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Ray Evans at:


Hal Leonard


Wrote themes for "Bonanza" and "Mr. Ed" among others


Ray Evans, the songwriter of such enduring standards as “Mona Lisa”, “Silver Bells”, “Que Sera, Sera” and “Buttons and Bows,” was born in Salamanca, New York on February 4, 1915.

After graduating from high school, Evans enrolled at the University of Pennsylvania (he would also graduate from the Wharton School of Business). While there, he met a fellow student named Jay Livingston who had formed a college dance band. Evans joined the band playing reed instruments. The band played for various Penn functions and eventually played in local nightclubs and cruise ships. During this time, Evans and Livingston began writing novelty songs and after their graduation from Penn in 1937, they moved to New York City to work on Tin Pan Alley.

Writing special material for Olsen and Johnson Broadway productions, Evans and Livingston had their first hit song “G’bye Now.” They also worked on songs that were included in the Olsen and Johnson show Son’s O’ Run. The team moved to Hollywood in 1945 under contract with Paramount Pictures, where they stayed fro the next ten years. After 1955, the team free-lanced for different Hollywood studios, contribution individual songs and complete scores.

Returning to New York in 1958, Livingston and Evans produced their first Broadway score, Oh Captain, a stage adaptation of the film The Captain’s Paradise. They had stage success again in 1961 with Let It Ride!, a musical comedy adaptation of Three Men On a Horse.

Often described in the late 1990’s as the “last great of the great songwriters of Hollywood,” Livingston and Evans were the recipient of…

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