Randy Edelman

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Randy Edelman
Born (1947-06-10) June 10, 1947 (age 69)
Paterson, New Jersey, United States
Genres Pop music, Film score
Occupation(s) Composer, conductor
Instruments Piano
Years active 1973–present

Randy Edelman (born June 10, 1947) is an American film and television composer.

Life and career[edit]

Edelman was born in Paterson, New Jersey, to a Jewish family.[1][2] He was raised in Teaneck, New Jersey, the son of a first-grade teacher and an accountant.[3] He attended the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music before heading to New York where he played piano in Broadway pit orchestras. He produced several solo albums of songs (some of which were later recorded by The Carpenters ("I Can't Make Music", "Piano Picker" and "You"), Barry Manilow ("Weekend in New England"), "If Love Is Real" from Olivia Newton-John's Making a Good Thing Better, Dionne Warwick, The Laughter and the Tears, Blood Sweat and Tears, Blue Street, and many others before moving to Los Angeles. It was there where Edelman started to work in television and film scoring while producing his solo albums which found cult following in the UK, Europe, and Japan.

Musical scores[edit]

One of his first film scores was for the 1973 movie Executive Action, which put forward a conspiracy theory concerning the assassination of John Fitzgerald Kennedy in 1963. In the mid-1980s, Edelman wrote the theme to, and scored many episodes of MacGyver, a popular television series starring Richard Dean Anderson.

During the 1980s and early 1990s, he also collaborated with Ivan Reitman, producing scores for several of his comedies, including Ghostbusters II, Twins and Kindergarten Cop. He also contributed to Beethoven, The Last of the Mohicans, The Mask, Daylight, Anaconda, XXX, Gettysburg, My Cousin Vinny, While You Were Sleeping, Dragonheart, Shanghai Noon, Six Days Seven Nights, The Indian in the Cupboard, Billy Madison, Angels in the Outfield, and EDtv to name just a few.

Edelman was honored with the Richard Kirk Award at the 2003 BMI Film and TV Awards. The award is given annually to a composer who has made significant contributions to film and television music. In 2004 he received an honorary doctorate in fine arts from the University of Cincinnati. He was given the degree along with three other honorees distinguished in various other fields, including Coretta Scott King.[4]

He produced the scores for the 2008 film The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor. This score was recorded at Abbey Road Studios in London where in 2010 Randy also recorded and composed the Irish flavored music score for Amy Adams film Leap Year.He was awarded the Goldspirit Award (named in honor of Jerry Goldsmith) for best comedy score of 2011 for the Leap Year soundtrack CD on Varese Sarabande.

Scores reused elsewhere[edit]

While some of the films scored by Edelman were not commercial successes, the music was often reused elsewhere. Themes he wrote for Dragonheart, Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story (particularly the movie's love theme Bruce and Linda), Gettysburg and other films have been widely used in television advertising, film trailers, Disney movies including Mulan, and during the Academy Awards. In particular, the rousing yet heartwarming theme of Dragon, featured in "The Premiere of THE BIG BOSS" and "The Dragon's Heartbeat" have become synonymous with tear-jerking films of bittersweet yet triumphant rises to glory, featuring prominently in trailers of films like Patch Adams, The Truman Show, In Love and War and Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone film. Themes from his score for Come See the Paradise have been used in film trailers more than cues from any other film soundtrack.[5][6]

NBC Sports[edit]

His music from The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr. is featured during NBC's Olympic Games coverage when announcing upcoming events. In addition, it was used during NBC's coverage of the 1997 World Series. At the end of the 1996 Summer Olympics, it used the closing music of Gettysburg. In the 1990s, Edelman composed the popular theme music for NBC's NFL telecasts which was used for the 1995–97 seasons through Super Bowl XXXII.[7]

Personal life[edit]

Edelman has been married to singer Jackie DeShannon since June 3, 1976. DeShannon is known for such 1960s hits as "When You Walk in the Room", "Put a Little Love in Your Heart" and "What the World Needs Now Is Love". Edelman is DeShannon's second husband and they have a son, Noah D. Edelman.

Musical Discography (As Artist and Songwriter)[edit]

Charted Solo Singles [8]

  • "Everybody Wants to Find a Bluebird" (March 1975) – #92 US / #18 AC (US)
  • "Concrete and Clay" (March 1976) – #11 AC (US), No. 11 UK - cover version of the hit for the British pop group Unit 4 + 2
  • "Uptown Uptempo Woman" (September 1976) – No. 25 UK
  • "You" (January 1977) – No. 49 UK
  • "Nobody Made Me" (July 1982) – No. 60 UK

Solo Albums

  • Randy Edelman – MGM Records, 1972 (LP)
  • The Laughter and the Tears – MGM Records, 1972 (LP)
  • Outside In - MGM Records, 1972 (LP)
  • Prime Cuts – 20th Century Records, 1974 (LP and CD)
  • Farewell Fairbanks – 20th Century Records, 1975 (LP and CD)
  • If Love is Real – Arista Records, 1977 (LP and CD)
  • You're the One – Arista Records, 1979 (LP and CD)
  • Up-town Up-tempo, The Best Of Randy Edelman – 20th Century Records, 1979 (LP)
  • On Time – Rocket Records, 1982 (LP)
  • Randy Edelman and his Piano – PRT Records, 1984 (LP and CD)
  • Switch of the Seasons – PRT Records (Polar), 1985 (LP)
  • Up-town Up-tempo Woman (Compilation) – Warwick Reflection Records, 1987 (CD)
  • And His Piano ... The Very Best of Randy Edelman – Revola/Cherry Red Records, 2003 (CD)
  • The Pacific Flow To Abbey Road – Cherry Red (UK) / Varese Sarabande (US), 2011 (CD)

Partial list of artists who have covered Edelman's songs (both music and lyrics):

  • Barry Manilow – Weekend in New England (#10, US)
  • The Carpenters – I Can't Make Music, You, Piano Picker
  • Labelle – Isn't it a Shame
  • Olivia Newton John – If Love is Real
  • Nelly – My Place
  • Dionne Warwick – You are the Sunlight, I am the Moon, The Laughter and Tears, Give a Little Laughter
  • Blood Sweat and Tears – Blue Street
  • Jackie DeShannon – Sunny Days, Let the Sailors Dance
  • Agnetha Faltskog (of ABBA) – Turn The World Around
  • The Fifth Dimension – Everybody Wants to Call You Sweetheart
  • Kool and the Gang – Amore Amore
  • Bing Crosby – The Woman On Your Arm
  • Shirley Bassey – Isn't It a Shame
  • Nancy Wilson – The Laughter and the Tears
  • Rosemary Clooney – You
  • Petula Clark – Make a time for Lovin'



Year Title Director Notes
1972 Outside In Allen Baron
G.D. Spradin
1973 Snatched Sutton Roley Television film
Executive Action David Miller
Blood Sport Jerrold Freedman Television movie
1983 When Your Lover Leaves Jeff Bleckner Television film
1984 A Doctor's Story Peter Levin Television film
1985 Scandal Sheet David Lowell Rich Television film
Happily Ever After Bill Melendez Television movie
1987 The Chipmunk Adventure Janice Karman
Dennis the Menace Doug Rogers Television film
1988 Feds Daniel Goldberg
Twins Ivan Reitman
1989 Troop Beverly Hills Jeff Kanew
Ghostbusters II Ivan Reitman
1990 Quick Change Howard Franklin
Bill Murray
Come See the Paradise Alan Parker
Kindergarten Cop Ivan Reitman
1991 Drop Dead Fred Ate de Jong
V.I. Warshawski Jeff Kanew
Eyes of an Angel Robert Harmon
Shout Jeffrey Hornaday
1992 My Cousin Vinny Jonathan Lynn
Taking Back My Life: The Nancy Ziegenmeyer Story Harry Winer Television film
Beethoven Brian Levant
The Last of the Mohicans Michael Mann
The Distinguished Gentleman Jonathan Lynn
1993 Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story Rob Cohen
Gettysburg Ronald F. Maxwell
Beethoven's 2nd Rod Daniel
1994 Greedy Jonathan Lynn
Angels in the Outfield William Dear
The Mask Chuck Russell
Pontiac Moon Peter Medak
1995 Billy Madison Tamra Davis
Citizen X Chris Gerolmo Television film
Tall Tale Jeremiah S. Chechik
While You Were Sleeping Jon Turteltaub
The Indian in the Cupboard Frank Oz
The Big Green Holly Goldberg Sloan
1996 Down Periscope David S. Ward
Diabolique Jeremiah S. Chechik
The Quest Jean-Claude Van Damme
Dragonheart Rob Cohen
Daylight Rob Cohen
1997 Anaconda Luis Llosa
Gone Fishin' Christopher Cain
Leave It to Beaver Andy Cadiff
For Richer or Poorer Bryan Spicer
1998 Six Days Seven Nights Ivan Reitman
1999 EDtv Ron Howard
The Hunley John Gray Television film
2000 Passion of Mind Alan Berliner
The Whole Nine Yards Jonathan Lynn
The Skulls Rob Cohen
Shanghai Noon Tom Dey
2001 Head over Heels Mark Waters
China: The Panda Adventure Robert M. Young
Osmosis Jones Farrelly brothers
Who Is Cletis Tout? Chris Ver Wiel
Corky Romano Rob Pritts
Black Knight Gil Junger
2002 A Season on the Brink Robert Mandel
Frank McKlusky, C.I. Arlene Sanford
XXX Rob Cohen
2003 National Security Dennis Dugan
Shanghai Knights David Dobkin
Gods and Generals Ronald F. Maxwell
2004 Connie and Carla Michael Lembeck
Surviving Christmas Mike Mitchell
2005 Son of the Mask Lawrence Guterman
2006 The Last Time Michael Caleo
2007 Underdog Frederik Du Chau
Balls of Fury Robert Ben Garant
2008 27 Dresses Anne Fletcher
The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor Rob Cohen
2010 Leap Year Anand Tucker
2011 The Greening of Whitney Brown Peter Skillman Odiorne
2015 The Boy Next Door Rob Cohen
Leaves of the Tree Ante Novakovic


Year Title Notes
1983 Ryan's Four 6 episodes
1984 CBS Schoolbreak Special episode: All the Kids Do It
1985–87 MacGyver seasons 1–2
1986 Mr. Sunshine episode: Pilot
1988 ABC Afterschool Special episode: A Family Again
1993 The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr. episode: Pilot
2006 The Ten Commandments miniseries


  1. ^ "Edelman, Randy 1947–". Encyclopedia.com. Retrieved 2015-05-22. 
  2. ^ "Randy Edelman". Filmreference.com. Retrieved 28 September 2014. 
  3. ^ Sheff, David. "Jackie Deshannon Wrote the Tune but Randy Edelman Put a Little Love in Her Heart", People, May 5, 1980. Accessed September 27, 2011. "Edelman, in fact, was scarcely 22, just out of Cincinnati's Conservatory of Music and still living part-time in Teaneck, N.J. with his parents (an accountant and a first-grade teacher)."
  4. ^ "Randy Edelman, Merv Griffin, Eminem Among Honorees at BMI Film/TV Awards". bmi.com. Retrieved 2010-10-21. 
  5. ^ "Top 100 Frequently Used Cues". soundtrack.net. Retrieved 2007-08-14. 
  6. ^ Sella, Marshall (July 28, 2002). "The 150-Second Sell, Take 34". New York Times. Retrieved 18 March 2010. 
  7. ^ "1995–1997 NFL on NBC Theme". Ilovewavs.com. Retrieved 28 September 2014. 
  8. ^ UK Chart Stats[dead link]

External links[edit]