The Info List - David Raksin

David Raksin (August 4, 1912 – August 9, 2004) was an American composer who was renowned for his work in film and television. With over 100 film scores and 300 television scores to his credit, he became known as the "Grandfather of Film Music."[1]


1 Biography 2 Selected film and TV scores 3 Work on Broadway 4 See also 5 Footnotes 6 External links

6.1 Interviews

Biography[edit] David Raksin was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
in 1912. His father was an orchestra conductor. Raksin played professionally in dance bands while attending Central High School of Philadelphia. He went on to study composition with Harl McDonald at the University of Pennsylvania
and later with Isadore Freed in New York and Arnold Schoenberg in Los Angeles. In New York Raksin worked as an arranger for Harms/Chappell. One of his earliest film assignments was as assistant to Charlie Chaplin in the composition of the score to Modern Times (1936). He is perhaps best remembered for his score for the film Laura (1944). The theme music for the film, "Laura", with the addition of lyrics by Johnny Mercer, became a major hit. During Raksin's lifetime, "Laura" was said to be the second most-recorded song in history following "Stardust" by Hoagy Carmichael
Hoagy Carmichael
and Mitchell Parish. Raksin's theme song "The Bad and the Beautiful" (also called "Love is For the Very Young") for the 1953 film The Bad and the Beautiful (1953) was also a hit, although not as popular as "Laura". Raksin insisted that the song be released as an instrumental because he had resented having to split the proceeds from "Laura" with a lyricist. Raksin's theme for "The Bad and the Beautiful" was initially disliked by the film's director Vincente Minnelli
Vincente Minnelli
and producer John Houseman, but was saved from rejection by the intervention of Adolph Green
Adolph Green
and Betty Comden, who both liked it. The theme has since been praised by Stephen Sondheim, Leonard Rosenman, Richard Rodney Bennett, and Alexander Courage. Sondheim reportedly called it "one of the best themes ever written in films". In the 1960s, Raksin wrote the theme song for (and scored the pilot of) the medical drama television series Ben Casey. Later in life, Raksin taught at the University of Southern California
University of Southern California
and the University of California, Los Angeles. Raksin died in 2004, aged 92. At the time of his death, it was announced that Raksin had completed his autobiography, titled If I Say So Myself.[2] The book was eventually published under the title The Bad and the Beautiful: My Life in a Golden Age of Film Music. In 2012, he was named for a Lifetime Achievement Award for a Past Film Composer.[3] His son Alex is a Pulitzer Prize
Pulitzer Prize
winning editorial writer for the Los Angeles Times.[4] Selected film and TV scores[edit]

The Day After
The Day After
(1983) The Ghost of Flight 401
The Ghost of Flight 401
(1978) What's the Matter with Helen?
What's the Matter with Helen?
(1971) The Over-the-Hill Gang Rides Again
The Over-the-Hill Gang Rides Again
(1970) Will Penny (1968) A Big Hand for the Little Lady
A Big Hand for the Little Lady
(1966) Sylvia (1965) Invitation to a Gunfighter (1964) The Patsy (1964) Two Weeks in Another Town
Two Weeks in Another Town
(1962) Too Late Blues
Too Late Blues
(1961) Ben Casey
Ben Casey
(1961) TV Series Two Faces West (1960) TV Series Al Capone (1959) Separate Tables (1958) Until They Sail
Until They Sail
(1957) Man on Fire (1957) 20 Million Miles to Earth
20 Million Miles to Earth
(1957) The Vintage
The Vintage
(1957) Hellcats of the Navy
Hellcats of the Navy
(1957) Hilda Crane
Hilda Crane
(1956) Jubal (1956) Seven Wonders of the World (1955) (with Sol Kaplan, Jerome Moross, Emil Newman) The Big Combo
The Big Combo
(1955) Suddenly (1954) "Serenade" from 'The Unicorn in the Garden' (1957 T.V.) Apache (1954) The Bad and the Beautiful
The Bad and the Beautiful
(1952) Madeline (cartoon) (1952) Carrie (1952) Pat and Mike
Pat and Mike
(1952) It's a Big Country (1951) Across the Wide Missouri (1951) The Next Voice You Hear...
The Next Voice You Hear...
(1950) The Magnificent Yankee (1950) Whirlpool (1949) Force of Evil
Force of Evil
(1948) Superman (1948) Daisy Kenyon
Daisy Kenyon
(1947) Forever Amber (1947) The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (1947) Fallen Angel (1945) Laura (1944) Tampico (1944) Something to Shout About (1943) City Without Men (1943) The Men in Her Life
The Men in Her Life
(1941) The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (1939) Stanley and Livingstone
Stanley and Livingstone
(1939) The Hound of the Baskervilles (1939) Suez (1938) Modern Times (arranger) (1936)

Work on Broadway[edit]

Thumbs Up! (1934) - revue - co-orchestrator Parade (1935) - revue - co-orchestrator At Home Abroad
At Home Abroad
(1935) - revue - co-orchestrator New Faces of 1936 (1936) - revue - co-orchestrator If the Shoe Fits (1946) - musical - composer Dream (1997) - revue - featured songwriter for "Laura"

See also[edit]

The Film Music Society


^ OBITUARY: David Raksin, 92, Grandfather of Film Music Archived 2007-09-30 at the Wayback Machine. Published: August 11, 2004 ^ " David Raksin Dead at 92". The Film Music Society. 2004. . ^ [1] ^ Schott & Co. Ltd. recorder score RMS 850 (1957)

External links[edit]

David Raksin on IMDb David Raksin at the Internet Broadway Database
Internet Broadway Database
Brief biography from Otherminds.org David Raksin Centennial Tribute Obituary The New York Times
The New York Times
(August 11, 2004)


Streaming audio interview with Raksin, by Charles Amirkhanian, January 28, 1988 David Raksin interview by Bruce Duffie, May 1988

v t e

Saturn Award for Best Music

Bernard Herrmann
Bernard Herrmann
(1973) Miklós Rózsa (1974/75) David Raksin (1976) John Williams/ John Williams
John Williams
(1977) John Williams
John Williams
(1978) Miklós Rózsa (1979) John Barry (1980) John Williams
John Williams
(1981) John Williams
John Williams
(1982) James Horner
James Horner
(1983) Jerry Goldsmith
Jerry Goldsmith
(1984) Bruce Broughton (1985) Alan Menken
Alan Menken
(1986) Alan Silvestri
Alan Silvestri
(1987) Christopher Young
Christopher Young
(1988) Alan Silvestri
Alan Silvestri
(1989/90) Loek Dikker
Loek Dikker
(1991) Angelo Badalamenti (1992) Danny Elfman
Danny Elfman
(1993) Howard Shore
Howard Shore
(1994) John Ottman
John Ottman
(1995) Danny Elfman
Danny Elfman
(1996) Danny Elfman
Danny Elfman
(1997) John Carpenter
John Carpenter
(1998) Danny Elfman
Danny Elfman
(1999) James Horner
James Horner
(2000) John Williams
John Williams
(2001) Danny Elfman
Danny Elfman
(2002) Howard Shore
Howard Shore
(2003) Alan Silvestri
Alan Silvestri
(2004) John Williams
John Williams
(2005) John Ottman
John Ottman
(2006) Alan Menken
Alan Menken
(2007) James Newton Howard
James Newton Howard
and Hans Zimmer
Hans Zimmer
(2008) James Horner
James Horner
(2009) Hans Zimmer
Hans Zimmer
(2010) Michael Giacchino
Michael Giacchino
(2011) Danny Elfman
Danny Elfman
(2012) Frank Ilfman
Frank Ilfman
(2013) Hans Zimmer
Hans Zimmer
(2014) John Williams
John Williams
(2015) Justin Hurwitz
Justin Hurwitz

Note: The years are listed as per convention, usually the year of film release; the ceremonies are usually held the next year.

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 29723599 LCCN: n85199764 ISNI: 0000 0003 6854 8841 GND: 129251445 SUDOC: 059658827 BNF: cb139485577 (data) MusicBrainz: 19ed316f-b1f2-4b6e-b6e4-31bbecb197b1 BNE: XX1052987 SN