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Composer of the Week: Henry Mancini

image courtesy of stampcenter.com

image courtesy of stampcenter.com

It’s super hot out today, so once again we’re going to keep it light and easy here at Salon97. Grab an ice tea or your cold beverage of choice and sit back and enjoy some music by Henry Mancini!

b. April 16, 1924 in Cleveland

d. June 14, 1994 in Los Angeles

Henry Mancini (born Enrico Nicola Mancini) grew up playing piano and flute and became interested in jazz as a teenager. He went on to serve as a member of military bands in WWII and later became a pianist and arranger for the Glenn Miller-Tex Beneke Orchestra.

In 1952, Mancini joined Universal Studios, where he worked as an arranger and composer. He wrote music for a collection of comedies, mysteries, westerns and monster movies. Upon Universal’s consolidating of music staff, Mancini began working on his own and wrote the theme for the Peter Gunn, a new television series.

He also became a successful recording artist, and he turned many of his film scores into best-selling commercial albums. Additionally he made a significant contribution to classical/popular crossover when he recorded albums with James Galway and Luciano Pavarotti.

Mancini won 20 GRAMMY awards and 4 Academy Awards, and his notable scores include  “The Pink Panther,” “The Glass Menagerie,” “Victor/Victoria,” “Charade,” “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” and “Touch of Evil”. He composed over 90 albums in the big band, classical and pop genres.

Where to start

Anywhere! All of Henry Mancini’s music is very accessible and you will be surprised at how much of it you’re already quite familiar with.

Here are a few favorites:

The Pink Panther Theme:

Mr. Lucky:

The Windmills of My Mind:

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