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Willson, Meredith (18 May 1902–15 June 1984), lyricist/composer, conductor, and flutist, was born Robert Reiniger Meredith Willson in Mason City, Iowa, the son of John D. Willson, a lawyer and businessman, and Rosalie Reiniger, a teacher. Both of Willson’s grandfathers were considered early settlers by more recent immigrants, adding to the family’s local prominence. Meredith appeared in his mother’s Sunday school musicals as early as the age of four and at twelve sang a solo as Don (“a shepherd”) in the local production of his sister Dixie’s musical, ...