L. Wolfe Gilbert

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L. Wolfe Gilbert
Birth name Louis Wolfe Gilbert
Born (1886-08-31)August 31, 1886
Origin Odessa, Ukraine, Russian Empire
Died July 12, 1970(1970-07-12) (aged 83)
Los Angeles, California, United States
Genres Traditional pop
Occupation(s) Songwriter

Louis Wolfe Gilbert (August 31, 1886 – July 12, 1970) was a Russian-born American songwriter.


Born in Odessa, Russian Empire, Gilbert moved to the United States as a young man and eventually established himself as one of the leading songwriters on Tin Pan Alley.

Gilbert began his career touring with John L. Sullivan and singing in a quartet at small Coney Island café called "College Inn", where he was discovered by English producer Albert Decourville. Decourville brought him to London as part of The Ragtime Octet. Gilbert's first songwriting success came in 1912 when F. A. Mills Music Publishers published his song Waiting For the Robert E. Lee (melody by composer Lewis F. Muir).

Gilbert moved to Hollywood in 1915, and began writing for film, television, and radio (including the Eddie Cantor show). Gilbert wrote the theme lyrics for the popular children's Television Western Hopalong Cassidy, which first aired in 1949 on NBC. He was an innovator in his field, having been one of the first songwriters to begin publishing and promoting a catalog of his own works. He served as the director of ASCAP from 1941 to 1944, and was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1970.

Known as "Wolfie," Gilbert and his wife Rose lived in Beverly Hills and he and his family were members of Temple Israel of Hollywood.

He died in Los Angeles, California on July 12, 1970.[1] His original gravesite was at Hillside Memorial Park Cemetery in Culver City (Mausoleum, Court of Sages, Crypt 223) but he was later reinterred at Forest Lawn Cemetery (Cathedral City) near Palm Springs, California.



  1. ^ a b "L. Wolfe Gilbert, Composer, Dead. Wrote 'Ramona' and Many Other Successful Songs". New York Times. July 13, 1970. Retrieved 2010-07-28. L. Wolfe Gilbert, composer of more than 250 songs, including 'Ramona,' the first motion picture theme song, died today of a stroke. He was 83 years old. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Bierley, Paul E.; Rehrig, William H. The heritage encyclopedia of band music. Composers and their music, Integrity Press 1991. ISBN 0918048087
  • Bloom, Ken. American song. The complete musical theater companion: 1877-1995. Volume 2: T-Z. Second edition. Schirmer Books 1996.
  • Gilbert, L. Wolfe. Without Rhyme or Reason, Vantage Press 1956. OCLC 1295930
  • Larkin, Colin. The encyclopedia of popular music, third edition. Macmillan 1998. ISBN 1561592374

External links[edit]