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Johnny Mandel, composer who wrote ‘M*A*S*H’ theme music, lifeless at 94

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Johnny Mandel, the Oscar- and Grammy-winning songwriter of “The Shadow of Your Smile,” “Emily” and the theme from “M*A*S*H,” has died. He was 94.

“I used to be so unhappy to study {that a} hero of mine, Johnny Mandel, handed away,” wrote Michael Buble on Twitter. “He was a genius and considered one of my favourite writers, arrangers, and personalities. He was a beast.”

“An expensive buddy and extraordinary composer arranger and all-around good expertise, Johnny Mandel, simply handed away,” wrote Michael Feinstein on Fb. “The world won’t ever be fairly the identical with out his humor, wit and wry view of life and the human situation. He was actually past examine, and no one may write or organize the way in which he did. Lord will we miss him. Let’s rejoice him along with his music! He would really like that.”


Honoree Johnny Mandel attends the 41st Annual Songwriters Hall of Fame Ceremony at The New York Marriott Marquis on June 17, 2010 in New York City.

Honoree Johnny Mandel attends the 41st Annual Songwriters Corridor of Fame Ceremony at The New York Marriott Marquis on June 17, 2010 in New York Metropolis. (Getty)

Mandel was thought of one of many most interesting arrangers of the second half of the 20th century, offering elegant orchestral charts for a variety of vocalists together with Frank Sinatra, Peggy Lee, Barbra Streisand, Michael Jackson, Tony Bennett, Natalie Cole and Hoagy Carmichael.

Mandel scored greater than 30 movies throughout his Hollywood profession, together with the 1960s movies “The Americanization of Emily” (from which the hit music “Emily” emerged), “The Sandpiper” (which contained “The Shadow of Your Smile,” incomes an Oscar and a Grammy for Music of the 12 months together with lyricist Paul Francis Webster), “Harper,” “An American Dream” (which included the Oscar-nominated music “A Time for Love”), “The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming” and “Level Clean.”

In 1970 he scored “M*A*S*H,” which required a music that he cobbled collectively from a lyric by director Robert Altman’s 15-year-old son Michael. That tune, “Suicide Is Painless,” later turned, in instrumental type, the theme for the long-running TV sequence and considered one of his most well-known works.


His later movie scores included “Summer season Needs, Winter Desires,” “The Final Element,” “The Sailor Who Fell From Grace With the Sea,” “Agatha” (together with the music “Shut Sufficient for Love,” now a regular), “Being There,” “Caddyshack,” “Deathtrap” and “The Verdict.”

Along with the theme from “M*A*S*H,” he composed the themes for TV’s “Banyon” and “Too Shut for Consolation” in addition to scores for such sequence as “Markham” and “Chrysler Theatre.” He earned Emmy nominations for his 1980s TV-movie scores “A Letter to Three Wives,” “LBJ: The Early Years” and “Foxfire.” His different telefilms as composer included “Evita Peron,” “Christmas Eve” and “Kaleidoscope.”

Mandel was born in New York Metropolis. He performed the trumpet as a younger teen and, fascinated by the completely different sounds of the large bands he admired within the late ’30s and early ’40s, he started finding out arranging with prime arranger Van Alexander (who had written “A-Tisket, A-Tasket” for Ella Fitzgerald). He at all times credited Alexander for launching his profession as an arranger.

As a trumpeter, he performed for Joe Venuti’s band; after switching devices to trombone, he performed within the swing bands of Henry Jerome, Boyd Raeburn, Jimmy Dorsey, Buddy Wealthy, Alvino Rey and Rely Basie throughout the late 1940s and early ’50s.


He completed his musical schooling on the Manhattan College of Music and Juilliard in New York, then started arranging for different bands together with these of Woody Herman, Artie Shaw, Elliot Lawrence and Chet Baker.

In the course of the early 1950s, Mandel was one of many arrangers for Sid Caesar’s dwell, New York-based 90-minute selection TV sequence “Your Present of Reveals.” Mandel moved to California within the late 1950s and started composing for movies, together with a landmark jazz rating for “I Need to Stay,” starring Susan Hayward, in 1958.

He obtained the Golden Rating Award from the American Society of Music Arrangers and Composers in 1996; was inducted into the Songwriters Corridor of Fame in 2010; and named a Jazz Grasp by the Nationwide Endowment for the Arts in 2011.

His 5 Grammys included two for “The Sandpiper” (1965, music and rating) and arranging honors for albums by Quincy Jones (1981), Natalie Cole (“Unforgettable,” 1991) and Shirley Horn (1992).

All through his film-scoring interval (1958-1990) and past, Mandel continued to rearrange for main artists together with Mel Torme, Anita O’Day, Nancy Wilson, Diana Krall, Michael Bolton, Barry Manilow and Manhattan Switch. He additionally served on ASCAP’s board of administrators for a few years.

He’s survived by his daughter, Marissa.

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