Shaw was born in Leicester and attended the Trinity College of Music. He served in the Royal Air Force in World War II leading RAF No 1 Band of the Middle East Forces. Following wartime service he arranged music for Ted Heath, Mantovani and many others. He became an arranger and record producer for Decca Records with his orchestra recording for that label and Phase 4 Stereo. His orchestra performed on the albums Mexico and Westward Ho. In December 1964 his orchestra released a US album of cover versions of Themes from the James Bond Thrillers to coincide with the American release of Goldfinger.
The popularity of Shaw's arrangements of Bond themes led to More Themes from the James Bond Thrillers for the release of Thunderball with tracks from both albums released on a 1965 UK album called James Bond in Action. In 1966, his orchestra released a compilation entitled Themes for Secret Agents. In 1967 Themes from the James Bond Thrillers Vol.3 (released in the UK as More James Bond in Action) followed the release of Casino Royale and You Only Live Twice. Shaw came back in 1971 with a double album The Return of James Bond in Diamonds Are Forever (released as a single album in the UK as The Phase 4 World of Spy Thrillers) for the release of Sean Connery's return as Bond in Diamonds Are Forever. Shaw recruited guitarist Vic Flick to repeat his guitar playing on the Gypsy Camp track. Shaw arranged music for films such as Summer Holiday (1963) and The Secret of My Success (1965), and wrote the score for the Hammer film Straight on Till Morning (1972).
- Dellar, Fred CD Liner Notes James Bond in Action (2008)
- Roland Shaw at the Internet Movie Database
- Shaw at Spaceage Pop
- Shaw's James Bond music recordings
- Shaw's credits, amphonic.com; accessed 13 March 2017.
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