Johnny Mandel was among the many final of the good songwriters to emerge within the pre-rock ‘n’ roll period, his profession courting again to the 1940s
Johnny Mandel, the Oscar — and Grammy — successful composer, arranger, and musician who labored on albums by Frank Sinatra, Natalie Cole, and lots of others and whose songwriting credit included ‘The Shadow of Your Smile‘ and the theme from the movie and TV present M*A*S*H,” has died. He was 94.
Mandel died Monday of a cardiac ailment at his residence in Ojai, California, in response to Lauren Iossa, govt vice chairman, and chief advertising officer of ASCAP. Mandel served on the ASCAP board of administrators from 1989-2011.
“Giant. Genius. Gentleman. There are many ways to describe the legendary composer Johnny Mandel. His incredible music spanned decades, mediums, oceans and firmly established him in the American Songbook canon,” ASCAP Chairman and President Paul Williams mentioned in tribute.
Mandel was among the many final of the good songwriters to emerge within the pre-rock ‘n’ roll period, his profession courting again to the 1940s, and he loved an extended and numerous profession. He performed trombone and trumpet with such huge band and jazz artists as Jimmy Dorsey and Count Basie and spent two years within the 1950s arranging music for Sid Caesar’s landmark TV sketch program Your Show of Shows. He collaborated on songs with Johnny Mercer, Paul Williams, and the husband and spouse crew Alan and Marilyn Bergman. Artists recording his materials ranged from Marvin Gaye to Stan Getz to Barbra Streisand.
He even labored on the soundtrack for Caddyshack.
“I don’t have a method or a style, and I never wanted one,” Mandel mentioned throughout a 2010 interview with The National Endowment for the Arts, which the next 12 months gave him a Jazz Masters award for lifetime achievement. “Some guys really try to have a style. I just work with what’s there and try to do the best with what’s there.”
As an arranger, Mandel labored with a few of the best singers of his time. When Sinatra launched his personal label, Reprise Records, in 1960 he selected Mandel to rearrange his first album there, the exuberant Ring-a-Ding-Ding! In the early 1990s, Cole referred to as upon him for her Grammy-winning smash Unforgettable, which featured duets with tapes of her late father (and Sinatra’s buddy), Nat King Cole.
In latest years he contributed preparations for Streisand’s Love Is the Answer and Tony Bennett’s The Art of Romance. Decades earlier, Bennett sang a memorable cowl of The Shadow of Your Smile, the theme from the Richard Burton-Elizabeth Taylor film The Sandpiper. The Mandel-Paul Francis Webster ballad received a Grammy in 1966 for tune of the 12 months, topping the Beatles’ Yesterday amongst others, and acquired an Oscar for finest authentic tune.
Mandel additionally helped write soundtracks for Being There, I Want to Live! and The Americanization of Emily, and songs originating from his movie work included the Oscar-nominated A Time for Love and the Golden Globe-nominated Molly and Lawless John.
His most generally heard composition was probably ‘Suicide is Painless,’ the droll theme from Robert Altman’s Korean War satire M*A*S*H, and later for the hit TV present that starred Alan Alda. In a 2008 interview with the weblog JazzWax, Mandel defined that Altman had requested him to give you a tune and made two requests: Call it ‘Suicide is Painless‘ and make it as silly as doable.
“I said to myself, ‘Well I can do stupid,’” Mandel recalled, including that Altman introduced in further assist for the lyrics.
“Bob was going to take a shot at the lyrics. But he came back two days later and said, ‘I’m sorry but there’s just too much stuff in this 45-year-old brain. I can’t write anything nearly as stupid as what we need.’ Bob said, ‘All is not lost. I’ve got a 15-year-old kid who’s a total idiot.’ So Michael Altman, at age 15, wrote the lyrics, and then I wrote the music to them.”
Mandel was born in New York City in 1925, and credited a few of his ardour for music to his mom, Hannah, an opera singer. Aware from an early age he had excellent pitch, he studied on the Manhattan School of Music and the Juilliard School. By the 1940s, he was writing preparations and performing with such stars as drummer Buddy Rich and such unlikely musicians as saxophonist Alan Greenspan, the longer term chairman of the Federal Reserve.
Mandel was primarily a melodist and would hunt down lyricists for his songs. For ‘The Shadow of Your Smile,’ he went first to Mercer, with whom he had written ‘Emily‘ from ‘The Americanization of Emily.’ But Mercer turned him down, worrying that the tune sounded an excessive amount of like ‘New Orleans,’ by Mercer’s buddy Hoagy Carmichael. ‘Shadow of Your Smile‘ turned a regular, and Mercer would lengthy remorse his resolution.
“Years later, he and Hoagy have been ingesting at a celebration or one thing, and Hoagy mentioned, “There’s one thing I meant to ask you for a very long time. Why didn’t you write the lyrics to ‘The Shadow of Your Smile?’” Mandel advised the NEA. “He (Mercer) told him, ‘I didn’t want to do this to you,’ and Hoagy said, ‘I never noticed.’”
Mandel was predeceased by his spouse, Martha, and survived by his daughter, Marissa Mandel, and her spouse, Lauren Johnson.
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