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Dick Manning

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Dick Manning
Dick Manning
Dick Manning
Background information
Birth nameSamuel Medoff
Born(1912-06-12)June 12, 1912
Gomel, Russian Empire
DiedApril 11, 1991(1991-04-11) (aged 78)
Marietta, Georgia, U.S.[1]

Dick Manning (born Samuel Medoff (Самуил Медов), June 12, 1912 – April 11, 1991)[2] was a Russian-American songwriter, best known for his many collaborations with Al Hoffman. Manning composed the first full-length musical to be broadcast on television. The Boys From Boise aired on the DuMont Television Network in 1944.

Early years


Manning was born in Gomel, Russian Empire, to a Jewish family, and came to the United States with his family when he was six years old.[2] He studied at the Juilliard School of Music.[2] Manning changed his name from Medoff in 1948,[2] although he continued also to play and record in Yiddish under his birth name.[3]

Yiddish swing


In the early 1940s, he had a radio show on WHN radio in New York called Sam Medoff and His Yiddish Swing Orchestra;[2] he performed with his band, "The Yiddish Swingtet".[citation needed] Manning and the band were also regulars on "Yiddish Melodies in Swing", which was also broadcast on WHN. The 15 minute weekly radio show, which blended traditional Yiddish folk music with swing and jazz, got its start on the station in 1938. Medoff and the Swingtet were hired to give a new twist to the traditional songs, as well as introduce new popular songs performed in Yiddish. The Barry Sisters (Claire and Merna) were the vocalists for the program.[4][5] The radio show was originally done live at the Lowes State Theatre every Sunday at 1PM; it aired until 1955.[6][7] Medoff also played piano and organ for Yiddish crooner Seymour Rexite's radio show.[8]

Songwriting and composing


Manning was the co-writer of many popular songs, among them: "Takes Two to Tango", "Fascination", "Hot Diggity" and "Papa Loves Mambo".[2] They were recorded by artists such as Perry Como, Sammy Kaye, Kate Smith and others.[2] Manning's songs have been published in 27 languages.[1] In 1956, Manning shared a late-night subway ride with Perry Como's music publisher, Mickey Glass. As the two men talked, Glass mentioned a need for a new novelty song for Como. Manning said he had just made a demo recording of something like that which had yet to be heard by anyone else. Glass arranged to hear Manning's demo the next day; Como's recording of "Hot Diggity" was the result of that chance meeting of Manning and Glass.[9]

Manning also composed The Boys From Boise,[2] which was the story of a troupe of show girls who were stranded on an Idaho ranch. The girls take jobs as cowgirls on the ranch in an effort to raise enough money to return home.[10] This was the first full-length television musical, and was presented on the DuMont Television Network in 1944.[11] The television presentation of the musical was sponsored by Esquire magazine.[12][13] Manning appeared earlier in that year on DuMont's Key-Bored Televisual Presentations as a pianist.[14][15][16] Manning also was an arranger and vocal coach, and wrote radio jingles.[1]

Manning, the father of two daughters and a son, died of diabetes-related complications in Marietta, Georgia on April 11, 1991.[1]

Published songs


Songs written by Al Hoffman and Dick Manning


Songs written by Al Hoffman, Dick Manning and another collaborator


Other songs


Work on Broadway



  1. ^ a b c d "Dick Manning, 79, Composer and Lyricist". The New York Times. April 13, 1991. Archived from the original on January 30, 2013. Retrieved December 16, 2010.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h Colin Larkin, ed. (1992). The Guinness Encyclopedia of Popular Music (First ed.). Guinness Publishing. pp. 1608/9. ISBN 0-85112-939-0.
  3. ^ Whitney, Christa (May 8, 2019). "Caraid O'Brien's Oral History". Yiddish Book Center. Retrieved March 8, 2023. Web page includes video and full transcript.
  4. ^ "The Barry Sisters". Donttellyourfriends.blogspot.com. October 31, 2008. Archived from the original on July 8, 2011. Retrieved December 17, 2010.
  5. ^ "Yiddish Radio Project; Story of the Long-Running Jewish Radio Program "Yiddish Melodies in Swing" Transcript". National Endowment for the Humanities. Archived from the original on January 6, 2011. Retrieved December 17, 2010.
  6. ^ Matt Temkin (December 2008). "American Yiddish Instrumental Fusion Music in the 1950s and 1960s". Matt Temkin. Archived from the original on October 6, 2010. Retrieved December 17, 2010.
  7. ^ "The Rise of Yiddish Swing". Yiddish Radio Project. Retrieved December 17, 2010.
  8. ^ "The Yiddish Crooner: Seymour Rexite". Yiddish Radio Project. Retrieved December 17, 2010.
  9. ^ Dachs, David (May 10, 1959). "The Story Behind Those Golden Records". Rome News-Tribune. Retrieved November 19, 2010.
  10. ^ Hathaway, Brad (February 4, 2014). "Before Sound of Music and Smash – TV musicals, 1944 – 1996". Retrieved June 24, 2014.
  11. ^ "The Hills Were Alive Again with 'The Sound of Music'". New Show Studios. January 7, 2014. Archived from the original on June 24, 2014. Retrieved June 24, 2014.
  12. ^ Szul, Barbara; Weaver, Maurice (April 23, 1989). "The Whole World Is Watching". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved June 24, 2014.
  13. ^ "Photo from the WABD presentation of The Boys From Boise". Early Television Museum. 1944. Retrieved June 24, 2014.
  14. ^ "The Boys From Boise". Musicals101.com. Retrieved December 16, 2010.
  15. ^ DuMont Television. Billboard. March 4, 1944. Retrieved December 17, 2010.
  16. ^ Hischak, Thomas S., ed. (2008). The Oxford Companion to the American Musical: Theatre, Film, and Television. Oxford University Press. p. 88. ISBN 978-0195335330. Retrieved December 15, 2012.
  17. ^ a b "Dick Manning Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved April 15, 2014.
  18. ^ a b Billig, Michael, ed. (2001). Rock and Roll Jews. Syracuse University Press. p. 29. ISBN 9780815607052. Retrieved June 24, 2014.
  19. ^ "Buddy Kaye". AllMusic.com. Retrieved December 17, 2010.
  20. ^ "The Fifth Season". Internet Broadway Database. 1975. Retrieved June 24, 2014.