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Milton DeLugg
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    (December 2, 1918-April 6, 2015)
    Born in Los Angeles, California
    Accordionist, songwriter and bandleader
    Wrote the songs 'Hoop Dee Doo,' 'Orange Colored Sky' and 'Roller Coaster'
    Appeared in the film 'Jolson Sings Again' (1949)
    Bandleader and musical director for 'Broadway Open House' (1950-51), 'Dagmar's Canteen' (1951-52), The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson (1966-67) and The Gong Show (1976-80)
    In various credits, his name also gets spelled as 'Delugg,' 'deLugg' and 'De Lugg.'
    He said that as a result of doing comedic bits on 'Broadway Open House' and 'Dagmar's Canteen,' 'No one would believe I was a serious musician.... It took me a year to live down this image.'
    He composed the music for the grade-Z 'Santa Claus Conquers the Martians' (1964), including its earworm theme song 'Hooray for Santy Claus.'
    He did not get along with Johnny Carson, resulting in a short stint as the 'Tonight Show' bandleader.
    In addition to leading the band, he appeared on 'The Gong Show' as Naso Literatus, delivering deliberately bad jokes.
    He was married to Anne DeLugg (who was also an occasional songwriting collaborator) for sixty years.
    His 'Roller Coaster' was used as the closing theme for What's My Line and his 'Hoop Dee Doo' became a game show staple (including being played when the winner was announced on 'The Gong Show').
    He wrote the theme for the Junior Miss Pageant.
    He produced records by Buddy Holly and Jackie Wilson.
    He served as musical director of Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade into his 90s and was nominated for four Daytime Emmys for his work.

Credit: C. Fishel

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