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 Gus Levene

Gus Levene

Birth
Dallas, Dallas County, Texas, USA
Death 9 Feb 1979 (aged 67)
Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California, USA
Burial Glendale, Los Angeles County, California, USA
Plot Garden of Remembrance, lot #2448A
Memorial ID 18296 · View Source
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Orchestrator, Music Arranger. He is best remembered for his arrangement of the first recording of Irving Berlin's song "White Christmas," sung by Bing Crosby in 1942. He was born Gershun Levene to Jewish parents. As a young boy he saved his money and bought a banjo because he was too small to play a guitar at the time. He eventually did learn to play the guitar as well as the violin and viola. After high school he attended Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas for two years and majored in music. He attained a position as the chief arranger for the pit orchestra at the Palace Theater in Dallas and played on the WFAA radio station orchestra there. On September 4, 1932 the Dallas Symphony Orchestra played his "Ballet Suite Exodus" before a capacity crowd, which he had first written at the age of 18 and performed when he was just 21. The following year he married and they went to New York City, New York, where he continued to study music while working as an arranger and guitarist for Andre Kostelanetz and Ray Bloch. After joining CBS Radio, he decided to move to Hollywood, California where he became an orchestrator and arranger for every major movie studio, including Paramount, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, and 20th-Century Fox. His career as an orchestrator in Hollywood spanned 28 years with over 70 movies, most of which were unaccredited. His major movie credits include "The Eddie Cantor Story" (1953), "The King and I" (1956), "Carousal" (1956), "The Big Land" (1957), "Marjorie Morningstar" (1958), "The Music Man" (1962), and "At Long Last Love" (1975). He died unexpectedly at age 67 in Los Angeles, California. At the time of his death, he was working as an arranger and music consultant for entertained Dean Martin.

Bio by: William Bjornstad


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 7 Nov 2000
  • Find A Grave Memorial 18296
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Gus Levene (11 Jul 1911–9 Feb 1979), Find A Grave Memorial no. 18296, citing Forest Lawn Memorial Park (Glendale), Glendale, Los Angeles County, California, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .