Robert MacGimsey (Pineville, Louisiana 1898 - Phoenix, Arizona 1979) was an American composer. His most famous song was "Sweet Little Jesus Boy" (1934), a well-known Christmas carol written in the style of an African-American spiritual. MacGimsey also composed "Shadrack," which was a 1962 hit for Brook Benton that was also recorded by Louis Armstrong and many others.
MacGimsey is also known for the song "How Do You Do?" which was originally written for the Walt Disney live-action musical drama Song of the South. The song is also featured in the theme-park attraction Splash Mountain located in Disneyland, Walt Disney World, and Tokyo Disneyland.
Born in Pineville, Louisiana, of white parents, Robert MacGimsey spent most of his formative years in the company of blacks who lived and worked for and with his family. Due to their influence he wrote in an "African American" style, and he is often mistakenly assumed to be a black composer.
He was also famous for double whistling, or whistling duets. His library, letters and works can be found in the library archives at Louisiana College, Pineville, LA.
- List of recordings of Robert MacGimsey songs at Allmusic.com (link 1, link 2)
- List of Robert MacGimsey songs at ASCAP.com (link)
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