "Star Dust" and "Sweet Lorraine" were becoming already successful hits.  He continued to meet with success with songs such as "Deep Purple", "Sophisticated Lady" and "Moonlight Serenade" and around 1950 he put lyrics to at least six of the composer Leroy Anderson's songs including "Blue Tango" and "Sleigh Ride".  He translated many songs that were in a foreign language with possibly his best known being "Volare" and working with many artists during his career including Hoagy Carmichael, Duke Ellington and Glenn Miller, his works have been recorded numerous times.   Working on Broadway his lyrics have been heard on Continental Varieties, Bubbling Brown Sugar and the 1987 revue Stardust among others, and in film and television his work can be heard on more than 76 programmes and movies.  As a poet he published the book For Those In Love, and as a lecturer he would appear at universities and theatres throughout America.  Inducted into the Songwriter's Hall of Fame in 1972, he was the winner of the Johnny Mercer Award for the huge amount of hit songs he wrote lyrics for.  He died in New York City in 1993 aged 92.


    Leroy Anderson recordings


    Sleigh Ride


    The Abbey Road Ensemble

    EMI 56176 (CD: Our Christmas Songs For You)

    Conductor - Jonathan Tunick

    London Voices

    Soprano - Kiri Te Kanawa

    Tenor - Roberto Alagna

    Baritone - Thomas Hampson


    Boston Pops Orchestra & Chorus

    RCA 6428 (CD: A Christmas Festival with Arthur Fiedler and the Boston Pops)

    Conductor - Arthur Fiedler


    Cincinnati Sinfonietta

    Telarc 83315 (CD: Christmas Songs)

    Conductor - Keith Lockhart

    Vocals - Mel Torme


    Richard Hayman and His Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra & Choir recordings

    Naxos 8.990006 (CD: Silent Night)


    Philadelphia Orchestra + Chorus recordings

    RCA 6430 (CD: Joy to the World)

    Conductor - Eugene Ormandy 


    Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra and Chorus recordings

    Naxos 8.990013 (CD: Joy to the World)

    Conductor - Richard Hayman 



    1. http://www.songwritershalloffame.org/exhibit_bio.asp?exhibitId=226
    2. http://www.pbs.org/sleighride/Biography/Parrish.htm
    3. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mitchell_Parish
    4. http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0661695/
















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