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August 23: A Bonanza of Melodies

Lawrence Bush
August 22, 2016

6024_127776730002London-born David Rose (Rosenberg), who wrote the theme songs for Bonanza, Little House on the Prairie, Highway Patrol, and seventeen other television series (some under the pseudonym Ray Llewellyn) — and was married to both Martha Raye and Judy Garland — died in Burbank, California at the age of 80 on this date in 1990. Rose was best known for his 1955 tune, “Holiday for Strings,” his first try at composing, and his 1957 tune, “The Stripper” (both of which you can hear below). He was also the musical director for Red Skelton’s television show for all of its twenty-one years. Rose won four Emmys, released fifty albums, held 500 copyrights, and scored thirty-six films, including Operation Petticoat (1959) and Please Don’t Eat the Daisies (1960).

“His marriage to Judy Garland dissolved after Louis B. Mayer, head of MGM, insisted that Judy have an abortion to avoid damaging her ‘girl-next-door’ image with the movie-going public. This emotionally scarred Judy and doomed her marriage to Rose.”--IMDb

​​​​Lawrence Bush edited Jewish Currents from 2003 until 2018. He is the author of Bessie: A Novel of Love and Revolution and Waiting for God: The Spiritual Explorations of a Reluctant Atheist, among other books. His new volume of illustrated Torah commentaries, American Torah Toons 2, is scheduled for publication this year.