Composer Buddy Pepper (born Jack Starkey) got his start at age 13 after winning the "Major Bowes Amateur Hour" on radio. From there he appeared on vaudeville and in 1939 appeared as an actor in Streets of New York. He appeared in a few more films until he became a member of the Air Corps during WWII. He became a composer for Universal after the war, penning such songs as the standard "When Johnny Comes Marching Home" and "Vaya con Dios." Pepper also worked as an arranger and a lyricist.