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Tuesday, February 01, 2011

John Barry
Posted by Bob | 4:49 AM
John Barry Dies at 77; Composed for Bond Films

John Barry, whose bold, jazzy scores for “From Russia With Love,” “Goldfinger” and nine other James Bond films put a musical stamp on one of the most successful film franchises of all time, and who won five Academy Awards as a composer for “Born Free,” “Dances With Wolves” and other films, died on Sunday in New York. He was 77.
Wonderful, versatile film composer, came out of London's pre-Beatles pop scene. The Sixties were a great decade for Barry. Scored a number of hip British films in addition to James Bond. Won Academy Awards for song & score for Born Free, & for music for The Lion In Winter. Scored a Brando movie, The Chase; Midnight Cowboy; the underrated western, Monte Walsh. In 1971, Barry composed the music for three of my fav films: They Might Be Giants, with George C. Scott & Joanne Woodward, Murphy's War with Peter O'Toole, & Nicolas Roeg's Walkabout - two kids abandoned in the Australian outback.

Barry also won Oscars for Out of Africa & Dances With Wolves. Given his stature, I was surprised to learn he was nominated only two other times.

The Knack was the first Barry score I knew other than his Bond music. "The Good Times Are Coming" is from Monte Walsh, with lyrics by Hal David, sung on the soundtrack by Mama Cass Elliot. A minor hit for Cass, it should've been nominated for an Oscar (& lost to "Shaft.")

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