George Gard (“Buddy”) DeSylva was an American songwriter, record executive, and film producer. Born in New York City, he grew up in California and graduated from the University of Southern California. His father was Hal de Forrest (Aloysius J. De Sylva), a Portugese-born actor stage and silent film actor. After graduating from college, DeSylva was introduced to Al Jolson and he wrote songs for Jolson’s hit show Sinbad. DeSylva then traveled to New York and began working as a songwriter in Tin Pan Alley.
In 1925, he joined forces with lyricist Lew Brown and composer Ray Henderson, and one of the most influential and successful musical trios of the era was born. They collaborated until 1930, when DeSylva moved to Hollywood under a contract with Fox Studios. From 1941 to 1944, DeSylva was the Executive Producer at Paramount, and produced films such as Captain January, The Little Colonel, The Littlest Rebel, and Poor Little Rich Girl. In 1942, he co-founded Capitol Records, along with Johnny Mercer and Glenn Wallichs.
Throughout his career, DeSylva wrote for many early Broadway shows, including George White’s Scandals, Good News!, Manhattan Mary, Hold Everything, Follow Thru, La La Lucille, Tell Me More and Flying High. He also wrote the entire film scores for Sunny Side Up, The Singing Fool and Just Imagine. DeSylva died in Los Angeles, California on July 11th, 1950.
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