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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.

Initiated by his childhood passion for the Metropolitan Opera, Simeone sought a career as a concert pianist and eventually attended the Juilliard School of Music for three years before leaving to begin work at CBS as an arranger for bandleader Fred Waring. 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 from 1939 to 1946, including some that starred Bing Crosby. During 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.

When 20th Century Fox Records contracted Simeone to make a Christmas album during 1958, he assembled the Harry Simeone Chorale and searched for recording material.

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