Henry Mancini

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About Henry Mancini

Composer Henry Mancini first fell in love with film music at age 11, when a screening of Cecil B. DeMille’s The Crusades left him entranced by Rudolph Kopp’s orchestral score. ∙ During World War II, Glenn Miller recommended Mancini for the 28th Air Force Band. After the war, the Glenn Miller Orchestra hired him as a pianist and arranger. ∙ He got his break in Hollywood making uncredited soundtrack contributions to such B movies as Abbott and Costello Go to Mars and Creature from the Black Lagoon. ∙ He was nominated for 18 Academy Awards, winning 4 of them, including back-to-back Original Song statuettes for “Moon River” and “Days of Wine and Roses.” ∙ While working on Orson Welles’ Touch of Evil, Mancini hired jazz musicians after deciding that Universal’s staff orchestra wasn’t up to the demands of his Latin-flavored score. ∙ Mancini was nominated for 72 Grammy Awards, winning 20 of them. In 1995, the Recording Academy posthumously honored him with a Lifetime Achievement Award. ∙ On their list of the top 25 film scores of the 20th century, the American Film Institute ranked his music for The Pink Panther at #20. ∙ At a time when radio was dominated by rock music, he knocked The Beatles’ “Get Back” off the top of the charts with his instrumental arrangement of Nino Rota’s “Love Theme from ‘Romeo and Juliet.’” ∙ Mancini and Johnny Mercer’s “Moon River” has been recorded by more than 700 artists, including R.E.M., The Killers, and Frank Ocean. ∙ One of his final recordings was an audio-only cameo on the TV sitcom Frasier, portraying a caller to Dr. Frasier Crane’s radio show who can’t stand the sound of his own voice.

Cleveland, OH, United States of America
April 16, 1924