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Nacio Herb Brown

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Biography

American pop composer Nacio Herb Brown wrote for movie musicals from the late '20s into the early '50s, including the earliest films with soundtracks. Born in New Mexico in 1896 and raised in Los Angeles, Brown learned to play piano at a young age and, after graduating from U.C.L.A., toured as an accompanist. After this, he set up a tailoring business and then ventured into real estate with much financial success. Brown worked at composing throughout the 1920s, with very few successes. His first hit was "Coral Sea" (1920), with only a handful more until 1929 when, at the very beginning of "talkies" and soundtrack recording, Brown wrote hit songs for four different films. He became the top movie musical composer of this time, writing numerous hits over the next two decades, including "Singin' in the Rain" (1929), "Temptation" (1933), "All I Do Is Dream of You" (1934), "You Are My Lucky Star" (1935), "Good Morning" (1939), and "You Stepped Out of a Dream" (1941). Brown's chief collaborator was lyricist Arthur Freed, but he also worked with Buddy DeSylva, Gus Kahn, Gordon Clifford, and more. ~ Joslyn Layne

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