Gwendolyn Sanford is an American singer-songwriter and composer. She is best known for her performances with Gwendolyn and the Good Time Gang and for her contributions to the scores for Weeds, Orange Is the New Black and other films and plays.
Sanford was born in Philadelphia and raised in Sierra Madre, California. Sanford studied acting at the Los Angeles County School High School for the Arts. While in school, she learned to play guitar and at age 27, formed Gwendolyn and the Good Time Gang. The group was first noticed at a 2003 street fair in Los Feliz.
Film, TV and stage
Sanford, Brandon Jay and Scott Doherty compose music for Netflix's original series Orange Is the New Black. Prior, Gwendolyn and Brandon Jay composed the score for Weeds. At least two different versions of Gwendolyn's song "Freedom of the Heart (Ooodily, Ooodily)" are prominently featured in Mike White's 2000 film Chuck & Buck. She and Jay composed music for the play, Gruesome Playground Injuries. Sanford wrote the music and lyrics for Romy and Michele's High School Reunion the musical, which first premiered June 15, 2017 at The 5th Avenue Theatre in Seattle, WA.
In 2003, Sanford was recognized at LA Weekly Music Awards as the Best New Genre/Uncategorizable Artist. Also in 2003, Gwendolyn won KFPK radio's The Music Never Stops #1 Album of the Year" award for Dew and Amoeba Music named Sanford as their "Homegrown Artist Pick".
To date, Gwendolyn has recorded four solo albums
- Ultrasounds (2000)
- Dew (2003)
- Lower Mill Road (2007)
- Bright Light (2011)
Gwendolyn and the Good Time Gang
Gwendolyn has released four children's albums as "Gwendolyn and the Good Time Gang":
- Gwendolyn and the Good Time Gang (2003)
- Tis The Season To Be Rockin (2004)
- Get Up And Dance! (2007)
- Clap Your Hands (2010)
And a live concert DVD
- Live In Grandma's Living Room! (2005)
The "Good Time Gang" performs for children's events, mainly in California.
Musicians in Gwendolyn's live band include:
- Douglas Lee (glass harmonica)
- Brandon Jay (drums, found percussion)
- Robert Petersen (upright bass)
- Scott Doherty (piano, electric guitar, banjo)
- Roger Park (pedal steel)
Musicians Gwendolyn has worked with include:
- Smokey Hormel
- Ralph Carney
- Joey Waronker
- Don Fleming
- Ben Vaughn
- John McCusker
- Ethan Allen
- Tony Gilkyson
- Himmelsbach, Erik (1 January 2006). "Tunes for Tots: are L.A.'s own Gwendolyn and the good time gang the next wiggles?". Los Angeles Magazine. Retrieved 27 January 2016 – via HighBeam Research. (Subscription required (. ))
- "Children’s Songs To "Orange Is The New Black" – Composer Gwendolyn Sanford". Variety 411. Retrieved 27 January 2016.
- Strecker, Erin (16 June 2015). "'Orange Is the New Black' Composer Talks Scoring That Emotional Final Scene". Billboard. Retrieved 27 January 2016.
- Niles, Jon (23 June 2015). "'Orange is the New Black' Music Composer Gwendolyn Sanford Talks Season 3 Netflix Episodes, Characters' Stories & More". Music Times. Retrieved 27 January 2016.
- Danton, Eric R. (24 June 2015). "Music on TV: Listen to Original Tracks From ‘Orange Is the New Black’ Season 3 (Exclusive)". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 27 January 2016.
- Cook, Tommy (5 June 2014). "Composer Gwendolyn Sanford Talks Orange Is the New Black Season 2; Calls it 'Darker' and 'Pretty Heavy'". Collider. Retrieved 27 January 2016.
- Brantley, Ben (31 January 2011). "Love Hurts, and for Some Couples, That’s the Point". The New York Times. Retrieved 27 January 2016.
- Cerasaro, Pat (29 June 2015). "Romy and Michele's High School Reunion Musical Set for LA Concert, 7/8". Broadway World. Retrieved 27 January 2016.
- Bowen, Bliss (22 March 2012). "Variety is the Spice". Pasadena Weekly. Retrieved 27 January 2016.