- Thomas L. Gayda
(b Vienna, Austria, 13 July 1921; d Santa Monica, CA, 17 March 1999). Composer of Austrian birth. He studied piano with his grandfather and violin with his father, later enrolling in the Vienna Music Academy. He immigrated with his family to the United States 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 George 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.”...