- Thomas L. Gayda
(b Vienna, July 13, 1921; d Santa Monica, CA, March 17, 1999). American composer of Austrian birth. He studied the piano with his grandfather and the violin with his father, later enrolling in the Vienna Music Academy. He emigrated with his family to the USA in 1938, where he studied harmony and orchestration with Otto Cesana and conducting with Leon Barzin at the National Orchestra Association, New York. Earning a living as an accompanist and song writer, his early hit Practice makes Perfect (1940) was followed by Accidentally on Purpose and They Started Something. After settling in Hollywood in 1945 to work as an arranger, conductor and composer in the film industry, he studied with Antheil (1946–8) and conducted the Santa Barbara Civic Opera (1958–60). In 1964 he founded the Senior Citizens Orchestra, Los Angeles. He was the first film composer to have his name engraved on Hollywood's ‘Walk of Fame’....