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Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Sonny Burke born 22 March 1914


Sonny Burke (born Joseph Francis Burke; March 22, 1914, Scranton, Pennsylvania – May 31, 1980) was an accomplished musical arranger, composer, big band leader and producer.
Burke studied violin and piano from age 5. An All-State fullback during his high school days, he continued his music studies at Duke University in North Carolina, where he formed and led the jazz big band known as the Duke Ambassadors.
After freelancing as an arranger for the bands of Charles "Buddy" Rogers, Joe Venuti and Xavier Cugat, Burke moved to New York in 1938. During 1939 and 1940 he toured with a big, swinging orchestra of his own.
After freelancing as an arranger for the bands of Charles "Buddy" Rogers, Joe Venuti and Xavier Cugat, Burke moved to New York in 1938. During 1939 and 1940 he toured with a big, swinging orchestra of his own. In the 1940s he wrote for Charlie Spivak, Jimmy Dorsey and Gene Krupa.
Moving to Hollywood, he began to work steadily as a composer, arranger, producer and/or musical director for Warner Bros., Reprise, Decca and MCA Records, and on various motion picture and television assignments. In 1950, he had a hit record of his own, "Mambo Jambo."
 


In 1955 he wrote, along with Peggy Lee, the songs to Disney's Lady and the Tramp. He also wrote songs with John Elliot for Disney's Toot, Whistle, Plunk and Boom, which won the 1953 Oscar for Best Short Animated Feature.
He wrote the music for number of popular songs that continue to be regarded as standards. These include, "Black Coffee", with lyric by Paul Francis Webster, and "Midnight Sun", co-written with jazz vibraphonist Lionel Hampton. The song's famous lyrics were added later by Johnny Mercer. Burke was an active arranger, conductor and A&R man at major Hollywood recording studios, especially Decca Records where he worked with Charles "Bud" Dant. He also wrote and arranged the theme for the early 1960s television show Hennesey, a jazzy update of the Sailor's Hornpipe.
Later Burke became musical director of Reprise Records and was responsible for many of Frank Sinatra's albums, and was producer of Sinatra's iconic recording of "My Way". He was also bandleader for recordings of leading singers such as Dinah Shore, Bing Crosby, The Andrews Sisters, The Mills Brothers, Ella Fitzgerald and Mel Tormé.

He was one of the original founders of NARAS, is credited with the formation of the Grammy Awards, and served on the original selection committee.
He died of cancer on May 31, 1980, aged 66, in Santa Monica, California. He was survived by his wife Dorothy Gillis Burke and four children, Gaylord, Peter and twins Jerry and Tom Burke. His interment was at Holy Cross Cemetery, Culver City.
(Info mainly Wikipedia)
 

5 comments:

boppinbob said...

I have a double album of Sonny Burke - The Mambo Jambo Man.
Let me know if you want a link.

Oldman said...

Please send me a link for Sonny Burke. Thanks. Oldman

boppinbob said...

For Sonny Burke – Mambo Jambo Man CD1 go here:

http://www23.zippyshare.com/v/73DBorzj/file.html

CD2 go here:

http://www39.zippyshare.com/v/J83z6ob3/file.html

Track listing and artwork in zip 1

Oldman said...

Thank you very much for Sonny Burke links. Oldman

Kevin said...

Thanks!