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Hal Leonard


Wrote music for 48 films from 1930-1942


Composer Ralph Rainger was born in New York City on October 7, 1900. Showing an early talent for composition, he won and accepted a scholarship to New York’s prestigious Damrosch Institute of Music, however, under pressure from his family for a more sensible career, Rainger dropped out after just a year and began working his way through Law School and graduated from Brown University Law School in the late 1920’s.

Throughout the years, however, he had studied with instructors such as Paolo Gallico, Clarence Adler and Arnold Schoenberg and shortly after his graduation from Brown, he decided to devote his life to music and began taking jobs as a professional pianist, arranger and accompanist for vaudeville entertainers.

In 1928, he formed a team with Edgar Fairchild and the two co-led an orchestra in the Broadway production, Cross My Heart. However, it wasn’t until 1929 in the revue The Little Show, starring Clifton Webb, that Rainger had his first commercial success with the song “Moanin’ Low”. Webb had gotten Ralph the job as pianist in the pit orchestra and during one of the rehearsals they felt that a song was needed. Rainger, with a lyric by Howard Dietz, provided “Moanin’ Low”.

In 1930, Rainger had another hit song featured in the Broadway revue Tattle Tales, entitled “I'll Take an Option on You”, which had a lyric by Leo Robin. This was the beginning of a great Robin and Rainger team.

Under contract with Paramount Studios, Robin and Rainger moved to Hollywood and produced some of the most memorable film scores from the…

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Discography Highlights

Famous Music Corp.

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