Josef Myrow, 77, Composer of Hit Songs, Movie Scores, Dies

Times Staff Writer

Josef Myrow, 77, a classically educated pianist who composed many popular song hits of the 1940s and 1950s, died Thursday at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.

Myrow composed such popular hits as "Five O'Clock Whistle," "Autumn Nocturne," "You Make Me Feel So Young," "On the Boardwalk in Atlantic City" and "Kokomo, Indiana." He scored movies for many stars, including Betty Grable, Dan Dailey, Vivian Blaine and Vera Ellen.

His lyrical collaborators included Johnny Mercer and Mack Gordon. Myrow's movie credits included "Mother Wore Tights," "When My Baby Smiles at Me," "Wabash Avenue," and "It Happens Every Spring."

Although hampered by Parkinson's disease in recent years, Myrow's last work was a three-movement concerto for solo piano and orchestra called "Genesis," a "distillation of all of his ideas on music," said his son, Fred, also a composer.

Myrow, born in the Soviet Union, came to the United States at 12 and was educated at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia Conservatory of Music and the Curtis Institute of Music.

In addition to his son, Fred, he leaves a son, Jeff, who is a television producer, and six grandchildren. Myrow's wife, Beatrice, died four years ago.

Funeral services will be held at 1 p.m. Monday at Mount Sinai Memorial Park in the Hollywood Hills.

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