23 Apr
Published in Song of 2day
John Barry Prendergast, OBE (3 November 1933 – 30 January 2011)was an English composer and conductor of film music. He composed the scores for 11 of the James Bond films between 1963 and 1987, and also arranged and performed the "James Bond Theme" to the first film in the series, 1962's Dr. No. He wrote the Grammy- and Academy Award-winning scores to the films Dances with Wolves and Out of Africa, as well as the theme for the British television cult series The Persuaders!, in a career spanning over 50 years. In 1999, he was appointed OBE for services to music. Born in York, Barry spent his early years working in cinemas owned by his father. During his national service with the British Army in Cyprus, Barry began performing as a musician after learning to play the trumpet. Upon completing his national service, he formed his own band in 1957, The John Barry Seven. He later developed an interest in composing and arranging music, making his début for television in 1958. He came to the notice of the makers of the first James Bond film Dr. No, who were dissatisfied with a theme for James Bond given to them by Monty Norman. This started a successful association between Barry and Eon Productions that lasted for 25 years. Beat Girl is a 1960 British film about late-fifties youth-rebellion. The film was later released in the United States under the title Wild for Kicks. The title character of Beat Girl was played by starlet Gillian Hills, who later went on to have numerous small roles in 1960s and 1970s films, such as Blowup and A Clockwork Orange, and became a successful "ye-ye" singer in France.[2][3][4][5] Beat Girl marked the first film roles of British pop idol Adam Faith and actor Peter McEnery, although it was not released until after other films featuring Faith (Never Let Go)[6] and McEnery (Tunes of Glory)[7] had already come out. The film also features Christopher Lee and Nigel Green as strip joint operators, and Oliver Reed in a small role as one of the "beat" youth. The original music was composer John Barry's first film commission, and was performed by the John Barry Seven and Orchestra, Adam Faith, and Shirley Anne Field.The Beat Girl soundtrack was the first British soundtrack album to be released on a vinyl LP,and it reached number 11 on the UK Albums Chart, paving the way for the release of other film soundtrack albums.
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