Monday, December 10, 2007

Real Easy Listening (1950's- 60's Film Score Composers)

Hugo Montenegro

"Montenegro began to branch out after the Hang 'Em High album, recording a diverse array of albums, ranging from show tunes to electronic experiments. Throughout the late '60s and '70s, he continued to score films, including Lady in Cement, The Undefeated, The Wrecking Crew, Tomorrow, and The Ambushers, among many others. He continued composing and recording until his death in 1981." (Oh, and he wrote the theme song for I Dream Of Jeannie) (

Hugo Montenegro - MacArthur Park

Henry Mancini

"Born in Cleveland, Ohio but brought up in Pennsylvania, where he played the flute in a local band as a youth before sending some arrangements to Benny Goodman. Goodman offered him a job and after serving in WWII he joined the rearranged Miller band. In 1952 he was given a two-week assignment at Universal to work on an Abbott and Costello film and ended up staying for six years. Success with the Glenn Miller Story allowed him to score many other films, helping along the way to change the style of film background music by injecting jazz into the traditional orchestral arrangements of the 1950s. He was nominated for 18 Oscars and won four; in addition, he won 20 Grammys and 2 Emmys, made over 50 albums and had 500 works published... he will be best remembered for the theme tune for The Pink Panther." (

Henry Mancini - Heres Looking at You, Kid

Ennio Morricone

"Ennio Morricone is probably the most famous film composer of the 20th century. He is also one of the most prolific composers working in any medium. No exact figure is available, but he's scored several hundred films over the past several decades, perhaps as many as 500. While these have been in almost every imaginable musical style (and for almost every imaginable kind of movie), he is most identified with the "spaghetti Western" style of soundtracks, which he pioneered when providing the musical backdrop for the films of director Sergio Leone. Morricone's palette is extraordinarily diverse, drawing from classical, jazz, pop, rock, electronic, avant-garde, and Italian music, among other styles." (

Ennio Morricone - Navajo Joe

Lalo Schifrin

"When Schifrin returned to Buenos Aires in the mid 1950’s, he formed his own big concert band. It was during a performance of this band that Dizzy Gillespie heard Schifrin play and asked him to become his pianist and arranger. In 1958, Schifrin moved to the United States and thus began a remarkable career." (

Lalo Schifrin - Jim On The Move

Ray Conniff

Ray's success arranging and conducting for other recording artists prompted Columbia to let him record an album under his own name, he was the first artist to use voices and vocal arranging as part of the instrumentation, for instance, female voices double with trumpets, high saxes or clarinets; male voices with trombones or saxes in low register. Ray's debut album "'S Wonderful", was in the Top 20 for nine months. Cash Box voted Ray "the most promising up-and-coming band leader of 1957." He won the same award again in 1958. In 1959, Disk Jockeys voted The Ray Conniff Orchestra and Singers "the most programmed studio orchestra." (

Ray Conniff - El Condor Pasa

Also check out:
Armando Trovajoli
Alessandro Alessandroni