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date: 19 October 2019

Darby, Kenlocked

  • Ross Care

Extract

(b Hebron, NE, May 13, 1909; d Sherman Oaks, CA, Jan 24, 1992). American vocal director, arranger, lyricist, and performer. After his family moved to California, Darby studied harmony, counterpoint, and composition at Santa Monica Junior College and played organ for silent films. At the dawn of the sound era he formed a vocal group, The King’s Men Quartet, with three of his college classmates. Their audition at Paramount led to an appearance in the film Sweetie (1929) and much ensuing film work. They appear disguised as the Marx Brothers in MGM’s Honolulu (1939).

In the 1930s and early 1940s Darby and The King’s Men also worked with the bandleader Paul Whiteman, made their own recordings, and backed up Bing Crosby’s Decca records. At MGM, Darby was vocal director on The Wizard of Oz (1939) and his technical expertise helped create the whimsical voices of the Munchkins. At Disney he worked on ...

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