Robert Maxwell (born April 19, 1921, died February 7, 2012) was a harpist and songwriter.
Born Max Rosen he and his two brothers, Abe Rosen (1916-2007) and Myor Rosen (1917-2009), all played the harp professionally. Abe Rosen was known for his work playing in New York shows and Myor Rosen was the principal harpist for the New York Philharmonic for thirty years.
Max eventually found himself in the United States Coast Guard where he performed for servicemen, and he developed a talent for playing in a more down-to-earth style. He entered a contest on radio station KFI in Los Angeles, failing to make the finals but gaining second prize. This led to many appearances on radio, television, and the movies, including one summer as replacement for Frank Sinatra on the CBS.
He went on to devising his own arrangements, and composed three songs which he is remembered: “Little Dipper” (1959), “Ebb Tide” (1953) and “Shangri-La” (1964) which hit #15 on the Billboard Hot 100. Another of his songs, “Solfeggio”, performed by Maxwell’s orchestra and the Ray Charles Singers, gained unexpected fame as the theme for Ernie Kovacs’ regular comedy skit called The Nairobi Trio.
That Old Black Magic