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Felix Arndt

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Felix Arndt (May 20, 1889 – October 16, 1918) was an American pianist and composer of popular music. His mother was the Countess Fevrier, related to Napoleon III. His father, Hugo Arndt, was Swiss-born.
Educated in New York (his music teachers included Carl Lachmund), Arndt composed songs for the famous vaudeville team of Jack Norworth and Nora Bayes, and recorded over 3000 piano rolls for Duo-Art and QRS Records. He died in New York City from the "Spanish Flu" influenza. Arndt is interred at Sleepy Hallow Cemetery, Tarrytown, NY.
Arndt is best remembered for his 1915 composition "Nola," written as an engagement gift to his fiancée (and later wife), Nola Locke. It is sometimes considered to be the first example of the novelty piano or "novelty ragtime" genre, published by Sam Fox Publishing Company. It was the signature theme of the Vincent Lopez orchestra, and a top ten hit for Les Paul in 1950. A vocal recording by Billy Williams, featuring lyrics by Sunny Skylar, became a minor hit in 1959.
His piano rolls reveal Arndt to be a fine pianist, and he is known to have been an influence on the young George Gershwin, who would visit him at his studio in the Aeolian Building on 42nd Street in Manhattan.