Joe Darion; Lyricist Behind 'Impossible Dream'

Joe Darion, 90, the Tony award-winning lyricist whose song "The Impossible Dream" from "Man of La Mancha" became one of the best-known songs of the 1960s, died Saturday in Lebanon, N.H.

With 2,328 performances, "Man of La Mancha" was the third-longest-running Broadway musical of the 1960s. Darion won a Tony award for best score along with his composing partner Mitch Leigh.

Born in New York City, Darion studied journalism at City College of New York and served in the Navy during World War II. After the war, he began writing lyrics. He had three Top 10 hits in the 1950s: "Changing Partners," the Patti Page ballad; "Ricochet," recorded by Teresa Brewer; and "The Ho Ho Song," a comedy number from Red Buttons.

Darion's first Broadway show was "Shinbone Alley," a jazz opera. He also wrote "Illya Darling," an adaptation of the movie "Never on Sunday."

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