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Hugo Winterhalter & His Orchestra

Easy listening arranger and composer Hugo Winterhalter was born August 15, 1909 in Wilkes-Barre, PA, later studying violin and reed instruments at the New England Conservatory of Music. After graduating, he taught school for several years before turning professional during the mid-'30s, serving as a sideman and arranger for Count Basie, Tommy Dorsey, Raymond Scott, Claude Thornhill, and others. Winterhalter also arranged and conducted sessions for singers including Dinah Shore and Billy Eckstine, and in 1948 he was named musical director at MGM. After a two-year stint with the label, he moved to Columbia, where he scored a hit with his orchestral reading of "Blue Christmas."

In 1950, Winterhalter signed on with RCA Victor, where he arranged sessions for acts including Eddie Fisher, Perry Como, and the Ames Brothers; he also headlined a series of instrumental albums, among them 1952's Great Music Themes of Television, one of the first collections of TV theme songs ever recorded. Other LPs included

The Two Sides of Hugo Winterhalter (reflecting both his big-band and light-classical interests), Big and Sweet with a Beat, and a series of Hugo Winterhalter Goes albums, which explored various international styles. Winterhalter also notched a series of chart hits, including "Blue Tango," "Vanessa," "The Little Shoemaker," and "Song of the Barefoot Contessa"; with pianist Eddie Heywood, he even reached the number two spot with 1956's "Canadian Sunset."

Winterhalter remained on the RCA payroll until 1963, at which time he jumped to Kapp; that same year, he also penned the main title theme for the film Diamond Head. At Kapp he recorded a handful of albums including The Best of '64 and its follow-up, The Big Hits of 1965, before exiting the label to work on Broadway. He later worked in television as well, and continued recording the occasional LP for budget labels including Musicor. Winterhalter died in Greenwich, CT on September 17, 1973. ~ Jason Ankeny, Rovi
full bio

Comments

Wonderful music i miss it! I was a kid in high school when I first heard 'Blue Violins' and I loved it. I couldn't get that 'sound' and name of the leader out of my mind. That's been for more than 60 years. I kept searching and remembered the name Hugo and I found it. Fantastic type of my music. Memories -memories!
jeb19488
Like the Air Force guy in SE Asia, I was introduced to Andre K on Armed Forces Radio (probably by John Doremus).
tuck.r.04
I LIKE THIS KIND OF MUSIC BUT ALREADY IS ON ANOTHER STATION, THIS IS SUPPOSE TO BE ONLY POLKA MUSIC !!!!!! THANK YOU
strtrodder49
Loved his music when I served in the Air Force in Southeast Asia - still love it today, 50-years later.
LOVE THIS MUSIC....... H A T E THE MUSIC OF TODAY
gooddoggie5
I've been there to see it this summer...it' s everything it promised
'Canadian Sunset' - one of my all-time favorite compositions by Hugo Winterhalter . This is SOOooooo hard to beat! And, an American favorite.
jeanjacque2
........the ultimate in Lite FM.
Very Soooooooothi n g
Hugo Winterhalter has recorded some great music, especially "Blue Violins" which would be nice to hear.

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