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Albert Hay Malotte : biography

May 19, 1895 - November 16, 1964

Albert Hay Malotte (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, May 19, 1895-Los Angeles on November 16, 1964) was an American pianist, organist, composer and educator.

Biography and career

Malotte was the son of Charles and Katherine (Donavon) Malotte. He was in Boy Scouts of America Troop 1, the first Boy Scout troop in Philadelphia.E. Urner Goodman, The Building of a Life, 1965. Malotte graduated from Tioga High School and sang at Saint James Episcopal Church in Philadelphia as a choir boy. He studied with Victor Herbert, W. S. Stansfield, and later in Paris with organist Georges Jacob. His career as an organist began in Chicago where he played for silent pictures and later concertized throughout the US and Europe.

During World War II he held the rank of Captain in the Special Services for two years while he toured with the USO and entertained troops in New Guinea, Australia and Europe. At one point he sponsored his own troupe of entertainers that included Judith Anderson, Ann Triola and Helen McClure Preister. Malotte was an amateur pilot, avid golfer and even boxed with Jack Dempsey in Memphis, Tennessee. He spent most of his career as a composer in Hollywood.

Malotte married Marguerite Stevens Hester on August 23, 1946. His first wife, Elmina Todd, had died the previous year in Hollywood.

Malotte composed a number of film scores, including mostly uncredited music for animations from the Disney studios. Although two movies for which he composed scores won best Short Subject Academy Awards (Ferdinand the Bull in 1939 and The Ugly Duckling in 1940), he is best remembered for a setting of the Lord's Prayer. Written in 1935, it was recorded by the baritone John Charles Thomas, and remained highly popular for use as a solo in churches and at weddings in the US for some decades. He composed a number of other religious pieces, including settings of the Beatitudes and of the Twenty-third Psalm which have also remained popular as solos. His secular songs, such as "Ferdinand the bull" (from the Disney animated short of the same name), "For my mother" (a setting of a poem by 12-year-old Bobby Sutherland) and "I am proud to be an American" are less well remembered. Some of his works are collected in the library of the University of California Los Angeles and the Library of Congress.

In addition, Malotte wrote uncredited stock music for many other films in the 1930s and early 1940s, including twenty-two of the Disney Silly Symphonies and other shorts such Little Hiawatha as well as Ferdinand the Bull. He also composed cantatas, oratorios, musicals and ballets. Malotte owned Apple Valley Music.

He died of pneumonia and is buried in the Forest Lawn, Hollywood Hills Cemetery.


Selected filmography

  • Black Magic (Director: George B. Seitz, 1929)
  • Such Men are Dangerous (1930)
  • Born Reckless (Directors: Andrew Bennison and John Ford, 1930)
  • The Girl from Calgary (Director: Phil Whitman, 1932)
  • Hi Gaucho (Director: Thomas Atkins, 1935)
  • Dr. Cyclops (Director: Ernest B. Schoedsack, 1940)
  • Mystery Sea Raider (Director: Edward Dmytryk, 1940)
  • Pirates on Horseback (Director: Lesley Selander, 1941)
  • The Enchanted Forest (Director: Lew Landers, 1945)
  • The Big Fisherman (Director: Frank Borzage, 1959)

Disney scores (incomplete)

  • Lonesome Ghosts
  • Alpine Climbers
  • The Brave Little Tailor
  • Broken Toys
  • Little Hiawatha
  • The Moth and the Flame
  • Moving Day
  • Three Blind Mouseketeers
  • Magician Mickey
  • Mickey's Elephant
  • Orphan's Picnic
  • The Whalers

Ballets (complete)

  • Carnival in Venice
  • Little Red Riding Hood

Musicals (all unpublished)

Living octopus

Living octopus

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