Bart Howard, "Fly Me to the Moon" Songwriter Who Played for Mabel Mercer, Dead at 88

Obituaries   Bart Howard, "Fly Me to the Moon" Songwriter Who Played for Mabel Mercer, Dead at 88
Bart Howard, the composer-lyricist whose songs were heard in lesser-known musicals and revues, but who achieved famed with "Fly Me to the Moon," died Feb. 21, The New York Times reported.

Mr. Howard was 88 and was also known for accompanying cabaret singer Mabel Mercer and appearing as master of ceremonies and pianist at The Blue Angel in Manhattan in the 1950s.

He North Salem, NY, resident died in Carmel, NY. The cause of death was stroke, his companion of 58 years, Thomas Fowler, told The Times.

Mr. Howard was born Howard Joseph Gustafson in Burlington, Iowa. The Times reported he left home at age 16 to be a pianist in a dance band that toured with the specialty act, Daisy and Violet Hilton, conjoined twins.

After serving as a sergeant in the U.S. Army in World War II, settled in New York and found work in nightspots and cabarets. He contributed music to the pre-Broadway tryout of the revue, Curtain Going Up, which played the Forrest Theatre in Philadelphia in 1952. His song, "My Love Is a Wanderer" was heard in the Broadway revue, John Murray Anderson's Almanac in 1953.

Mr. Howard also wrote songs for the revue, Fourth Avenue North, which played the Madison Avenue Playhouse in 1961. He was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1999.

Albums of his songs have been recorded by KT Sullivan and Portia Nelson.

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