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Oliver Wallace

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Oliver George Wallace (August 6, 1887, London – September 15, 1963, Los Angeles) was a British-American composer and conductor. He was especially known for his film music compositions, which were written for many animation, documentary, and feature films from Walt Disney Studios.

Wallace was born on August 6, 1887 in London. After completing his musical training, he went to the United States, where he initially worked primarily on the West Coast as a conductor of theater orchestras and as an organist accompanying silent films. At the same time, he also made a name as a songwriter, writing tunes such as the popular “Hindustan”. With the advent of the talking film era, he worked increasingly for Hollywood film studios in the 1930s.

In 1936 he joined Disney Studios, and quickly became one of the most important composers in the studio for short animated films. Wallace provided the music for more than 100 of these shorts. One of his best known pieces is the song Der Fuehrer’s Face from the 1942 Donald Duck propaganda cartoon. This parody of a Horst Wessel song was, mainly through the version by Spike Jones & His City Slickers, one of the biggest hits during the Second World War. Other shorts Wallace scored include Ben and Me (1953), about Benjamin Franklin, and the Oscar-winning Toot, Whistle, Plunk and Boom (1953), the first cartoon to use the new Cinemascope process. In 1949 Wallace composed the music and voiced Winkie in the Disney film The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad.

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