Thursday, March 4, 2010

RIP Nathan Scott

Nathan Scott, a film and television composer whose credits included "Wake of the Red Witch" and TV's "Dragnet" and "Lassie," died of age-related causes Feb. 27 at his home in Sherman Oaks, Calif. He was 94.

The father of Grammy-winning saxophonist Tom Scott, Nathan Scott amassed more than 850 credits as a composer, orchestrator and conductor in television and 100 more in films.

He was born in Salinas, Calif., and graduated with a music degree from UC Berkeley in 1939.

He found work in radio, and in 1942, he was named West Coast music director for the NBC-owned Blue Network; shortly thereafter, he was inducted into the Army, where he conducted and arranged on such Armed Forces Radio Service shows as "Command Performance."

Scott was hired in 1946 as a staff composer by Republic Pictures, where he composed, orchestrated and/or conducted dozens of scores, including "Wake of the Red Witch" and "Heart of the Rockies." Later credits for other studios included scores for "Montana Belle" and "X-15."

Scott spent most of his career working in television. Beginning in 1952, he arranged and orchestrated for original "Dragnet" composer Walter Schumann, later taking over as composer on the Jack Webb series. He scored episodes of "Steve Canyon," "Wagon Train," "Rawhide," "The Untouchables," "My Three Sons" and other series of the 1950s and 1960s.

He scored two "Twilight Zones," including the classic 1960 episode "A Stop at Willoughby," and wrote the theme for the 1964 political drama "Slattery's People." He began working on "Lassie" in 1963 and scored nearly all of its episodes through 1973.

He penned choral arrangements for several "Voices of Walter Schumann" LPs on the Capitol and RCA labels. He also arranged choral numbers for Tennessee Ernie Ford's variety show and for albums by gospel singer George Beverly Shea.

In the 1970s, Scott returned to orchestrating for other composers, including son Tom Scott ("Hanky Panky"), Quincy Jones ("The Color Purple") and Stu Phillips ("Battlestar Galactica," "The Fall Guy").

In addition to son Tom, he is survived by his second wife, Frances McCune Scott; a daughter; a brother; and two grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held at a later date.

SCOTT, Nathan George
Born: 5/11/1915, Salinas, California, U.S.A.
Died: 2/27/2010, Sherman Oaks, California, U.S.A.

Nathan Scott's westerns – composer:
Out California Way – 1946
Saddle Pals – 1947
Robin Hood of Texas – 1947
Wyoming – 1947
Old Los Angeles – 1948
The Timber Trail – 1948
Sons of Adventure – 1948
Angel in Exile – 1948
Grand Canyon Trail – 1948
Ghost of Zorro – 1949
Susanna Pass – 1949
Brimstone – 1949
The Golden Stallion – 1949
Singing Guns – 1950
The Arizona Cowboy – 1950
Covered Wagon Road – 1950
Surrender – 1950
Trail of Robin Hood – 1950
California Passage – 1950
Rough Riders of Durango – 1951
Night Riders of Montana – 1951
Heart of the Rockies – 1951
Thunder in God's Country – 1951
Arizona Manhunt – 1951
The Last Musketeer – 1952
Oklahoma Annie – 1952
Wild Horse Ambush – 1952
Montana Belle – 1952
Laramie (TV) – 1959, 1960, 1961, 1962
Gunsmoke (TV) – 1960, 1961, 1963, 1964
Have Gun – Will Travel (TV) – 1960, 1961, 1962, 1963
Rawhide (TV) – 1962, 1963, 1964
The Virginian (TV) – 1963

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