The Boy Next Door
Publication Date: February 2011
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Hugh Martin: The Boy Next Door is an enchanting jaunt through the Golden Era of Broadway and the MGM musicals. This firsthand account captures the energy and excitement of those special times, with eyewitness tales of Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland, Gene Kelly, and dozens more. Hugh recounts the origins of some of America's most beloved songs, including the perennial favorite, "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas." Martin also reveals some secrets that only he could know: the truth about his composition partner Ralph Blane, his addiction to the infamous Dr. Feelgood, Max Jacobson; how he was instrumental in turning Gene Kelly from a performer to a choreographer during the staging of Best Foot Forward; and what it was really like to be part of the MGM musical production machine. As Hugh enters his 96th year, this could be America's last chance to hear these stories from a living source. They are full of his signature charm, grace, musicality, and poeticism.
Hugh Martin (born in 1914) is an American musical theater and film composer, arranger, and vocal coach. He is best known for his score for the classic 1944 MGM musical Meet Me in St. Louis, in which Judy Garland sang three Martin songs, "The Boy Next Door," "The Trolley Song," and "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas." The last of these has become a Christmas season standard in the United States and around the English-speaking world and is widely considered one of the greatest Christmas songs of all time. He became a close friend of Garland and was her accompanist in the 1950s including her legendary stint at the Palace. He is quite possibly the last original source for stories of the Golden Era of Broadway and Hollywood musicals.