Ted Grouya, composer, pop songwriter and former head of music for MGM in Europe, died April 14 at age 89.
A child prodigy in Romania before WWI, he wrote a song for Queen Maria, wife of Ferdinand, which earned him a citation in the royal palace in Bucharest.
He left Romania to study music and law at the Sorbonne, and during WWII he immigrated to America, where Duke Ellington gave him his start as a pop songwriter.
Grouya is perhaps most famous for “Flamingo” which became Herb Jeffries’ theme song when he was with Duke Ellington’s orchestra. “Flamingo has sold 50 million copies and has been re-recorded by more than 300 artists to date.
Other hits of his 300-song legacy include the wartime hit “In My Arms” and “I Heard You Cried Last Night,” which Frank Sinatra made famous on the “Hit Parade” radio show.
Some of his co-writers include Harry James, Sammy Cahn, Ira Gershwin, Paul Francis Webster and Johnny Mercer.
He is survived a daughter and a son.