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Hilliard, at least as far as The Songbook is concerned, is best known for writing the lyrics for "In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning," but more generally his work on the songs for the score of Disney's Alice in Wonderland (with music by Sammy Fain) and his big hit "Dear Hearts and Gentle People" (also with Fain) kept him in the popular ear.
Bob Hilliard was also active on Broadway writing two successful shows: Angel in the Wings, a 1948 revue for which he composed some of the music as well as writing the lyrics. The show's most well known song titled "Civilization," with lyrics by Hilliard and music by Carl Sigman, has the singer, apparently a resident of the Congo, discover that civilization is quite uncivilized: "They have things like the atom bomb, / So I think I'll stay where I 'om.' / Bongo, bongo, bongo, / I don't want to leave the Congo." Some of the language might now be considered politically incorrect but the satire remains on the mark. His other show was Hazel Flagg, 1953, on which he collaborated with Jule Styne.
During the 1960s Hilliard often wrote lyrics for melodies by Burt Bacharach including for the song "Any Day Now" as well as for Mort Garson tunes, including "Our Day Will Come," which reached number one in 1963.
Robert Gottlieb and Robert Kimball in their book Reading Lyrics sum up Hilliard by saying, "He did lots of things rather well and a few things very well" (p. 523).
Music and Video Cabinet:
Bob Hilliard (This section is currently in preparation)
The Andrew Sisters and Danny Kaye perform "Civilization" with the memorable line "Bongo, bongo, bongo. / I don't want to Leave the Congo" -- words by Bob Hilliard and music is by Carl Sigman. The record reached #3 in 1947.
Amy Winehouse (from her 2011 posthumous album Lioness: Hidden Treasures) performs "Our Day Will Come" words by Bob Hilliard, music by Mort Garson, a number one hit for Ruby and the Romantics in 1963.
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Master List of Great American Songbook Songwriters
Names of songwriters who have written at least one song included in the Cafe Songbook Catalog of The Great American Songbook are listed below.
Names of songwriters with two or more song credits in the catalog (with rare exceptions) are linked to their own Cafe Songbook pages, e.g. Fields, Dorothy.
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