Monday, October 17, 2011

RIP Pete Rugolo

Composer Pete Rugolo dies at 95
Emmy winner worked on "Kiss Me Kate," TV themes
By Andrew Barker

Emmy- and Grammy-winning TV-film composer and jazz arranger Pete Rugolo, who worked on the MGM musical "Kiss Me Kate," died in Sherman Oaks, Calif., on Sunday. He was 95.
The Sicilian-born Rugolo first made his name as a composer and arranger for the Stan Kenton Orchestra in the 1940s, for whom he wrote more than 100 compositions. He spent two years as musical director of Capitol Records in the late '40s, producing Harry Belafonte's first singles.

Rugolo collaborated with Peggy Lee, Charlie Parker, Benny Goodman and the Four Freshmen throughout his multi-decade career, and provided Miles Davis' seminal LP "Birth of the Cool" with its title.

He worked for MGM for the first half of the 1950s as a staff composer, arranging and composing for studio musicals including "Kiss Me Kate," while also recording on his own for Mercury Records, where he later served as an A&R director.

Rugolo's composition resume includes work on TV series "The Thin Man," "The Fugitive," "Run for Your Life" and "Richard Diamond." He received six Emmy nominations and won three, as well as two Grammys.

Rugolo is survived by his wife, three children, and three grandchildren.

RUGOLO, Pete (Peter Rugolo)
Born: 12/25/1915, San Piero, Patti, Sicily, Italy
Died: 10/16/2011, Sherman Oaks, California, U.S.A.

Pete Rugolo's westerns - composer:
The Virginian (TV) - 1963
Rawhide (TV) - 1965
Alias Smith and Jones (TV) - 1971-1972
The Young Country (TV) - 1972

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