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Donald Swander

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Donald Swander


Donald Swander (25 March, 1905 Marshalltown, Iowa – 28 July 1996, Las Vegas, Nev.) was an American composer and pianist.

Raised in Washington state, Swander was playing piano professionally at age 12. When he was 16, he moved to Los Angeles, where he studied at UCLA and at a musical conservatory.

In 1941 Swander and his wife, June, who provided the lyrics, wrote a song entitled Deep in the Heart of Texas, an American popular song about Texas. Swander eventually stated that he was “ashamed” that he had written the musical classic piece.

Swander composed more than 3,000 other tunes during his life, but only Deep in the Heart of Texas became a big hit. He and his wife moved to Las Vegas in 1960. In the early 1970s, Swander took a weekend piano-playing job at the Bonnie Springs Ranch because he didn’t want to retire.

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