Born: March 12, 1912 Died: September 20, 1996
Paul Weston was one of the most diverse and talented arrangers and conductors of the '40s and '50s, moving from mainstream swing and jazz to instrumental easy listening pop in the course of his career. Though he began his career playing hard swing, Weston is the father of mood music -- lush, relaxing instrumental orchestral pop designed to provide a soundtrack to everyday events like romance and dining. His early work arranging for Rudy Vallee and Tommy Dorsey made his reputation. While with Dorsey, he wrote jumping, swinging charts for the band and vocalists like Dinah Shore and Jo Stafford, whom he would marry in the mid-'40s. Adjusting his music to suit the gentler public tastes, Weston released his first album of mood music, Music for Dreaming, in 1945. The album was a major success, and he recorded many albums of smooth, string-laden music for the next five years (prompting the press to coin the term mood music). He moved to Columbia in 1950, continuing to record albums and write arrangements for artists like Sarah Vaughan, Ella Fitzgerald, Dinah Shore, and Doris Day. Weston returned to Capitol by the end of the '50s and stayed throughout the '60s. In the early '70s, Weston and Stafford both retired, later forming a reissue label, Corinthian Records.