1960 Henry Mancini – Mr. Lucky
At age eight, Henry Mancini worked at mastering the piccolo. His father wanted him to study to become a teacher, but Henry studied piano and writing arrangements for the orchestra. He studied at Julliard School of Music before enlisting in the US Army in 1943. After WW II ended, Henry began playing piano and arranging music for the Glenn Miller Orchestra, which Tex Beneke led after the war.
Blake Edwards began writing and producing the Peter Gunn television show in 1958, and he hired Henry to create the music for the show. RCA Victor released an album of music from Peter Gunn as well as a single of Henry’s version of the theme song, but it was Ray Anthony’s version that hit the charts and reached the top ten in 1959. Blake and Henry enjoyed working together, and they later collaborated on thirty films.
In 1960, Henry created the theme song for another television show, Mr. Lucky. This time his single reached the charts and peaked at #21 on the Hot 100.
In 1961 he worked with Blake on Breakfast At Tiffany’s. His work on that film won two Academy Awards that year, one for the Best Original Song (his single version of Moon River hit the top of the Adult Contemporary chart) and one for the Best Score. Henry won twenty Grammy Awards and four Academy Awards for his music during his career.
Henry created over 90 albums. His most successful single recording came in 1969 from the film Romeo And Juliet. Love Theme from Romeo and Juliet topped both the Hot 100 and the Adult Contemporary charts. Henry played the piano himself on the recording. It was his only single to reach the top ten on the Hot 100.
Henry died in 1994 from complications of pancreatic cancer.
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