Oscar Levant was born in Pittsburgh, PA on December 27, 1906.
As a boy, Levant showed an early talent on the piano and soon began studing with renowned instructors Sigismund Stojowski, Arnold Schoenberg and Joseph Schillinger. He began his career as a pianist in Rudy Wiedoeft band and performed in the play Burlesque. Throughout his career, Levant was very popular performing concerts of George Gershwin’s music, as well.
As a composer, Levant wrote the Broadway stage score to Ripples and many film scores including Street Girl (the film RKO film) and Tanned Legs. He also performed in the films Dance of Life, Rhapsody in Blue, The Barkleys of Broadway, An American in Paris and The Band Wagon.
Collaborating with lyricists Irving Caesar, Stanley Adams and Edward Heyman, Levant had hits with the songs “Lady Play Your Mandolin”, “Don’t Mention Love to Me”, “Wacky Dust”, “Blame it on My Your”, “We’ve Got the Moon and Sixpence”, “Lovable and Sweet”, “My Dream Memory” and “If You Want the Rainbow.” He also composed the works Piano Sonatina and Piano Concerto.
A member of the panel “Information Please” for radio, Levant was also a TV personality and prolific recording artist.
Oscar Levant died on August 14, 1972.