Norman Luboff

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Luboff in 1963. Norman Luboff 1963.JPG
Luboff in 1963.

Norman Luboff (May 14, 1917 – September 22, 1987) was an American music arranger, music publisher, and choir director.

Arrangement musical composition in altered form

In music, an arrangement is a musical reconceptualization of a previously composed work. It may differ from the original work by means of reharmonization, melodic paraphrasing, orchestration, or development of the formal structure. Arranging differs from orchestration in that the latter process is limited to the assignment of notes to instruments for performance by an orchestra, concert band, or other musical ensemble. Arranging "involves adding compositional techniques, such as new thematic material for introductions, transitions, or modulations, and endings... Arranging is the art of giving an existing melody musical variety".

Choir Ensemble of singers

A choir is a musical ensemble of singers. Choral music, in turn, is the music written specifically for such an ensemble to perform. Choirs may perform music from the classical music repertoire, which spans from the medieval era to the present, or popular music repertoire. Most choirs are led by a conductor, who leads the performances with arm and face gestures.


Early years

Norman Luboff was born in Chicago, Illinois in 1917. He studied piano as a child and participated in his high school chorus. Luboff studied at the University of Chicago and Central College in Chicago. Following this, he did graduate work with the composer Leo Sowerby while singing and writing for radio programs in Chicago. In the mid-1940s, Luboff moved to New York City.

University of Chicago Private research university in Chicago, Illinois, United States

The University of Chicago is a private research university in Chicago, Illinois. The school is located on a 217-acre campus in Chicago's Hyde Park neighborhood, near Lake Michigan. The University of Chicago holds top-ten positions in various national and international rankings.

Leo Sowerby American composer and church musician

Leo Salkeld Sowerby, American composer and church musician, was the winner of the Pulitzer Prize for music in 1946, and was often called the “Dean of American church music” in the early to mid 20th century.

New York City Largest city in the United States

The City of New York, usually called either New York City (NYC) or simply New York (NY), is the most populous city in the United States. With an estimated 2017 population of 8,622,698 distributed over a land area of about 302.6 square miles (784 km2), New York is also the most densely populated major city in the United States. Located at the southern tip of the state of New York, the city is the center of the New York metropolitan area, the largest metropolitan area in the world by urban landmass and one of the world's most populous megacities, with an estimated 20,320,876 people in its 2017 Metropolitan Statistical Area and 23,876,155 residents in its Combined Statistical Area. A global power city, New York City has been described as the cultural, financial, and media capital of the world, and exerts a significant impact upon commerce, entertainment, research, technology, education, politics, tourism, art, fashion, and sports. The city's fast pace has inspired the term New York minute. Home to the headquarters of the United Nations, New York is an important center for international diplomacy.

Military service

Luboff served in the U.S. Army's Signal Corps. [1]

Radio, TV and film

With a call from Hollywood to be choral director of The Railroad Hour , [2] a radio weekly starring Gordon MacRae, Luboff began a successful career scoring many television programs and more than eighty motion pictures. He also recorded with artists such as Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, Jo Stafford, Frankie Laine and Doris Day.

<i>The Railroad Hour</i>

The Railroad Hour was a radio series of musical dramas and comedies broadcast from the late 1940s to the mid-1950s.

Gordon MacRae American actor, singer

Albert Gordon MacRae was an American actor and singer, who appeared in the film versions of two Rodgers and Hammerstein musicals, Oklahoma! (1955) and Carousel (1956), and played Bill Sherman in On Moonlight Bay (1951) and By The Light of the Silvery Moon (1953).

Bing Crosby American singer and actor

Harry Lillis "Bing" Crosby was an American singer and actor. The first multimedia star, Crosby was a leader in record sales, radio ratings, and motion picture grosses from 1931 to 1954. His early career coincided with recording innovations that allowed him to develop an intimate singing style that influenced many male singers who followed him, including Perry Como, Frank Sinatra, Dick Haymes, and Dean Martin. Yank magazine said that he was "the person who had done the most for the morale of overseas servicemen" during World War II. In 1948, American polls declared him the "most admired man alive", ahead of Jackie Robinson and Pope Pius XII. Also in 1948, Music Digest estimated that his recordings filled more than half of the 80,000 weekly hours allocated to recorded radio music.

Publishing company

In 1950, he established Walton Music Corporation, to publish his music. Luboff provided a vehicle for composers in Sweden to have their works available in the United States, including Egil Hovland and Waldemar Åhlén. Walton Music exists today as a major choral music publisher under the guidance of Luboff's widow, Gunilla Marcus-Luboff, a former Swedish television producer.

Egil Hovland was a Norwegian composer.

Norman Luboff Choir

Luboff was the founder and conductor of the Norman Luboff Choir, one of the leading choral groups of the 1950s, 60s and 70s. The choral group toured yearly from 1963 to 1987, and recorded more than seventy-five albums. The holiday albums Songs of Christmas (1956) and Christmas with the Norman Luboff Choir (1964) were perennial bestsellers for years. Luboff and his choir won the 1961 Grammy Award for Best Performance by a Chorus.

The Grammy Award for Best Performance by a Chorus was awarded from 1961 to 1968. In its first year, the award specified that a "chorus" contains seven or more artists. This award was presented alongside the award for Best Performance by a Vocal Group. Before 1961 these awards were combined into the Grammy Award for Best Performance by a Vocal Group or Chorus.

Guest conductor

Luboff was a guest conductor at many choirs in the United States and abroad.


Norman Luboff died of lung cancer [3] at his home in Bynum, North Carolina in 1987 at the age of 70. The Norman Luboff Collection was donated to the Music Division of the United States Library of Congress in 1993 by his widow.

Bynum, North Carolina human settlement in North Carolina, United States of America

Bynum is an unincorporated community in northeastern Chatham County, North Carolina, United States on the banks of the Haw River. Bynum is 5 miles north of Pittsboro, North Carolina and 11 miles south of Chapel Hill, North Carolina. It is also known as Bynum Mill Village or Bynum Mill Hill.

North Carolina State of the United States of America

North Carolina is a state in the southeastern region of the United States. It borders South Carolina and Georgia to the south, Tennessee to the west, Virginia to the north, and the Atlantic Ocean to the east. North Carolina is the 28th-most extensive and the 9th-most populous of the U.S. states. The state is divided into 100 counties. The capital is Raleigh, which along with Durham and Chapel Hill is home to the largest research park in the United States. The most populous municipality is Charlotte, which is the second-largest banking center in the United States after New York City.

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  1. "Luboff An Unusual Man With An Unusual Show". The Gaffney Ledger. March 14, 1979. p. 22. Retrieved August 7, 2015 via Open Access logo PLoS transparent.svg
  2. "Luboff Choir In Cindy Saturday". The Journal News. February 25, 1972. p. 12. Retrieved August 7, 2015 via Open Access logo PLoS transparent.svg
  3. New York Times Obituary