Hugh Martin, born on August 11, 1914 in Birmingham, Alabama is an American theatre and film composer. He is best remembered for his score for the classic 1944 MGM musical film Meet Me In St. Louis, in which Judy Garland sang three Martin songs, "The Boy Next Door," The Trolley Song, and Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas. The last of these has become a Christmas season standard in the United States and around the English-speaking world and is widely considered one of the ten or so classic Christmas songs of alltime. Martin became a close friend of Garland and was her accompanist at many of her concert performances in the 1950's including her legendary stint at the Palace.
Martin also wrote the music, and in some cases the lyrics, for five Broadway musicals: Best Foot Forward (1941); Look Ma, I'm Dancin' (1948); Make a Wish (1951); High Spirits (1964) (music and lyrics, with Timothy Gray); and Meet Me In St. Louis (1989), a stage version of the film with an expanded score by Martin and Ralph Blane.
Ralph Blane was Martin's partner for most of this work, and the two recorded an album of their best songs entitled "Martin and Blane Sing Martin and Blane" with the Ralph Burns Orchestra in 1956. (Available now on CD).
Martin and Blane were twice nominated for the Academy Award for Best Song, for "The Trolley Song" in 1944, and for "Pass the Peace Pipe" (also co-written by Roger Edens) from Good News in 1947.
Martin collaborated with vocalist Michael Feinstein for a 1995 CD "Michael Feinstein Sings The Hugh Martin Songbook", an album on which the then 80-year-old songwriter accompied Feinstein on piano and sang a duet. Martin, a Seventh-day Adventist, spent much of the 1980's as an accompanist for gospel female vocalist Del Delker on her revival tours and in 2001 rewrote his most famous song (with the assistance of John Fricke) as a more specifically religious number, "Have Yourself A Blessed Little Christmas" which was recorded that year by Delker with the 86-year-old songwriter playing piano on the recording.
Hugh Martin is a member of the Songwriters Hall of Fame and Alabama Music Hall of Fame.