David Raksin

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

David Raksin (August 4, 1912 – August 9, 2004) was an American composer who was renowned for his work in film and television. With over 100 film scores and 300 television scores to his credit, he became known as the "Grandfather of Film Music."[1]

Biography[edit]

David Raksin was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1912. His father was an orchestra conductor. Raksin played professionally in dance bands while attending Central High School of Philadelphia. He went on to study composition with Harl McDonald at the University of Pennsylvania and later with Isadore Freed in New York and Arnold Schoenberg in Los Angeles. In New York Raksin worked as an arranger for Harms/Chappell.

One of his earliest film assignments was as assistant to Charlie Chaplin in the composition of the score to Modern Times (1936). He is perhaps best remembered for his score for the 1944 movie Laura. The theme music for the film became the 1945 song "Laura". Johnny Mercer put lyrics to this theme, and during Raksin's lifetime this was said to be the second most-recorded song in history following Stardust by Hoagy Carmichael and Mitchell Parish. He also wrote the theme song for (and scored the pilot of) Ben Casey.

Later in life, Raksin taught at the University of Southern California and the University of California, Los Angeles.

Raksin died in 2004, aged 92. At the time of his death, it was announced that Raksin had completed his autobiography, titled If I Say So Myself.[2] The book was eventually published under the title The Bad and the Beautiful: My Life in a Golden Age of Film Music.

In 2012, he was named for a Lifetime Achievement Award for a Past Film Composer.[3]

His son Alex is a Pulitzer Prize winning editorial writer for the Los Angeles Times.

Film/TV scores - selected list[edit]

Work on Broadway[edit]

See also[edit]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ OBITUARY: David Raksin, 92, Grandfather of Film Music Published: August 11, 2004
  2. ^ "David Raksin Dead at 92". The Film Music Society. 2004. .
  3. ^ [1]

External links[edit]

Interviews[edit]