About Blake Neely
With shows such as Everwood, The Mentalist, and Arrow to his credit, Emmy-nominated television and film composer Blake Neely combines electronic and symphonic elements in his suspenseful scores. Neely rose through the ranks in Hollywood during the early 2000s as an orchestrator for the likes of Michael Kamen and Vangelis and as a conductor for Hans Zimmer. His first scripted television show as main composer was 2004's Jack & Bobby. He'd added over dozen more series to his resumé by the time he joined the DC Comics franchise with Arrow in 2012. Shows including The Flash, Supergirl, and Batwoman followed throughout the decade as Neely became more and more associated with high-contrast, percussive music. Scoring the occasional feature film along the way, he composed the music for the Tom Hanks action vehicle Greyhound in 2020. Neely has also made a name for himself in the music-instruction space, publishing books including Piano for Dummies.
Born in Paris, Texas, Neely began tinkering on the family piano at the age of four. His parents arranged for lessons, and he soon started writing his own short songs. By the time he saw Star Wars at the age of eight, he knew he wanted to be a composer. Neely played the French horn beginning in middle school, bought his first synthesizer at the age of 14, and played drums in a couple rock bands during high school. After a piano audition, he was not accepted into the music school at the University of Texas, but enrolled and got a summer internship in the film music department at Disney Studios while majoring in linguistics. That led to his first job after graduating, at Disney's Hollywood Records.
Neely found freelance work writing music instruction books for Hal Leonard beginning in 1996, the same year he began orchestrating for his mentor, Michael Kamen. That led to work for composers such as Vangelis and Hans Zimmer, and by the turn of the millennium, he was collecting steady credits for additional music, conducting, and orchestrating for films such as The Iron Giant (1999), Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003), and Catwoman (2004).
In the meantime, Neely netted a job as main composer for the TV drama Everwood (2002-2006). The show's theme earned him an Emmy nomination in 2003. Around that time, he also wrote the scores for several short films and History Channel documentaries before landing feature-length films such as the Forest Whitaker-directed First Daughter (2004) and the romantic comedy The Wedding Date (2005). While he continued to score the occasional film, Neely's television workload picked up considerably with series including but not limited to Brothers & Sisters (2006-2011), The Mentalist (2008-2015), and, beginning in 2012, Arrow, his first DC Comics superhero series. He also collected two more Emmy nominations, for the 2010 miniseries The Pacific (with Zimmer and Geoff Zanelli) and for the pilot episode of Pan Am (2011-2012).
Neely went on to compose for the concurrent DC Comics shows The Flash and Supergirl, which premiered in 2014 and 2015, respectively. After joining the crew of teen drama Riverdale in 2017, he added the series Batwoman and DC's Legends of Tomorrow to his assignments. Meanwhile, many of the DC shows received season-by-season soundtrack releases by La-La Land Records. In 2020, Neely provided the score for Greyhound, a Tom Hanks screen adaptation of C.S. Forester's World War II novel The Good Shepherd. ~ Marcy Donelson
BORNApril 28, 1969