Hugh Martin: The Boy Next Door

Hardcover with Jacket | 416 pages ISBN: 978-0-615-36507-7

Hugh Martin: The Boy Next Door is an enchanting jaunt through the Golden Era of Broadway and the MGM musicals. This first-hand account captures the energy and excitement of those special times, with eyewitness tales of Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland, Gene Kelly, Ethel Merman, Jimmy Durante, Carmen Miranda, Lena Horne, Bea Lillie, Cole Porter, Noel Coward, Rodgers and Hart, Irving Berlin, Josh Logan, Vicente Minnelli, Liza Minnelli, and dozens more. Hugh recounts the origins of some of America’s most beloved songs, such as “The Boy Next Door,” “The Trolley Song,” and perennial favorite “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.”

Martin also reveals some secrets that only he could know: the truth about his so-called collaboration with Ralph Blane, his addiction to the drugs of the infamous Dr. Feelgood, Max Jacobson, how he was instrumental in giving Gene Kelly the opportunity to show Broadway that he was a great choreographer in addition to already being a great performer, and what it was really like to be part of the MGM “Dream Factory.” As Hugh enters his 96th year, this could be America’s last chance to hear these stories from a living source. They are full of his signature charm, grace, musicality, and poeticism. Hugh Martin: The Boy Next Door, like Hugh Martin himself, is a national treasure.


“For any young person who has a passion to enter into the performing arts, this is the ultimate book to read. Hugh Martin is the single most talented and finest human being I know.” – Tony Bennett

“Hugh is one of the greatest treasures we have in the music industry.” – Mickey Rooney

“Every time I’ve interviewed Hugh Martin, I’ve wanted to read his memoir – only to be reminded he didn’t have one. Thank goodness he’s finally written a book that tells the stories behind the songs I love.” – Terry Gross

“As Alec Wilder told us nearly 40 years ago, Hugh Martin is one the ‘great innovators’ in American popular song. His witty, elegant memoir is long overdue, and my hope is that it will inspire a thorough exploration of his work for both Broadway and Hollywood. In our age of dumbed-down music and lyrics, how marvelous it is to find a songwriter who has never strayed from his ultra-civilized and irresistibly sweet (and swinging) music.” – Bill Rudman, host of Sirius XM’s “One the Aisle” and director of The Musical Theater Project

“Hugh Martin, composer of some of the most exquisite songs of the twentieth century, has reached back for a warm and wonderful memoir of his life in show business. He was actually there with Mikey and Judy in the barn. Martin gives us warm and witty first-hand stories of his fabled peer and colleagues: Richard Rogers and Lorenz Hart, Harold Arlen, Irving Berlin, Jule Styne and more. The Boy Next Door is an enchanting and funny account of Broadway, Hollywood, and the American Songbook, told from the vantage point of the piano bench.” – Steven Suskin

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