Henry Mancini

Biography

Born: April 16, 1924; Cleveland, OH   Died: June 14, 1994; Beverly Hills, CA  
Henry Mancini was not the first composer to introduce jazz elements into film and television scoring, but he was the first to become wildly successful with the public, particularly with the slinky, playful theme for the Pink Panther movies and the brassy, big band sound of the TV series Peter Gunn. Mancini was equally adept at broader, lyrical pop styles, especially in the song "Moon River," the achingly beautiful theme for the film Read more Breakfast at Tiffany's. He won 20 Grammy awards out of 73 nominations and became a familiar public figure as a gentle, avuncular presence on his own syndicated musical TV series and as a frequent guest conductor of orchestral pops concerts.

Young Enrico Nicola Mancini played piccolo and flute with his father in a local Sons of Italy band. In his early teens, he determined to become a film composer and was sent to Pittsburgh to study piano and arranging. Mancini entered Juilliard to study piano in 1942, but within a year was drafted; Glenn Miller arranged for him to play with a service band until he was assigned to combat duty in Europe. Discharged in 1946, Mancini joined the Glenn Miller Orchestra as pianist and arranger. The following year, he followed his wife-to-be to Los Angeles, where he wrote music for bands and radio shows, while bolstering his composition skills through studies with Ernst Krenek and Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco. Mancini landed a job with Universal Pictures in 1952; over the next six years, he worked on 100 films, most of them forgettable low-budget affairs. He made his reputation in 1954, though, with his score for The Glenn Miller Story, which garnered his first Academy Award nomination.

Universal laid Mancini off in 1958, but the composer quickly developed an association with producer Blake Edwards, scoring his TV show Peter Gunn, the theme from which won him a recording contract with RCA. Mancini began issuing extremely popular and award-winning LPs of arrangements of pop and jazz hits, ultimately working on crossover albums with such classical artists as James Galway and Luciano Pavarotti.

Meanwhile, Mancini and Edwards would collaborate on 26 movies between 1960 and 1993. Three of Mancini's most enduring hits came from 1961: "Moon River" from Breakfast at Tiffany's, the similarly lush theme from Days of Wine and Roses, and the playful "Baby Elephant Walk" from Hatari! Despite averaging three film scores a year through the 1980s, Mancini would always be best-remembered for these earliest efforts, along with the theme from 1964's The Pink Panther and perhaps his score for the 1983 TV miniseries The Thorn Birds. He was a more versatile composer than his mainstream fans may think; for example, he adopted an avant-garde style for the 1985 science fiction movie Lifeforce. Mancini's final work was on a stage adaptation of Edwards' Julie Andrews vehicle Victor/Victoria, which originated as a 1982 film and opened on Broadway in 1995, shortly after the composer's death, running more than 700 performances. Read less
Browse 1-25 of 87 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    James Galway - The Complete RCA Album Collection
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 302633 Release Date: 09/16/2014   Number of Discs: 73
    Composer:  Arthur Smith,  Various,  Traditional,  Stan Lebowsky  ... 
    Performer:  James Galway,  Sylvia,  Marisa Robles,  Phillip Moll  ... 
    Conductor:  Claudio Scimone,  Sir Neville Marriner,  Jörg Faerber,  Eduardo Mata  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  I Solisti Veneti,  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields,  Galway Pops Orchestra  ... 
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  • 2.
    A Summer Place /  Amy Dickson
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 304041 Release Date: 08/12/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Max Steiner,  Burt Bacharach,  Michel Legrand,  Paul Desmond  ... 
    Performer:  Amy Dickson,  Vicci Wardman,  Caroline Dale
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  • 3.
    Henry Mancini: Music From Peter Gunn
    Label: Harmonia Mundi   Catalog: 907624 Release Date: 08/12/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Henry Mancini
    Conductor:  Steven Richman
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Harmonie Ensemble / New York
    On sale! $21.98
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  • 4.
    3 Tenors In Concert 1994 [20th Anniversary] CD+DVD
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 633737 Release Date: 05/27/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jules Massenet,  Federico Moreno-Torroba,  Richard Rodgers,  Agustín Lara  ... 
    Performer:  Placido Domingo,  Luciano Pavarotti,  José Carreras,  Placido [Tenor Vocals] Domingo
    Conductor:  Zubin Mehta
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  • 5.
    Play It Again: Classic Sound Of Hollywood
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 303384 Release Date: 04/01/2014   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Franz Waxman,  Dimitri Tiomkin,  Daniele Amfitheatrof,  Erich Wolfgang Korngold  ... 
    Conductor:  Charles Gerhardt,  Maurice Jarre,  Esa-Pekka Salonen,  Elmer Bernstein  ... 
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  • 6.
    Label: Dutton Laboratories/Vocalion   Catalog: 8502 Release Date: 02/11/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Henry Mancini
    Performer:  Henry Mancini,  Monica Mancini,  Tommy Vig,  John Ellis  ... 
    Conductor:  Henry Mancini
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  • 7.
    Trombone Attraction / Tarkovi, Berliner Philharmoniker Brass
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 91218 Release Date: 12/10/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Goff Richards,  Gioachino Rossini,  Dennis Armitage,  Johann Strauss Jr.  ... 
    Performer:  Trombone Attraction,  Leonhard Paul
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  • 8.
    Music For Strings, Percussion And The Rest
    Label: Clavo Records   Catalog: 5638167446 Release Date: 09/10/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Clare Fischer,  Henry Mancini,  Brent Fischer
    Performer:  Clare Fischer,  Gary Foster,  Brent Fischer
    Conductor:  Clare Fischer,  Gary Foster,  Brent Fischer
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  • 9.
    The Golden Age Of Light Music: Cinema Classics
    Label: Guild   Catalog: 5202 Release Date: 07/09/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Max Steiner,  Elmer Bernstein,  Miklós Rózsa,  Richard Addinsell  ... 
    Performer:  Ronnie Aldrich,  Russ Conway
    Conductor:  Cyril Ornadel,  Al Caiola,  Ken Jones,  Billy Vaughn  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Dreamers
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  • 10.
    Best Of Pops / Arthur Fiedler, Boston Pops Orchestra
    Label: Dynamic   Catalog: 3580 Release Date: 07/02/2013   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Jacob Gade,  Leroy Anderson,  Victor Young,  Meredith Willson  ... 
    Conductor:  Arthur Fiedler
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Pops
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  • 11.
    Label: Abc Classics   Catalog: 1139364 Release Date: 06/11/2013   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Ennio Morricone,  John T. Williams,  Howard Shore,  Vangelis  ... 
    Performer:  Diana Doherty,  Mark Ayres,  Sally Herbert,  Roger Woodward  ... 
    Conductor:  Mark Summerbell,  Zubin Mehta,  Nic Raine,  Paul Bateman  ... 
    On sale! $75.99
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  • 12.
    The Golden Age Of Light Music: Melody Mixture
    Label: Guild   Catalog: 5197 Release Date: 06/11/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Dolf van der Linden,  Henry Mancini,  Edward "Duke" Ellington,  Dimitri Tiomkin  ... 
    Performer:  Tommy Reilly
    Conductor:  Ludo Philipp,  Frank Cordell,  Wal-Berg,  Wally Stott  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Fred Hartley Music
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  • 13.
    100 Greatest Tv Themes, Vol. 3
    Label: Silva Screen   Catalog: 1423 Release Date: 06/04/2013   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Christopher Gunning,  Ronnie Hazlehurst,  John M. Keane,  Earle Hagen  ... 
    Performer:  Tara Clark,  Keith Ferreira,  Adam Greenup,  Johnny Griggs  ... 
    Conductor:  Evan Jolly,  James Fitzpatrick
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Music Works,  Michigan Music Works
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  • 14.
    Le Troisieme Homme: Orson Welles Et La Musique
    Label: Milan   Catalog: 3994212 Release Date: 11/06/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Anton Karas,  Bernard Herrmann,  Doris Fisher,  Paul Misraki  ... 
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  • 15.
    American Classics - Bernstein, Gershwin, Mancini / Clamor, Krautwurst, Saxon Wind Philharmonic
    Label: Genuin Musikproduction   Catalog: 12247 Release Date: 07/31/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Leonard Bernstein,  George Gershwin,  Henry Mancini,  Traditional  ... 
    Performer:  Ines Agnes Krautwurst
    Conductor:  Thomas Clamor
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Saxon Wind Philharmonic
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  • 16.
    Let's Dance / Eckert, United States Air Force Band
    Label: Altissimo   Catalog: ALT61652 Release Date: 07/31/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Henry Mancini,  John LaBarbera,  Arthur Johnston,  Edward "Duke" Ellington  ... 
    Conductor:  Joe Eckert
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  United States Air Force Band Airmen of Note
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  • 17.
    Perkin' At Merkin
    Label: Mode   Catalog: 25 Release Date: 07/31/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Iannis Xenakis,  Recorded Sound,  Morton Feldman,  Nils Vigeland  ... 
    Performer:  Michael Pugliese,  Jan Williams,  William Trigg,  Kory Grossman  ... 
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  • 18.
    The Party [original Soundtrack]
    Label: Reel Time   Catalog: 1012 Release Date: 05/08/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Henry Mancini
    Performer:  Henry Mancini,  Ronny Lang,  Bill Plummer,  Shelly Manne  ... 
    Conductor:  Henry Mancini
    On sale! $19.98
    CD: $16.99
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  • 19.
    Australian In Paris
    Label: Abc Classics   Catalog: 4764837 Release Date: 03/06/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Marin Marais,  Claude Debussy,  Spoken Word,  Charles Aznavour  ... 
    Performer:  Jane Rutter,  David Mibus,  Peter Jacob,  Sally Schinkel  ... 
    Conductor:  Sean O'Boyle
    On sale! $43.98
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  • 20.
    The Fabulous Film Themes [3 CD Set]
    Label: United Multimedia   Catalog: 63242 Release Date: 03/06/2012   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Henry Mancini,  Leonard Bernstein,  Francis Lai,  Leonard Rosenman  ... 
    Performer:  London Studio Orchestra
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  • 21.
    John Williams & The Boston Pops - A Celebration
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001649302 Release Date: 02/21/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  John T. Williams,  Vangelis,  Max Steiner,  Henry Mancini  ... 
    Conductor:  John T. Williams
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Pops
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  • 22.
    The Hi-fi Sound Of Orchestra
    Label: Premium Records   Catalog: 27824 Release Date: 01/17/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Max Steiner,  Larry Kusic / Nino Rota,  Stanley Myers,  Andrew Lloyd Webber  ... 
    On sale! $59.98
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  • 23.
    Label: Ars Produktion   Catalog: 381205 Release Date: 01/01/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Danny Elfman,  Paul Lavender,  Carlos Gardel,  Hans Zimmer  ... 
    Performer:  Sergej Synelnikov,  Juliane Sigler
    Conductor:  Stefan Fraas
    SuperAudio CD: $19.99
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  • 24.
    Invitation To Romance
    Label: Opening Day   Catalog: 7412 Release Date: 10/11/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Joseph Kosma,  David Raksin,  Henry Mancini,  Erroll Garner  ... 
    Performer:  Rob Piltch,  Ben Riley,  Doug Riley,  Tom Szczesniak  ... 
    Conductor:  Doug Riley
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  • 25.
    We Dreamed These Days
    Label: Duckhole Records   Catalog: 3194 Release Date: 06/21/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Michel Legrand,  Lionel Bart,  Michael Feinstein,  Leslie Bricusse  ... 
    Performer:  Gary Walters,  Michael Feinstein,  Mark Vinci,  Albie Berk  ... 
    Conductor:  David Bowden
    CD: $15.99
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