born on 10/7/1900 in Lithuania
died on 31/3/1993 in Manhattan, NY, United States
Mitchell Parish (July 10, 1900 March 31, 1993) was an American lyricist.
Parish was born Michael Hyman Pashelinsky to a Jewish family in Lithuania. His family emigrated to the United States, arriving on February 3, 1901 on the SS Dresden when he was less than a year old. They settled first in Louisiana where his paternal grandmother had relatives, but later moved to New York City.
By the late 1920s Parish was a well regarded Tin Pan Alley lyricist in New York City.
His best-known works include the lyrics to songs such as "Star Dust", "Sweet Lorraine", "Deep Purple", "Stars Fell on Alabama", "Sophisticated Lady", "Volare" (English lyrics), "Moonlight Serenade", "Mr. Ghost Goes to Town", "Sleigh Ride", "One Morning in May", and "Louisiana Fairy Tale", which was the first theme song used in the PBS Production of This Old House.
Besides providing the lyrics to Hoagy Carmichael's "Star Dust", the two collaborated on standards such as "Riverboat Shuffle" and "One Morning in May".
In 1949, Parish added lyrics to bandleader Al Goodman's tune, "The Allen Stroll", was played each week as Fred Allen took a stroll down, "Allen's Alley," which was a comedic segment of the show. The new song, "Carousel of Love", premiered on The Fred Allen Show on April 4, 1949. It was sung by the DeMarco Sisters and played by Al Goodman and his Orchestra.
In 1987 a revue titled Stardust was staged on Broadway featuring Parish's lyrics. It ran for 101 performances and was revived in 1999. In an interview at the time Parish claimed to have also written the lyrics to the Duke Ellington standard Mood Indigo, though they were credited to Irving Mills. He remained "somewhat rueful, though no longer bitter" about it.
Parish's grandnephew was the Grateful Dead roadie Steve Parish, who described Parish's meeting with Jerry Garcia in his autobiography, "Home Before Day Light".
In 1972, he was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.
Mitchell Parish died in 1993 in Manhattan at the age of 92. He was buried in Beth David Cemetery in Elmont, New York.
Work on Broadway
- Continental Varieties (1935) - revue - featured lyricist
- Lew Leslie's Blackbirds of 1939 (1939) - revue - performer
- Earl Carroll's Vanities of 1940 (1940) - revue - featured lyricist
- Bubbling Brown Sugar (1976) - revue - featured lyricist
- Sophisticated Ladies (1981) - featured lyricist for "Sophisticated Lady"
- Stardust (1987) - revue - lyricist
- Hill, Tony L. "Mitchell Parish, 1900-1993," in Dictionary of Literary Biography 265. Detroit: Gale Research, 2002.
- Bloom, Nate (2006-12-19). The Jews Who Wrote Christmas Songs. InterfaithFamily. Retrieved on 2013-12-26.
- He wrote the lyrics to the Glenn Miller ballad "Sometime" from 1939, co-written with Glenn Miller and John Chummy MacGregor. Theater; Mitchell Parish: A Way With Words, 1987-02-01.
- Theater; Mitchell Parish: A Way With Words, 1987-02-01.
- Songwriters Hall of Fame
- Mitchell Parish at the Internet Broadway Database