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Henry Mancini

If the recognition of one's peers is the true measure of success, then few men are as successful as composer, arranger, and conductor Henry Mancini. In a career that spanned 40 years, writing for film and television, Mancini won four Oscars and twenty Grammys, the all-time record for a pop artist. For 1961's Breakfast at Tiffany's alone, Mancini won five Grammys and two Oscars. Breakfast at Tiffany's includes the classic "Moon River" (lyrics by Johnny Mercer), arguably one of the finest pop songs of the last 50 years. At last count, there were over 1,000 recordings of it. His other notable songs include "Dear Heart," "Days of Wine and Roses" (one Oscar, two Grammys), and "Charade," the last two with lyrics by Mercer. He also had a number one record and won a Grammy for Nino Rota's "Love Theme From Romeo and Juliet." Among his other notable film scores are The Pink Panther (three Grammys), Hatari! (one Grammy), Victor/Victoria (an Oscar), Two for the Road, Wait Until Dark, and 10. His television themes include "Peter Gunn" (two Grammys, recorded by many rock artists), "Mr. Lucky" (two Grammys), "Newhart," "Remington Steele," and The Thorn Birds television mini-series.

As a child, Mancini learned how to play a variety of musical instruments and as a teenager, he became enamored with jazz and big bands. He began to write arrangements and sent a few to Benny Goodman, who wrote the teenager back, encouraging him to pursue a career in music. Mancini enrolled in the Julliard School of Music in 1942, but his studies were cut short when he served in the military during World War II. After the war, he was hired by Tex Beneke, the leader of the Glenn Miller Orchestra, as a pianist and arranger. In the late '40s, he began writing scores for record and film studios, first for a recording session by the Mel-Tones, which featured his wife Ginny O'Connor, and then the Abbot & Costello film Lost in Alaska, the first movie he scored.

Lost in Alaska led to more film scores, in particular 1954's The Glenn Miller Story and 1956's The Benny Goodman Story, which both showcased his big band roots. Soon, he was working on a large number of films and television, including Orson Welles' Touch of Evil and the TV show Peter Gunn. Mancini's scores frequently straddled the line between jazz and Hollywood dramatics, making his music both distinctive and influential.

Mancini's heyday was the early '60s, when his score for Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961) yielded the Oscar-winning hit single "Moon River," which instantly became a pop standard. The following year, he wrote the music for Days of Wine and Roses, which also won an Oscar for its title song. Throughout the next three decades, he continued to be one of the most successful film composers in the world, as well as a popular concert conductor. He continued working until his death in 1994; just prior to his demise, he was writing the score for the musical adaption of Victor/Victoria.

What kept Mancini's work fresh was his ability to write in almost any style imaginable and his successful experimentations with unusual sounds and instruments. In his 1989 memoir Did They Mention the Music?, Mancini's co-author Gene Lees wrote that "More than any other person, he Americanized film scoring, and in time even European film composers followed in his path," and that Mancini wrote scores that "contained almost as many fully developed song melodies as a Broadway musical." Had he not remained true to his first love, film scoring, Mancini would have more than likely made as large an impact on the Broadway stage as he made on the silver screen. ~ Kenneth M. Cassidy & Stephen Thomas Erlewine
full bio

Selected Discography

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Track List: Ultimate Mancini

1. The Pink Panther Theme (feat. Plas Johnson & Joey DeFrancesco)

2. Charade

3. Two for the Road

4. Moon River (feat. Stevie Wonder & Take 6)

5. Moment To Moment

6. Days Of Wine & Roses

7. Peter Gunn Theme (feat. Tom Scott)

8. Dreamsville (feat. Kenny Rankin)

9. Dear Heart

10. The Thorn Birds Theme

11. Anywhere The Heart Goes (Meggie's Theme)

12. Mr. Lucky (feat. Joey DeFrancesco)

13. Whistling Away The Dark

14. Life In A Looking Glass

15. Crazy World

16. It's Easy To Say

17. Music On The Way

x

Track List: The Best Of Mancini

1. Peter Gunn

2. Timothy

3. Lujon

4. March Of The Cue Balls

5. Fallout

6. Mr. Lucky

7. Moon River

8. Experiment In Terror

9. Baby Elephant Walk

10. Days Of Wine And Roses

11. Theme From Hatari

x

Track List: A Legendary Performer

1. Three by Mancini: Days Of Wine And Roses; Charade; Moon River

2. Love Theme From Romeo & Juliet

3. Two For The Road

4. Moment To Moment

5. Dear Heart

6. Peter Gunn (New Version)

7. Mr. Lucky

8. The Pink Panther Theme

9. Baby Elephant Walk

10. Theme From Hatari

11. Rhapsody In Blue

x

Track List: "10"

2. He Pleases Me

3. Keyboard Harmony

5. Something For Jenny

7. Get It On

9. The Hot Sand Mexican Band

10. I Have An Ear For Love

11. It's Easy To Say (Instrumental)

x

Track List: Breakfast At Tiffany's

x

Track List: The Music From Peter Gunn

1. Peter Gunn

2. Sorta Blue

3. The Brothers Go To Mother's

4. Dreamsville

5. Session At Pete's Pad

6. Soft Sounds

7. Fallout!

8. The Floater

9. Slow And Easy

10. A Profound Gass

11. Brief And Breezy

12. Not From Dixie

13. Walkin' Bass

14. Blue Steel

15. Spook!

16. Blues For Mother's

x

Track List: Touch Of Evil

1. Main Title

2. Borderline Montuna

3. Strollin' Blues

4. Orson Around

5. Reflection

6. Tana's Theme

7. Flashing Nuisance

8. The Boss

10. Rock Me To Sleep

11. The Big Drag

12. Ku Ku

14. Son Of Raunchy

15. Lease Breaker

18. Blue Pianola

19. Something For Susan

20. The Chase

Comments

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I miss you! It breaks my heart to know we'll always be apart.
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John Williams has won 5 Oscars and 22 Grammys.
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My parents enjoyed Mancini, Montavoni, and Percy Faith. These artists were are major part of our lives growing up! Our entire family listened to these masters. Now that my parents have passed on, I yearn for this music because it was especially so meaningful to them. Thank you!
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One of the great greats!
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Mancini is the best relaxation mood music!!$$
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A legend...a musical great. Trmendous!
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Henry Mancini was very hip
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mybirthdayem a i l 2 0 1 4
So soothing! Love it!
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Cadillac of composers! Henry Mancini
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hlore58
What an all time great American composer, the likes of which we may never see again in this genre. Back then, movies hired musicians to develop their own original scores ... not done as much anymore. These were classy decades, decency and beauty reigned.
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Thank you Henry Mancini!
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zambranoj196 8
Megustan todas estas melodias y cansiones por que me transportan a los anos de mi juventud cuando yo estudiaba en la secundaria 18 de marzo en los reyes michoacan
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dragonlady60 8 8
Henry...u r great...Mr.L u c k y Wow
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Lujon - Henry Mancini: Brilliant & moody: Middle of the night, the lights out and you're gazing out the window but seeing nothing but your own thoughts. The cigarette smoke's curling up, she's on your mind.
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I never ever get tired of this man. He was in class by himself. Sheer class and very hip.
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I bought LPs in the 60's still have them and dvd and all still!!!$$$ good music always around....
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Mancini was the finest writer in the jazz/pop fields, able to organize simple notes into gorgeous melodies. Through my acquaintance with the late Al Cobine, who contracted the sidemen for most of the Mancini concert tours and played tenor in the orchestra, including the famous solo in The Pink Panther, I was able to provide buses for a number of the tours during the 60's, usually driving the bus myself. Got to see many of the concerts that way. Still listen to Henry Mancini on a daily basis
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Moon River ....a view of water and seductive moonlight... . i n the dark of a beach with lovers...
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Holly - Henry Mancini: obviously not one of his important songs yet it still has that sophisticati o n of which Henry was the master.
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I treasure all of his music and am proud to say that I have LPs and CDs of all of his recorded music. I was very fortunate to hear and meet Mancini and Johnny Mathis on tour with their Hollywood Music show in Dallas, Texas
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I have many of his albums on vinyl :)
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I went to an outstanding tribute to Mancini in January.It featured his daughter and his namesake orchestra.It was at the new performing arts center in Orlando, Fl. Simply AMAZING TALENT !!!!!!!!!!!!
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Mr. Lucky is Mr. Fabulous!
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ssmyth2124
Pink panther is the best
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linda.rae301
Love all his music but my favorite song of any is Mr. Mancini's "Moment To moment" & the lyrics are are the way I feel about someone very special I lost almost 4 yrs ago.
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ssmyth2124
I love pink panther
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ssmyth2124
Love it
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Mr. Mancini is the Where and Why. Thanks Hank... I've always wanted to say that...(smil e ) .
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mmchenry47
Truly enjoyable.
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Love it.
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linda.rae301
First heard His music more then 60 yrs. ago he was my favorite back then & always will be. Saw him live @ the Hult Center it was so great!
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The absolute best!
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Ahhh...Manci n i . Moon River...one of my all-time favorites.
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I have used the theme from Peter Gunn in addition to practicing certain Italian movements
in fencing (swordsmansh i p ) within a controlled environment.
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Didn't he also write the theme for the TV show --What's Happening--? ?
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To say I love his music is an understateme n t . He is my absolute favor modern composer. Wish he was still with us. Moon River deeply moving. Great, wonderful, fun, uplifting, his music touches every human emotion. Could listen 24Hrs. and do!! Thank you Mr. Mancini.
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FANTASTIC!
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love Pandora-- listen while I am working!!!!! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !
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soothing- relaxing!!
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Walt Sugalski Henry Mancini is the greatest, but so is Bert Kaempfert!
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Dreamsville - Henry Mancini (from The Peter Gunn album): The title says it all - Dreamsville. - love it
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I LOVE the pink panther theme!! Fun to play on guitar, but never anywhere as good as the big band thing...
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Haunting drums and a edge of wild undertow in this theme music. So cool...
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Great
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Mancini..... . . w o w !
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Never another mancini..... . . . . . . !
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I used to call my husband, Edgar's father, Mr Lucky
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He is a greater composer
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Charade was also a fave own that movie also......ma n c i n i is one of the greats.....
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Love this song........ a n d I own the movie!
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