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Henry Mancini

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Henry Mancini
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Enrico Nicola "Henry" Mancini (April 16, 1924 June 14, 1994)  was an American composer, conductor and arranger, who is best remembered for his film and television scores. Often cited as one of the greatest composers in the history of film,  he won four Academy Awards, a Golden Globe, and twenty Grammy Awards, plus a posthumous Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1995.

His best known works include the jazz-idiom theme to The Pink Panther film series ("The Pink Panther Theme"), his "Moon River" to Breakfast at Tiffany's, and the theme to the Peter Gunn television series. The Peter Gunn theme won the first Grammy Award for Album of the Year. Mancini also had a long collaboration on film scores with the film director Blake Edwards.
#1 - February 23, 2017, 08:48:53 AM

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Henry Mancini - Peter Gunn


"Peter Gunn" is the theme music composed by Henry Mancini for the television show of the same name. The song was the opening track on the original soundtrack album, The Music from Peter Gunn, released in 1959 as RCA Victor LPM/LSP-1956.  Mancini won an Emmy Award and two Grammys for Album of the Year and Best Arrangement.

In his autobiography Did They Mention the Music? Mancini states:

The "Peter Gunn" title theme actually derives more from rock and roll than from jazz. I used guitar and piano in unison, playing what is known in music as an ostinato, which means obstinate. It was sustained throughout the piece, giving it a sinister effect, with some frightened saxophone sounds and some shouting brass. The piece has one chord throughout and a super-simple top line.

Lyrics were added by Jay Livingston and Ray Evans and first recorded in 1964 by Sarah Vaughan in an arrangement by Bill Holman on her album Sarah Vaughan Sings the Mancini Songbook.  Mancini also recorded a vocal version titled "Bye Bye" that is on his 1967 soundtrack album Gunn...Number One!.

Trumpeter Ray Anthony released the first single version of the song on Capitol Records in 1959. Arranged by Mancini and featuring tenor saxophonist Plas Johnson, it reached #8 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #12 on the R&B chart.

#2 - February 23, 2017, 08:50:52 AM
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Henry Mancini - Moon River


"Moon River" is a song composed by Henry Mancini with lyrics by Johnny Mercer. It received an Academy Award for Best Original Song for its performance by Audrey Hepburn in the movie Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961).  It also won Mancini the 1962 Grammy Award for Record of the Year and won Mancini and Mercer the Grammy Award for Song of the Year.  The song has been covered by many other artists.

It became the theme song for Andy Williams, who first recorded it in 1962 (and performed it at the Academy Awards ceremony that year). He sang the first eight bars of the song at the beginning of each episode of his eponymous television show and named his production company and venue in Branson, Missouri after it. His autobiography is called "Moon River" and Me. Williams' version was never released as a single, but it charted as an LP track that he recorded for Columbia on a hit album of 1962. Cadence Records' president Archie Bleyer disliked Williams' version, as Bleyer believed it had little or no appeal to teenagers.[3] Forty years later in 2002, a 74-year-old Williams sang the song at the conclusion of the live telecast of the NBC 75th Anniversary Special to a standing ovation.

The song's success was responsible for relaunching Mercer's career as a songwriter, which had stalled in the mid-1950s because rock and roll had replaced jazz standards as the popular music of the time. The song's popularity is such that it has been used as a test sample in a study on people's memories of popular songs.

Comments about the lyrics have noted that they are particularly reminiscent of Mercer's youth in the Southern United States and his longing to expand his horizons.  Robert Wright wrote in The Atlantic Monthly, "This is a love sung to wanderlust. Or a romantic song in which the romantic partner is the idea of romance."  An inlet near Savannah, Georgia, Johnny Mercer's hometown, was named Moon River in honor of him and this song.
#3 - March 15, 2017, 03:00:27 PM
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Pink Panther


"The Pink Panther Theme" is an instrumental composition by Henry Mancini written as the theme for the 1963 film The Pink Panther and subsequently nominated for the 1964 Academy Award for Best Original Score. The eponymous cartoon character created for the film's opening credits by David DePatie and Friz Freleng was animated in time to the tune. The tenor saxophone solo was played by Plas Johnson.

The tune was included on the film's soundtrack album and issued as a single (in the United States) in 1964; the single reached the Top 10 on the U.S. Billboard adult contemporary chart and won three Grammy Awards.

Various recordings of the tune were featured in the opening credits of all The Pink Panther films, with the exception of A Shot in the Dark and Inspector Clouseau. It has also been used in countless works featuring the animated Pink Panther character.

"The Pink Panther Theme", originally played in the key of E minor, is noted for its quirky, unusual use of chromaticism which is derived from the Hungarian minor scale (gypsy/romani scale[1]) with raised 4th and 7th degrees.
#4 - March 15, 2017, 03:08:25 PM
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Henry Mancini - Baby Elephant Walk


"Baby Elephant Walk" is a song written in 1961, by Henry Mancini, for the 1962 movie, Hatari!

 In 1962, the song earned Mancini a Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Arrangement. The tune was written for an impromptu scene in Hatari! in which 'Dallas' (Elsa Martinelli) led three baby elephants to a pool to bathe. The catchy simplicity has made it one of Mancini's most popular works, appearing on many compilation albums. Although not used for the film, Hal David composed lyrics to Mancini's tune, which appear in the printed sheet music and later recorded by Pat Boone, released by Dot Records in 1965. Mancini's version was not released as a single.

Brass instruments (including repeated blasts from the tuba) and woodwind elements are combined to convey a large and plodding elephant toddler that is filled with the exuberance of youth. Mancini used a calliope introduction to suggest the sound of a circus. A cheeky melody was then played over this on a clarinet, the song concluding with a solo clarinet playing the old four-note tune known as "Good Evening Friends".

The overall style is as that of boogie-woogie, as Mancini explained:

I looked at the scene several times [and] I thought, 'Yeah, they're walking eight to the bar', and that brought something to mind, an old Will Bradley boogie-woogie number called 'Down the Road a Piece' ... Those little elephants were definitely walking boogie-woogie, eight to the bar. I wrote 'Baby Elephant Walk' as a result.

The cheerful tone, like that of Mancini's "The Pink Panther Theme", presents a stark contrast to more melancholy Mancini standards such as "Moon River". Due to its "goofy" sound, it is often used in a humorous context. As the allmusic.com album review states, "if Hatari! is memorable for anything, it's for the incredibly goofy 'Baby Elephant Walk,' which has gone on to be musical shorthand for kookiness of any stripe. Get this tune in your head and it sticks."

#5 - June 09, 2017, 11:09:02 AM
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Henry Mancini - Nadia's Theme


"Nadia's Theme" is a piece of music composed by Barry De Vorzon and Perry Botkin, Jr. in 1971. It became associated with Olympic gymnast Nadia Comăneci during and after the 1976 Summer Olympics. The composition has been used as the theme music to the American television soap opera The Young and the Restless intermittently since the serial's inception in 1973.
#6 - October 29, 2017, 11:02:10 AM
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Henry Mancini - Too Little Time


#7 - December 02, 2017, 02:44:56 PM
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