Ralph Blane

Ralph Blane (July 26, 1914 – November 13, 1995) was an American composer, lyricist, and performer.

Ralph Blane
Birth nameRalph Uriah Hunsecker
Born(1914-07-26)July 26, 1914
Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, US
DiedNovember 13, 1995(1995-11-13) (aged 81)
Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, US
GenresMusical theatre, popular
Associated actsHugh Martin, Harry Warren, Harold Arlen, Kay Thompson

Life and career

Blane was born Ralph Uriah Hunsecker in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. He attended Tulsa Central High School.[1] He began his career as a radio singer for NBC in the 1930s before turning to Broadway, where he was featured in New Faces of 1936, Hooray for What!, and Louisiana Purchase. He contributed the lyrics and music to Best Foot Forward (1941) and Three Wishes for Jamie (1952).

With partner Hugh Martin [although Hugh Martin disputes this, see collaboration controversy], Blane penned many American standards for the stage and MGM musicals. The team's best-known songs include "The Boy Next Door", "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" and "The Trolley Song", all written for the 1944 film musical Meet Me in St. Louis. Facing the challenge of writing a song about a trolley, the duo visited a public library, and in a book they found the caption "Clang, clang, clang went the trolley", which formed the nucleus for the lyric of their song, which earned them their first Oscar nomination (their second was for "Pass That Peace Pipe", written in collaboration with Roger Edens for the 1947 film adaptation of Good News). Meet Me in St. Louis was adapted for a 1989 Broadway musical of the same name.

Blane also collaborated with Harry Warren, Harold Arlen, and Kay Thompson, among others.

In 1983, Blane was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.[2]

In 1991, Blane sang "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" at The Magic Kingdom in performances of Walt Disney World's Christmas Candlelight Processional. George Kennedy narrated the Christmas Story during the performances.

He is buried in Broken Arrow's Park Grove Cemetery.


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