Harry Simeone

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Harry Moses Simeone (May 9, 1911, Newark, New Jersey - February 22, 2005, New York City, United States) was a distinguished music arranger, conductor and composer, best known for arranging the famous Christmas song "The Little Drummer Boy", for which he received co-writing credit.

Early years

Harry grew up listening to stars performing at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City, not far from his native Newark, New Jersey. Initiated and inspired by this childhood passion, he sought a career as a concert pianist. To this end, he enrolled in the Juilliard School of Music, which he attended for three years. But when he was offered work at CBS as an arranger for bandleader Fred Waring, he dropped out of Juilliard to accept it.

Initial prominence

After garnering vocal and music arrangement credits for the 1938 RKO motion picture Radio City Revels, Simeone relocated to Hollywood with his wife Margaret McCravy, who was Benny Goodman's first singer using the stage name Margaret McCrae, and later a Fred Waring vocalist. Once there, he had various music production jobs for several Paramount films between 1939 and 1946, including some that starred Bing Crosby. Sometime in 1948, Simeone joined NBC's The Swift Show as the program's orchestra leader, and during 1952, he joined NBC's The Firestone Hour as conductor and choral arranger.

"The Little Drummer Boy"

When the Twentieth-Century Fox Records label contracted Simeone to make a Christmas album in 1958, he...
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