For much of the 1950s Bob Merrill was one of the most successful songwriters, with a string of novelty hits such as "How Much Is That Doggie in the Window?", “(If I Knew You Were Comin’ Id‘ve) Baked a Cake”, “Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania”, “Mambo Italiano”, “Honeycomb” and “Make Yourself Comfortable”. Longing to write more profound songs, Bob turned his efforts toward the musical theatre. By the late fifties, he had written music and lyrics for Broadway’s “New Girl In Town”, followed by “Take Me Along”, “Carnival”, “Henry, Sweet Henry” and eventually “Funny Girl” featuring the hit songs “People” and “Don’t Rain On My Parade”, as sung by Barbra Streisand. Though he could not read a word of music, nor play any musical instrument, he would bang out his tunes on a child’s toy xylophone, bought for $1.98 at the local dime store.
While Bob Merrill's songwriting credits speak for themselves, his talents were diverse including successful endeavors in screenplay writing, acting and teaching.