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Bob Merrill

Also Credited As: Paul Stryker
 
Date Of Birth:
May 17, 1921
Date Of Death:
February 17, 1998 (76)
Birth Place:
Atlantic City, NJ, USA
Bio:
Bob Merrill was one of the most successful songwriters during the 1950s, with a string of novelty hits such as "How Much Is That Doggie in the Window?", “(If I Knew You Were Comin’ Id‘ve) Baked a Cake”, “Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania”, “Mambo Italiano”, “Honeycomb” and “Make ... (read complete bio)
 
Date of Birth: May 17, 1921
Date of Death: February 17, 1998 (76)

Birth Place: Atlantic City, NJ, USA

Bio:
Bob Merrill was one of the most successful songwriters during the 1950s, with a string of novelty hits such as "How Much Is That Doggie in the Window?", “(If I Knew You Were Comin’ Id‘ve) Baked a Cake”, “Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania”, “Mambo Italiano”, “Honeycomb” and “Make ... (read complete bio)

Stage Credits

Productions

 
[Broadway, 2022] [Replacement]
Lyrics[Replacement]

Writing

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Bookwriter/Composer/Lyricist
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Bookwriter/Composer/Lyricist
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Stage

Productions

Lyrics[Replacement]

Writing
Music
Lyricist
Lyricist
Composer
Lyricist
Composer
Lyricist
Composer
Composer
Lyricist
Composer/Lyricist
Composer
Lyricist
Lyricist
Lyricist
Bookwriter/Composer/Lyricist
Bookwriter/Composer/Lyricist
Composer/Lyricist
Composer/Lyricist
Composer
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Lyricist
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Composer
Composer/Lyricist
Lyricist
Bookwriter/Lyricist
Bookwriter/Composer/Lyricist
Lyricist
Lyricist
Composer/Lyricist
Lyricist
Composer

Bob Merrill Biography

Bob Merrill was one of the most successful songwriters during the 1950s, with a string of novelty hits such as "How Much Is That Doggie in the Window?", “(If I Knew You Were Comin’ Id‘ve) Baked a Cake”, “Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania”, “Mambo Italiano”, “Honeycomb” and “Make Yourself Comfortable”. Longing to write more profound songs, Bob turned his efforts toward the musical theatre. By the late fifties, he had written music and lyrics for Broadway’s “New Girl In Town”, followed by “Take Me Along”, “Carnival”, “Henry, Sweet Henry” and eventually “Funny Girl” featuring the hit songs “People” and “Don’t Rain On My Parade”, as sung by Barbra Streisand. Though he could not read a word of music, nor play any musical instrument, he would bang out his tunes on a child’s toy xylophone, bought for $1.98 at the local dime store.

While Bob Merrill's songwriting credits speak for themselves, his talents were diverse including successful endeavors in screenplay writing, acting and teaching.

Born in Atlantic City in 1921, he did most of his growing up in the Philadelphia area, graduating from high school there. Following his discharge from the Army at the end of World War II, he went to Hollywood and got a job as a writer at CBS Radio while also finding work as an actor, appearing in The Story of GI Joe and in his own words, "a dozen B films and westerns."

Merrill soon realized he had better be on the other side of the camera, and took a job as a dialogue director with Columbia Pictures in Hollywood where he stayed for seven years.

While working on a film for the company he met a woman named Dorothy Shay, a popular performer and singer known as the "Park Avenue Hillbilly," for whom he wrote several songs. These later proved a popular part of her million-seller album and encouraged Bob to explore writing songs as a career. He quit his job at Columbia Pictures and moved to New York, becoming one of the starving songwriters haunting the Brill Building.

One of his earliest songs was the novelty song “If I’d Known You Were Comin’, I’d ’Ve Baked a Cake,” which was recorded by Eileen Barton. This success was followed by other successes including “Honeycomb,” recorded by Jimmie Rodgers; “How Much Is That Doggie In the Window,” recorded by Patti Page; “Love Makes the World Go ’Round,” “Don’t Rain on My Parade,” “Pittsburgh Pennsylvania,” “Mambo Italiano” and “Make Yourself Comfortable.”

In 1964 Bob teamed up with Jule Styne and together they wrote the score for the Broadway hit Funny Girl. The show included one of the great stage standards “People (Who Need People)” and “Don’t Rain on my Parade” and "Who Are You Now".

Merrill enjoyed a number of other Broadway successes as well. These included "Take Me Along", with Jackie Gleason and Walter Pidgeon; "Carnival" with Anna Marie Alberghetti; "New Girl in Town" with Gwen Verdon and Thelma Ritter; and "Sugar" with Cyril Ritchard and Bobby Morse.

Merrill finally tired of the Broadway grind and turned to writing screenplays. His first film credit for screenplay writing was the 1975 film "Mahogany", starring Diana Ross. In close succession came the biography of WC Fields entitled "WC Fields and Me", a Universal release with Rod Steiger; in the early 1980’s Carol Burnett starred in his comedy "Chu Chu And The Philly Flash"; and the CBS movie of the week, "Portrait of a Showgirl", starring Rita Moreno, Leslie Ann Warren and Tony Curtis.

Merrill also created several TV Christmas specials including "The Wonderful Christmas of Red Riding Hood", with Liza Minnelli and "Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol", with an all-star cast.

Suffering from depression and ill health, Bob Merrill took his own life on February 17, 1998 in Los Angeles, California.

Bob Merrill Awards and Nominations

 
Tony Awards - 1964 - Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) Written for the Theatre
Bob Merrill, Funny Girl
 
Tony Awards - 1962 - Best Musical
Bob Merrill, Carnival
 
New York Drama Critics Circle Awards - 1961 - Best Musical Gold Star
Bob Merrill, Carnival!
 
Tony Awards - 1960 - Best Musical
Bob Merrill, Take Me Along
 
Tony Awards - 1958 - Best Musical
Bob Merrill, New Girl In Town

Bob Merrill News

Lea Michele to Sing 'People' From FUNNY GIRL on THE TONIGHT SHOW Photo Lea Michele to Sing 'People' From FUNNY GIRL on THE TONIGHT SHOW
by Michael Major - Sep 23, 2022

The performance will mark the first televised performance from the musical. Michele will also be sitting down with Fallon discuss returning to Broadway in the role. The Glee star is currently playing Fanny Brice in the Broadway revival of Funny Girl at the August Wilson Theatre.

Photo: 'Scream Queens' Lea Michele & Jamie Lee Curtis Reunite at FUNNY GIRL Photo Photo: 'Scream Queens' Lea Michele & Jamie Lee Curtis Reunite at FUNNY GIRL
by Chloe Rabinowitz - Sep 21, 2022

A Scream Queens reunion took place when Jamie Lee Curtis paid a visit to her former co-star Lea Michele at Funny Girl! See a photo of the reunion here!

VIDEO: Lea Michele Discusses Relating to FUNNY GIRL on THE DREW BARRYMORE SHOW Photo VIDEO: Lea Michele Discusses Relating to FUNNY GIRL on THE DREW BARRYMORE SHOW
by Michael Major - Sep 21, 2022

On the latest episode of The Drew Barrymore Show, Lea Michele sat down on the stage of the August Wilson Theatre with Barrymore to discuss her current Broadway run as Fanny Brice in Funny Girl. Michele spoke to Barrymore about her upbringing, relating to the role, landing her first Broadway show, and more. Watch videos from the interview now!

Photos: First Look at Lea Michele & Tovah Feldshuh in FUNNY GIRL on Broadway Photo Photos: First Look at Lea Michele & Tovah Feldshuh in FUNNY GIRL on Broadway
by Nicole Rosky - Sep 21, 2022

Hello, gorgeous! The company of Funny Girl recently welcomed two new greatest stars- Lea Michele as “Fanny Brice” and Tovah Feldshuh as “Mrs. Rosie Brice”. Check out a first look at the new cast in action with these new photos!

Broadway Buying Guide: September 19, 2022 Photo Broadway Buying Guide: September 19, 2022
by Team BWW - Sep 19, 2022

Looking for the best deals on Broadway shows? Welcome to our new weekly guide to the most popular shows listed on BroadwayWorld. Check out which shows are selling this week, September 13, 2022.

VIDEO: Lea Michele Lip Syncs From FUNNY GIRL and More in New TikTok Videos Photo VIDEO: Lea Michele Lip Syncs From FUNNY GIRL and More in New TikTok Videos
by Stephi Wild - Sep 19, 2022

Broadway's newest Fanny Brice, Lea Michele, is now on TikTok! The Funny Girl star took to the social media platform to lip sync a bit from the show, and more. Watch her first two videos here!

Barbara Tirrell Makes FUNNY GIRL Debut One Day After She Was Hired as Off Stage Cover Photo Barbara Tirrell Makes FUNNY GIRL Debut One Day After She Was Hired as Off Stage Cover
by Blair Ingenthron - Sep 11, 2022

According to a post on her Facebook account, Barbara Tirrell made her debut as Mrs. Meeker just one day after she was hired as an offstage cover for Mrs. Brice, Mrs. Strakosh, and Mrs. Meeker.

Official: Lea Michele Out of FUNNY GIRL for 10 Days After Positive Covid Test Photo Official: Lea Michele Out of FUNNY GIRL for 10 Days After Positive Covid Test
by Team BWW - Sep 11, 2022

Just days after joining the show, Lea Michele has tested positive for Covid. Get all the info on Julie Benko's performance schedule, and find out here when she'll be back to FUNNY GIRL on Broadway!

Lea Michele Out Of FUNNY GIRL Following Inconclusive COVID-19 Test Result Photo Lea Michele Out Of FUNNY GIRL Following Inconclusive COVID-19 Test Result
by Team BWW - Sep 10, 2022

Lea Michele announced on Instagram today that following an inconclusive COVID-19 test and her developing 'early signs and symptoms of COVID-19, she will not be allowed to perform today as part of the production's safety protocols.

FUNNY GIRL On Broadway To Offer Standing Room Tickets Beginning September 27 Photo FUNNY GIRL On Broadway To Offer Standing Room Tickets Beginning September 27
by A.A. Cristi - Sep 9, 2022

The Broadway production of Funny Girl will offer standing room tickets beginning September 27, 2022.

Bob Merrill Videos

VIDEO: Lea Michele Discusses Relating to FUNNY GIRL on THE DREW BARRYMORE SHOW VideoVIDEO: Lea Michele Discusses Relating to FUNNY GIRL on THE DREW BARRYMORE SHOW
by Michael Major - Sep 21, 2022

On the latest episode of The Drew Barrymore Show, Lea Michele sat down on the stage of the August Wilson Theatre with Barrymore to discuss her current Broadway run as Fanny Brice in Funny Girl. Michele spoke to Barrymore about her upbringing, relating to the role, landing her first Broadway show, and more. Watch videos from the interview now!

VIDEO: Julie Benko Discusses Her 'Big Break' in FUNNY GIRL on CBS MORNINGS VideoVIDEO: Julie Benko Discusses Her 'Big Break' in FUNNY GIRL on CBS MORNINGS
by Michael Major - Sep 2, 2022

Julie Benko appeared on CBS Mornings to discuss her 'big break' in Funny Girl on Broadway Barbra Streisand's 'shadow,' and recent backstage rumors regarding the show's casting. The video also features performance footage of Benko performing 'I'm the Greatest Star' and rehearsal footage of a new version of 'People' that has been added into the show.

VIDEO: Beanie Feldstein Talks FUNNY GIRL Audiences & Her Engagement on LATE NIGHT VideoVIDEO: Beanie Feldstein Talks FUNNY GIRL Audiences & Her Engagement on LATE NIGHT
by Michael Major - Jun 28, 2022

Beanie Feldstein sat down with Seth Meyers to discuss the importance of telling Fanny Brice's story, how she relates to the character, and how many times her mother has come to see the show, revealing that they can see audiences from the stage. She also told the story of her recent engagement to Bonnie Chance Roberts. Watch the video!

VIDEO: Jane Lynch Discusses Bonding With Her Mother Through FUNNY GIRL on LIVE VideoVIDEO: Jane Lynch Discusses Bonding With Her Mother Through FUNNY GIRL on LIVE
by Michael Major - Jun 2, 2022

JaneJane Lynch sat down with Kelly Ripa and Ryan Seacrest this morning to discuss playing Rosie Brice in Funny Girl on Broadway. During the interview, Lynch discussed how she and her mother bonded over the original cast recording of Funny Girl.

VIDEO: Watch All New Footage Of Beanie Feldstein, Ramin Karimloo, Jared Grimes, Jane  VideoVIDEO: Watch All New Footage Of Beanie Feldstein, Ramin Karimloo, Jared Grimes, Jane Lynch & More in FUNNY GIRL on Broadway
by BroadwayWorld TV - Jun 1, 2022

Watch all new footage of Funny Girl on Broadway, now on stage at the August Wilson Theatre! New videos of Jared Grimes, Jane Lyne, Ramin Karimloo and Beanie Feldstein.

VIDEO: Go Inside Opening Night of FUNNY GIRL on Broadway VideoVIDEO: Go Inside Opening Night of FUNNY GIRL on Broadway
by BroadwayWorld TV - Apr 25, 2022

FUNNY GIRL opened last night, Sunday, April 24 at the August Wilson Theatre and BroadwayWorld was there for the big night and we're taking you behind the scenes below!

VIDEO: Jane Lynch Explains How Starring in FUNNY GIRL is a Full Circle Moment for Her VideoVIDEO: Jane Lynch Explains How Starring in FUNNY GIRL is a Full Circle Moment for Her on SUNDAY TODAY
by Michael Major - Apr 18, 2022

Jane Lynch sat down with Willie Geist on Sunday Today to discuss the new Broadway revival of Funny Girl, working with Beanie Feldstein, Glee, and more. The interview features the first footage released from the production, including Lynch performing 'Henry Street' and 'Who Taught Her Everything' and Beanie Feldstein singing 'People.'

VIDEO: Beanie Feldstein Discusses the Letter She Received From Barbra Streisand on CO VideoVIDEO: Beanie Feldstein Discusses the Letter She Received From Barbra Streisand on COLBERT
by Michael Major - Apr 12, 2022

Beanie Feldstein sat down with Stephen Colbert last night to discuss playing the iconic role of Fanny Brice in the new Broadway revival of Funny Girl. Feldstein discussed the legacy of Fanny Brice, working with Ramin Karimloo, and the note that she received from Barbra Streisand before she beginning performances.

VIDEO: Beanie Feldstein Talks FUNNY GIRL on GOOD MORNING AMERICA VideoVIDEO: Beanie Feldstein Talks FUNNY GIRL on GOOD MORNING AMERICA
by Michael Major - Apr 11, 2022

Beanie Feldstein sat down on Good Morning America this morning to discuss taking on the iconic role of Fanny Brice in the first Broadway revival of Funny Girl. Feldstein reveals if she would want to know if Barbra Streisand is in the audience, how she makes the role her own, and more. Watch the new interview now!

VIDEO: FUNNY GIRL's Beanie Feldstein Talks Fanny Brice, Barbra Streisand, and More on VideoVIDEO: FUNNY GIRL's Beanie Feldstein Talks Fanny Brice, Barbra Streisand, and More on CBS SUNDAY MORNING
by Marissa Tomeo - Apr 10, 2022

Beanie Feldstein stopped by CBS Sunday Morning today to talk about her performance in Broadway's first revival of Funny Girl. Watch the interview here.


Bob Merrill Frequently Asked Questions

How many shows has Bob Merrill written?
Bob Merrill has written 16 shows including Breakfast at Tiffany's (Composer/Lyricist), New Girl in Town (Composer/Lyricist), Take Me Along (Composer/Lyricist), Carnival! (Composer), Hello, Dolly! (Composer/Lyricist), Funny Girl (Lyricist), Henry, Sweet Henry (Composer/Lyricist), Prettybelle (Bookwriter/Lyricist), The Prince of Grand Street (Bookwriter/Composer/Lyricist), The Dangerous Christmas of Red Riding Hood (Lyricist), Hannah... 1939 (Bookwriter/Composer/Lyricist), Some Like It Hot (Lyricist), Carnival (Composer), Patti LuPone: Matters of the Heart (Composer), Barbara Cook's Broadway! (Composer), Take Me Along (Lyricist).

What awards has Bob Merrill been nominated for?
Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) Written for the Theatre (Tony Awards) for Funny Girl , Best Musical (Tony Awards) for Carnival , Best Musical (New York Drama Critics Circle Awards) for Carnival! Best Musical (Tony Awards) for Take Me Along and Best Musical (Tony Awards) for New Girl In Town .

What awards has Bob Merrill won?
Best Musical (New York Drama Critics Circle Awards) for Carnival!.