Harold Clayton MacHackady, born on February 10, 1922, and passed away October 12, 2015, best known as Hal Hackady, and sometimes credited as Hal Hackaday, was an American lyricist, librettist, and screenwriter.
Hal was born in Middletown, Connecticut in 1922. He studied at Wesleyan University, before starting work in New York City in the 1950s.
He began his career writing teleplays for early anthology series General Electric Theater and Alfred Hitchcock Presents.
Hal graduated to feature films as the screenwriter of B-movies capitalizing on the rock and roll craze, including Let’s Rock, Senior Prom (both with music by Don Gohman), and Hey, Let’s Twist, which earned him a Writers Guild of America nomination for Best Written Musical.
Hal’s theatrical career began with the 1955 Broadway revue Almost Crazy starring Kay Medford, for which he wrote sketches and lyrics.
Additional Broadway credits include Minnie’s Boys, Goodtime Charley, Ambassador, and Teddy & Alice.
Hal also wrote lyrics for Divorce, of course! with Angela Paton and Robert Goldsby writing the book, and Lee Pockriss writing the music.
It was originally translated from the French play, Divorcons, by Victorien Sardou and Émile de Najac.
Hal and Pockriss also co-wrote a song called “The Key” that Billy Thornhill recorded for Wand Records in 1968.
Hal (with co-writer Charles Naylor) wrote the sentimental ballad “Shake Me I Rattle (Squeeze Me I Cry)”, originally recorded by the Lennon Sisters in 1957.
It became a national chart record for Marion Worth in 1962-63, and returned as a country music hit for Cristy Lane in 1977-78.
It has been recorded as a Christmas song.
In 1975, Hal wrote the lyrics for Snoopy! The Musical, a sequel to You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown.
It premiered at the Little Fox Theatre in San Francisco, but it was not until 1982 that it was staged in New York City, at the off-Broadway Lamb’s Theatre, with a cast that included David Garrison, Vicki Lewis, and Lorna Luft.
It was then mounted in the West End at the Duchess Theatre, where it enjoyed a successful run.
Hal Hackady died at age 93 on October 12, 2015.