How Albert Hague won over Dr. Seuss
by Deborah Rieselman, originally printed in 2001
UC alumnus Albert Hague composed "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch" as an audition piece to win the job scoring the 1966 TV movie “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.” His agent cautioned him against using a quirky audition concept he had, but the composer said he knew best, and he was right. He nabbed the job within minutes.
In 1997, I had just wrapped up an interview with the charming Hague, CCM ’42, for the university magazine when I asked for a small favor. Would he please play a little piece of the Grinch's signature song for me? With a huge grin, he walked over to the grand piano in the middle of his airy Marina Del Rey living room, pulled out the sheet music (which he later autographed and gave to me) and launched into a 30-second mini-concert.
I kept my pocket cassette player's "record" button depressed, and for 10 years, it's been my own little treat. But for the holiday season, I thought I'd share it. The quality may not be great, and Hague's voice is hard to hear, but it may be the only chance you have to listen to the composer play and sing the piece, considering that he died in 2001.