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Ira Newborn (born December 26, 1949 in New York City) is an American musician and composer, best known for his work composing motion picture soundtracks.
Among the many movies Newborn has scored or for which he has written songs are Sixteen Candles, Weird Science, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Uncle Buck, Planes, Trains and Automobiles, Mallrats, the smoky jazz score for Into the Night, for which he wrote music for B.B. King, and Ace Ventura: Pet Detective. He frequently worked with director John Hughes. He also stepped in as musical director and producer for The Blues Brothers. Newborn's many film credits also include a small acting role in Xanadu, in which he appears as a 1940's band leader.
Newborn’s most famous association is possibly as the soundtrack composer for the Naked Gun series of police satires starring Leslie Nielsen. Newborn’s brassy big band/blues theme song for the franchise first appeared on the TV series that inspired the movies, 1982’s Police Squad!.
Newborn has also worked in concerts, commercials, Broadway, and the recording industry as performer, arranger, composer and conductor.
Newborn is also a professor at New York University, from which he received his bachelor’s degree in 1972. Influenced by everything from Johann Sebastian Bach to James Brown to the Beatles, guitarist Newborn led and played in several musical groups before signing on as the musical director for the vocal group The Manhattan Transfer.
Among the many artists on whose records Ira Newborn has worked are Ray Charles, Diana Ross, Billy Joel and The Pointer Sisters. Besides contributing to the "blockbuster" status of many motion pictures, a number of his film scores have received "cult status."
As a songwriter
Newborn wrote two songs performed by B.B. King for the Into the Night soundtrack: My Lucille and Into the Night. Two songs co-written by Newborn appeared on the Into the Night LP, but not in the film: "Don't Make Me Sorry", co-written by Joe Esposito and performed by Patti La Belle; and "Keep It Light", co-written by Reginald "Sonny" Burke and performed by Thelma Houston. Newborn also co-wrote Clap Your Hands for The Manhattan Transfer. He co-wrote the song "Get It On And Have A Party", with singer Patti Brooks for the Dr. Detroit soundtrack. Both "Geek Boogie" from Sixteen Candles, and "Geek Romance" from Weird Science were credited to Ira and the Geeks. He co-wrote "I Guess I'm Just Screwed" for The Naked Gun 2½: The Smell of Fear, with David Zucker and Robert LoCash. With Peter Segal, he co-wrote "The Food Song" for the Naked Gun 33⅓: The Final Insult soundtrack.
- The Blues Brothers (1980)
- All Night Long (1981)
- SCTV (1981) (TV)
- 48 Hrs. (1982)
- Police Squad! (1982) (TV)
- Sixteen Candles (1984)
- Weird Science (1985)
- Into The Night (1985)
- Wise Guys (1986)
- Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986)
- Amazon Women on the Moon (1987)
- Dragnet (1987)
- Planes, Trains and Automobiles (1987)
- Caddyshack II (1988)
- The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad! (1988)
- Uncle Buck (1989)
- My Blue Heaven (1990)
- The Naked Gun 2½: The Smell of Fear (1991)
- Brain Donors (1992)
- Tales from the Crypt (1992) (TV)
- Innocent Blood (1992)
- Ace Ventura: Pet Detective (1994)
- Naked Gun 33⅓: The Final Insult (1994)
- The Jerky Boys: The Movie (1995)
- Mallrats (1995)
- The Late Shift (1995) (TV)
- High School High (1996)