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Composer-arranger Ivan Lane dies

Created music for Vegas shows, celebrities

Ivan Lane, an arranger, composer, conductor, songwriter and pianist who worked during the big band era and later created music for the Ice Capades, Las Vegas shows as well as a number of celebrities, died of natural causes on March 12 in Palm Desert, Calif. He was 97.

Lane began his professional career as a teenager playing as a musician in the Catskills during summers. He was an arranger and pianist with the Guy Lombardo, Sammy Kaye and Blue Barron orchestras in the big band era between 1937 and 1943 and again between 1946 and 1948 as well as with the Freddy Martin Orchestra.

He then went on to compose and arrange music for numerous international productions, film, ice shows and Las Vegas Strip productions. His credits include music for the Ice Capades and Holiday on Ice, the Follies Bergere at the Tropicana Hotel and Lido de Paris at the Stardust Hotel and many productions at the Desert Inn in Las Vegas. He also arranged and composed music for stars including Rhonda Fleming, Donald O’Connor, Brenda Lee, Mitzi Gaynor and Barbara McNair.

During the 1960s and ’70s, Lane was the orchestra leader at two L.A. nightspots, Ben Blue’s and the Top of the Hillcrest. He was then named entertainment director at the Arizona Biltmore Hotel in Phoenix.

Lane’s popular-song compositions include “Long May We Love” and “Qu’est Que C’est L’amour.”

Lane joined ASCAP in 1961, and his chief musical collaborators included Kermit Goell and Jerry Gladstone.

Ivan Leventhal was born in New York City, the son of Russian immigrant parents, graduated magna cum laude from NYU in music and studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Art in London.

During WWII he served as a staff sergeant in the Army Air Corps stationed in England, Germany and France.

Lane’s first wife, Stacey, died in 2003 after 54 years of marriage. He is survived by his second wife, Batyia Kugler-Lane; his two sons with Stacey; two granddaughters; and a sister.

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