David Raksin was among the most prolific and storied composers in Hollywood history, his career spanning across six decades and some of the most acclaimed films in cinema history. Raksin was born August 4, 1912 in Philadelphia, where his father was a member of the Philadelphia Orchestra in addition to conducting and performing in concert bands and for silent movies. The younger Raksin began studying piano as a child and by 12 was fronting his own dance band, even appearing on the local CBS radio station -- he taught himself orchestration while still in high school, funding his subsequent studies at the University of Pennsylvania by performing with society bands and radio orchestras. After graduation, Raksin settled in New York City, working as a pianist and arranger with several orchestras; in time he crossed paths with pianist Oscar Levant, who was so impressed by his arrangement of George Gershwin's "I Got Rhythm" that he alerted Gershwin himself. Gershwin was so impressed that he arranged for Raksin to join the Harms/Chappell team, then the dominant arranging force in all of Broadway.