David Whitaker (composer)

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David Whitaker
Birth name David Sinclair Whitaker
Also known as David Whittaker
Born (1931-01-06)6 January 1931
Surrey, England
Died 11 January 2012(2012-01-11) (aged 81)
Oxfordshire, England
Occupation(s) Composer, songwriter, arranger, conductor
Years active 1968-2011

David Sinclair Whitaker (6 January 1931 – 11 January 2012)[1] was an English composer, songwriter, arranger, and conductor who was most active in the 1960s and 1970s.[2]

Whitaker, who was born in Kingston upon Thames, collaborated with some of the most prestigious British and French artists including Air, Etienne Daho, Marianne Faithfull, Claude François, Serge Gainsbourg, France Gall, Johnny Hallyday, The Rolling Stones, Jimmy Page (Death Wish II), Saint Etienne, Simply Red, Sylvie Vartan and others like Lee Hazlewood, Kings of Convenience and Francesco De Gregori.[2]

Whitaker recorded several sessions with the BBC Radio Orchestra at the Maida Vale Studios, London in the early 1980s, featuring a mixture of his own compositions and arrangements, to high-acclaim.

In 1992, David Whitaker (along with Adrian Burch), arranged and produced a recording of the Buudy Holly hit song 'Heartbeat'. The vocals were performed by actor/singer Nick Berry. It was to used as the title theme for popular ITV drama series 'Heartbeat', which also starred Nick Berry. The single was released in 1992 and made it to the no.2 spot in the U.K. charts. It was used on every episode of the series until it's cancellation in 2010. David and Adrian also composed incidental music for many episodes, although with an increase in the number of episodes produced per year and the reduction in production time per episode, episodes later began to be heavily scored with sections of 1960's pop songs.

Alongside his collaborations with many artits including Simply Red, Jimmy Page and The Rolling Stones, David Whitaker recorded many interpretations of songs for albums released by Reader's Digest. They were usually credited to 'David Whitaker And His Orchestra'.

Selected Movies



  • 2002: The David Whitaker Songbook, 1 CD Collection "Musée de l’Imaginaire", Album 20 Tricatel - Compiled by Thomas Jamois and Bertrand Burgalat with the help of David Whitaker (all selections arranged and conducted by David Sinclair Whitaker), track listing:
  1. The Andrew Oldham Orchestra
    The Last Time
    (Mick Jagger / Keith Richards) Westminster Music / ABKCO Music, Inc. (BMI)
    (P) 1967 Immediate Records, lnc
  2. Long Chris
    La Petite fille de l’hiver
    (Éric Demarsan / Long Chris) Ed. Tulsa
    (P) 1967 Philips
  3. OST Run Wild, Run Free
    Philip’s Triumph
    (David Whitaker) Screen Gems-Columbia, BMI
    (P) 1969 SGC
  4. Music To Spy By
    Strange Affair
    (David Whitaker)
    (P) 1965 CBS
  5. Nico
    I‘m Not Saying
    (Gordon Lightfoot) Chelsea Music Publishing
    (P) 1965 Andrew Loog Oldham Production
  6. Music to spy by
    Alive at Last
    (David Whitaker)
    (P) 1965 CBS
  7. OST Run Wild, Run Free
    A Ride on the White Colt
    (David Whitaker) Screen Gems-Columbia, BMI
    (P) 1969 SGC
  8. Lee Hazlewood
    What’s More I Don’t Need Her
    (Lee Hazlewood) Lee Hazlewood Music, Corp
    (P) 1970 Lee Hazlewood Music, Corp
  9. David Whitaker
    (David Whitaker)
    (P) 1974 Reserved rights
  10. David Whitaker
    (David Whitaker)
    (P) 1974 Reserved rights
  11. OST Run Wild, Run Free
    Philip on the Moors
    (David Whitaker) Screen Gems-Columbia, BMI
    (P) 1969 SGC
  12. OST Run Wild, Run Free
    Philip Grows Up
    (David Whitaker) Screen Gems-Columbia, BMI
    (P) 1969 SGC
  13. OST Hammerhead
    Hood Explore The Triton
    (David Whitaker) Screen Gems-Columbia, BMI
    (P) 1968 Colgems Records, lnc
  14. Music To Spy By
    (David Whitaker)
    (P) 1965 SGC
  15. France Gall
    Chanson Indienne (Indian Song)
    (Lyrics by Robert Gall / Music David Whitaker) Ed. Sidonie
    (P) 1968 Philips
  16. OST Harry un ami qui vous veut du bien
    L’Autoroute des vacances
    (David Whitaker) Ed. Diaphana / BMG Music Pub.
    (P) 2000 Diaphana / Source
  17. Marianne Faithfull
    Plaisir d'Amour
    (Public domain)
    (P) 1965 Andrew Loog Oldham Production
  18. Music To Spy By
    (David Whitaker)
    (P) 1965 SGC
  19. Music To Spy By
    Mr Mouthpiece
    (David Whitaker)
    (P) 1965 SGC
  20. Air
    Remember (David Whitaker version)
    (Nicolas Godin / Jean-Benoît Dunckel) Ed. Revolvair
    (P) 1998 Source
  21. David Whitaker
    (David Whitaker)
    (P) 1973 Reserved rights



Whitaker died on 11 January 2012.[1]


  1. ^ a b "David Whitaker". dailytelegraph.co.uk. 2 February 2012. Retrieved 2 February 2012. 
  2. ^ a b Conte, Christophe (16 January 2012). "David Whitaker: mort d'un arrangeur de génie" (in French). Les Inrockuptibles. Retrieved 16 January 2012. 
  3. ^ "Awards: David Whitaker". AMG. Retrieved 7 May 2010. 

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