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ZAMECNIK, JOHN S.

ZAMECNIK, JOHN S. (1872-13 June 1953) utilized his experience as a Cleveland theater musician to become a pioneer in the scoring of Hollywood film music. A native Clevelander, he was the son of Bohemian immigrants Joseph and Katherine Zamecnik. The elder Zamecnik was a bandleader, and young Zamecnik had already shown compositional and conducting talent before going to study music under Antonin Dvorak at the Prague Conservatory, where he graduated in 1897. He then took a post as violinist in the Pittsburgh Symphony under Victor Herbert. Zamecnik returned to Cleveland in 1907 to assume a post as composer-director at the new HIPPODROME THEATER. His duties included providing music to the lyrics of William J. Wilson for the theater's opening stage attraction of Coaching Days in 1908. Zamecnik also married Mary Barbara Heodons in 1908 and in 1911 joined the Sam Fox Publishing Co. in the ARCADE, where he served as musical editor-in-chief after 1914. Among his compositions, he provided musical numbers for the early shows of the HERMIT CLUB and won a contest against 900 competitors to compose the California state song in 1915. In 1925 he went to Hollywood, where he contributed the scores to such films as Abie's Irish Rose, Old Ironsides, Wings, and Betrayal. By the time of his death in Los Angeles, he was credited with nearly 2,000 compositions. Besides his wife, he was survived by 2 sons, Edwin H. and Walter J.