1920 José Melis (February 27, 1920, Havana, Cuba - April 7, 2005 Sun City, California, United States) was born José Melis Guiu. Melis studied at the Havana Conservatory of Music and a Cuban government scholarship enabled him to continue his education in Paris. When he was 16, he arrived in the United States, graduated from the Juilliard School of Music and worked as a lounge pianist. During World War II, while he was serving as the musical director for the USO's New York City branch of the USO, he met Jack Paar, and the two remained friends for years. In 1954-55, Melis was the pianist when The Morning Show on CBS was hosted by Paar. Then Paar moved from mornings to late night, and from 1957 to 1962, Melis served as the musical director of The Tonight Show during Jack Paar's tenure as host.
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Friday August 18 is Hawaii Statehood Day - *We will be sharing many of the popular songs of The Islands this week to commemorate Hawaii Statehood celebrations. More about Statehood Day*