Pete Wendling

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Pete Wendling (June 6, 1888 – April 7, 1974) was an American composer and pianist, born in New York City to German immigrants. [1]

He started his working life as a carpenter, but gained fame during the mid 1910s as a popular music composer - producing such hits as Yaaka Hula Hickey Dula, Take Me To The Land Of Jazz, Take Your Girlie To The Movies, Felix The Cat, and Oh What A Pal Is Mary.

More however, Wendling was also one of the top pianists of his era, and set a long-standing record when he appeared at the London Hippodrome for 8 consecutive weeks. He joined the Rhythmodik Music Roll Company in 1914, and started to record his performances on paper rolls for player pianos. In 1916 he recorded for American Piano Company (Ampico). In 1918, he joined the largest piano roll company, QRS, and rapidly became one of their most popular artists - his distinctive yet always fresh performances constantly topping their best-selling lists and are still in production as of 2003 - over 80 years since they were produced.

In 1925 QRS, who were tightening their belt due to declining sales, released Wendling, and he concentrated on his composing career until his retirement in the 1950s. Married to Anna, he had no children. He died in New York City in April 1974.

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