Legendary Composer of ‘Pajama Game’ and ‘Damn Yankees’ Dead at 90

Jun 22, 2012  •  Post A Comment

The man who composed standards including "You’ve Gotta Have Heart," "Hernando’s Hideaway," “Whatever Lola Wants” and "Hey, There" has died, the AP reports. Richard Adler was 90.

The Broadway composer and lyricist, a Tony winner and member of the Songwriters Hall of Fame, is best known for his work on "Damn Yankees" and "The Pajama Game," two seminal musicals from the mid-1950s that were turned into feature films starring Gwen Verdon and Doris Day, respectively.

Adler died Thursday at his home in Southampton, N.Y., according to his wife, Susan A. Ivory.

Other well-known Adler compositions include “Steam Heat,” “Rags to Riches” and “Everybody Loves a Lover.”

In addition to his Broadway work, Adler produced several special performances for U.S. presidents, most notably the famous 1962 birthday extravaganza for President John F. Kennedy at Madison Square Garden where Marilyn Monroe sang "Happy Birthday" to JFK.

Adler also composed symphonic works, including "Wilderness Suite," which was commissioned by the U.S. Department of the Interior, and "The Lady Remembers," to celebrate the Statue of Liberty’s centennial. He composed two ballets for the Chicago City Ballet, 1984’s "Eight by Adler" and "Chicago."

Adler is survived by Ivory; by his children, Andrew Adler, Katherine Adler and Charles Shipman; and by two grandchildren.

richard-adler.jpgRichard Adler

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