Remembered for his many compositions, including 'I Wish I Had You,' which was recorded by Billie Holiday and Fats Waller. Other works he wrote include 'Let's Go,' 'Shore Roads,' and 'Memory Of An Island.'
He began studying at the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music when he was 16. He also began collaborating with clarinetist Artie Shaw around the same time.
He married actress Ruth Thornhill. His mother Maude was a choir conductor.
He was musical director for Tony Bennett during the mid-1950s.