Monday, July 13, 2015

Ernest Gold, 1921-1999

Today marks the birth anniversary of composer Ernest Gold. Gold was one of those many European Jews who made his way to the United States in order to escape the Nazis, or at least he was of enough Jewish descent to want to get out of Vienna after the Germans forced the merger of Austria and Germany.

Gold found work in Hollywood, scoring a bunch of B movies in the 1940s and 1950s until, I think, The Defiant Ones gave him more clout. (At least, that's when his credits start to become much more prestigious.) Gold would win an Oscar just a few years later for his score to Exodus, which has a very well-known theme:

Gold's other extremely recognizable theme would be for It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, with an opening that I think perfectly encapsulates an atmosphere of a circus of bumbling idiots:

Gold was also a serious composer with a piano concerto among other works to his credit. Gold's son, by Marni Nixon, is the late singer-songwriter Andrew Gold, who wrote "Thank You For Being a Friend", and had a top ten hit in the late 1970s called "Lonely Boy" that you can look up yourself.

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