Milton Delugg (1918-2015)

Milton Delugg, who died April 6 at the age of 96, may have been better known for accompanying Al Jolson on the accordion, co-writing Nat King Cole’s hit “Orange Colored Sky” and Perry Como’s polka “Hoop Dee Doo,” or serving for three decades as musical director of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, but that’s not what got his obit printed here.

Delugg wrote “Hooray for Santy Claus,” the theme for Santa Claus Conquers the Martians, that 1964 production ranked among the all-time worst films. (Not that I blame his music.)

Delugg often worked with Chuck Barris, too, the musical director of The Gong Show from 1976-1980 (appearing with his “Band With a Thug”), where his venerable “Hoop Dee Doo” was used when the contest winner was chosen.

[Thanks to Andrew Porter for the story.]

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7 thoughts on “Milton Delugg (1918-2015)

  1. My immediate response when I hear or see the name Milton Delugg is to think “and his Band with a Thug”. I wonder how many people, then or now, recognized what that name was a parody of.

  2. Kay Kyser isn’t whom I was thinking of. There’s another bandleader whose band description rhymes with his surname.

  3. Rich: That must be the reference — Les Brown was still associated with Bob Hope in that timeframe. Kay Kayser had been off the air for years.

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