Top Hollywood film songwriter in 1930s

Browse Song Catalog: ASCAP

Arthur Johnston


Hits included "Cocktails for Two" and "My Old Flame"

Composer Arthur Johnston was born in New York City on January 10, 1898. In his early career, Johnston performed as a pianist in film theatres and later as a pianist and music director for Irving Berlin’s stage productions.

Under contract with film studios, he moved to Hollywood in 1929 and wrote the scores for such hit films as College Humor, Too Much Harmony, Hello Everybody, Murder at the Vanities, Thanks a Million, Pennies from Heaven and Double or Nothing. Johnston served in the 351st infantry during World War II, which served as the inspiration for the army show, Hut-Two-Three-Four.

Throughout his career, Johnston collaborated with many of the greatest lyricists of his era, most notably Sam Coslow, Gus Kahn and Johnny Burke.

Highlights from the extensive Johnston catalog include “Mandy, Make Up Your Mind”, “Dixie Dreams”, “I’m a Little Blackbird Looking for a Bluebird”, “Just One More Chance”, “Learn to Croon”, “Down the Old Ox Road”, “Moon Struck”, “Thanks”, “The Day You Came Along”, “Moon Song”, “Cocktails For Two”, “Ebony Rhapsody”, “My Old Flame”, “Troubled Waters”, “Thanks a Million”, “Two Together”, “One, Two, Button Your Shoe”, “Pennies From Heaven”, “Do I”, “Let’s Call a Heart a Heart”, “The Moon Got in My Eyes”, “All You Want to Do is Dance”, “It’s the Natural Thing to Do”, “Song of the South”, “Live and Love Tonight” and “If I Only Had a Match”.

Arthur Johnston died in Corona del Mar, California on May 1, 1954.

Oscar nom for "Pennies From Heaven"

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