Ben Weisman Passed Away At 85

Ben Weisman, a classically trained pianist who helped write nearly 60 songs for Elvis Presley, including many for his movies, has died. He was 85. Weisman, who had Alzheimer's disease and suffered a stroke last month, died Sunday at a long-term care hospital in Los Angeles, said Barbara Gleicher of New York, who is married to Weisman's nephew. Weisman, whom Presley dubbed "the mad professor," wrote or co-wrote a string of gold- and platinum-selling songs for Presley, including "Follow That Dream" and "Fame and Fortune." His songs include "Wooden Heart" for the movie "G.I. Blues," "Rock-a-Hula Baby" for "Blue Hawaii" and "Crawfish" for "King Creole." "Whenever there was a movie (for Elvis) coming up they would call him up and say, 'We need one for, uh, the clam dance,"' Gleicher said. He also wrote for other pop stars, including Barbra Streisand, Johnny Mathis, Bobby Vee and the Beatles. Born Nov. 16, 1921, in Providence, R.I., Weisman was raised in Brooklyn. He studied classical piano as a teenager and at the Juilliard School of Music. He began writing for Presley in 1956 at the request of his music publisher, Jean Aberbach.
Source: Associated Press / Updated: May 22, 2007 
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Greg Nolan (profilecontact) wrote on May 29, 2007report abuse
He will go down as a central "behind the scenes" player behind argably the best entertainer ever! He wrote quite a few gems along the way that fans will always love. My condolences go out to his family
snyper (profilecontact) wrote on May 26, 2007report abuse
A truly gifted man. So many memorable songs. God rest his soul!
CD King (profilecontact) wrote on May 23, 2007report abuse
R.I.P. Ben Weisman - one of the best and most brilliant composer of Elvis music. Thank you Ben for some of the most enjoyable Elvis soundtrack music. Your contribution will live on in the music and legacy of Elvis Presley forever.
June (profilecontact) wrote on May 23, 2007report abuse
Thanks, gave us a lot of joy with those fantastic songs. They will be immortal. RIP
Herman (profilecontact) wrote on May 23, 2007report abuse
Rest in peace and thank you for all the beautiful songs you wrote for Elvis and for us !
see see rider (profilecontact) wrote on May 23, 2007report abuse
Rest in peace Mr. Weisman, you'll be missed.
Colonel (profilecontact) wrote on May 23, 2007report abuse
R.I.P. "Crawfish" is one of my favorite Elvis-songs. So cool.
Deke Rivers 6 (profilecontact) wrote on May 23, 2007report abuse
Did he write "Do The Clam" I like that song, good sax solo,not crazy 'bout the film though
JimmyCool (profilecontact) wrote on May 23, 2007report abuse
One of Elvis' best soundtrack writers is gone... Maybe Elvis needed some new songs so he called Mr. Weisman. He'll be missed...
JerryNodak (profilecontact) wrote on May 22, 2007report abuse
Sad to hear of Mr. Wiseman's death, but I'm sure he and Elvis are making music in a "better place" now. Thanks for all the songs. R.I.P. Ben.
Nimy (profilecontact) wrote on May 22, 2007report abuse
A great composer. God bless Ben.
Jerome (profilecontact) wrote on May 22, 2007report abuse
Dear Laurie, Although I may live far away I do feel great sympathy for you, your family and of course your father. My condoleances and I hope God gives you all the strength you'll need during this hard time. He left a great legacy that will never pass away. Sincerely, Jerome
RonBaker (profilecontact) wrote on May 22, 2007report abuse
With deepest sympathy to his family... Ben wrote some of my favorite Elvis songs: Follow That Dream is just one, but wow! What a song!
Bill E. Burk (profilecontact) wrote on May 22, 2007report abuse
I met Ben Wiseman only once, in the early days of our publishing ELVIS WORLD magazine. He was an extremely wonderful person and he gave me an autographed copy of a book he composed with Elvis song sheet music in it. I still have it.
ollieTCB (profilecontact) wrote on May 22, 2007report abuse
Thanks Ben for the great songs you wrote! RIP
Viva (profilecontact) wrote on May 22, 2007report abuse
What a great shame, a truly integral part of the Elvis story. Thanks Mr Weisman, you did a grand job.
Steve V (profilecontact) wrote on May 22, 2007report abuse
RIP Mr Ben and thanks for the music.

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