The composer of the Broadway successes Fiddler on the Roof, Mr. Wonderful and Fiorello! was born Jerrold Lewis Bock in New Haven, Connecticut on November 23, 1928.
His family moved to Flushing, New York where Bock studied the piano from an early age and began writing music for various shows while still in high school. His first success came during his high school years, in the form of the musical comedy My Dream. As a senior at the University of Wisconsin, he scored the musical comedy, "Big as Life," based on the legend of Paul Bunyon, and put on by Haresfoot, an all-male college musical society. Bock's collaborator was a fellow student, Larry Holofcener, who was to become a co-worker on Bocks early scores. "Big as Life," won first prize in an annual university show competition, sponsored by BMI, the performing rights organization. During the summer breaks, the pair worked at Camp Taminent in Pennsylvanias Pocono Mountains. The program called for the preparation of an original one-act weekly revue for 10 consecutive weeks.
Returning to New York following college, Bock and Holofcener were fortunate in being selected to audition their skills for Max Liebman, a producer of early music variety shows for television. They passed the test and joined the staff of "The Admiral Broadway Revue," which later became "Your Show of Shows," starring one of the world's premiere comedy duos, Sid Caesar and Imogene Coca. The young writers wrote songs for the stars as well as the chorus and the Corps de Ballet.
During the early 50s period, an introduction to the very well-known music publisher,…