George Wyle

George Wyle (March 22, 1916 – May 2, 2003), born Bernard Weissman, was an American orchestra leader and composer best known for having written, The Ballad of Gilligan's Island, the theme song to the television sitcom Gilligan's Island and the Christmas standard, It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year, first recorded by Andy Williams in 1963.

Wyle was born in New York City and spent nearly all of his life in show business. He began playing piano professionally at clubs in New York's Catskill Mountains.

In 1946, he moved to Los Angeles and served as musical director for Alan Young's radio show.   In the late 1940s and early 1950s his orchestra served as backup for a number of Columbia Records singers, including Doris Day.

He later conducted for performers including Howard Keel and Nanette Fabray and worked as a choral director on TV shows featuring Dinah Shore and Jerry Lewis.

In the 1960s he wrote, "The Ballad of Gilligan's Island," with Gilligan's Island's creator, Sherwood Schwartz.  "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year" was co- written with Eddie Pola while Wyle was musical director for Andy Williams' popular variety show also in the mid-1960s.

Wyle received three Emmy nominations for his choral direction on The Andy Williams Show (1966-67); he served as the musical director for The Flip Wilson Show during the early 1970s and as musical director of two The Magic of David Copperfield specials (1980-81 and 1983-84).

His career also included stints as musical director for variety shows featuring Carol Channing and the Lennon Sisters, and for The People's Choice Awards.  Wyle also served the music director and arranger for John Denver and the Muppets - A Christmas Together.

George Wyle was on top of his game during the most musically diverse period in American musical history.  HIs talent enriched the lives of the millions upon millions of people it touched
..  and still  touches.


DEAN KAY