Hamlisch, Marvin (Frederick)
- Geoffrey Block
(b New York, June 2, 1944; d Los Angeles, CA, August 6, 2012). American composer. After demonstrating precocious talent, he became the youngest student to attend the Juilliard School of Music, where he studied piano reluctantly from 1950 to 1965; while still there, he worked as a rehearsal pianist for Funny Girl (1964). In 1965 he attained early success as a popular songwriter when two songs he composed with a high school friend, Howard Liebling, Sunshine, Lollipops, and Rainbows and California Nights, were recorded by Lesley Gore; one other song he composed as a teenager, Travelin’ Man, was recorded years later by Liza Minnelli, another high school friend, on her first album. Concurrently with his studies in music at Queens College, from which he graduated in 1967, Hamlisch was employed for two seasons as a vocal arranger and rehearsal pianist for a wide variety of acclaimed performers on ‘The Bell Telephone Hour’. An engagement as a pianist at a private party for the producer Sam Spiegel led to ...