Recording artist of the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s best known for composing Nature Boy, the Nat King Cole hit.
He was the piano player for health-food store and raw-food restaurant Eutropheon after moving to Los Angeles in 1941.
He lived under the Hollywood Sign for a period of time. He influenced the hippie movement.
He was adopted by a family in Kansas City and was raised there under a different name. His wife died in 1963.
He and Herb Jeffries worked closely together.