Chaplin Music Timeline

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March 28


Eric James

In between his work with Chaplin, James worked with Ron Moody on the 1968 film version of OLIVER! and served as the vocal coach for the lead actors in the 1971 film of FIDDLER ON THE ROOF. After Chaplin’s death in 1977, James and his wife Phyllis O’Reilly created a stories-slides-and-songs Tribute to Charlie Chaplin that they performed for over a decade. Eric and Phyllis moved to Canada in 1988 and, in 2000, he published his autobiography Making Music with Charlie Chaplin. James passed away peacefully at Sunnycrest Nursing Home in Whitby at age 92.

December 27


Keith Williams

After his work as the conductor on LIMELIGHT, Keith Williams organized a new 17-piece band labeled “The dazzling Sound,” recording for Liberty Records. A 1957 Disc Jockey poll listed the group as one of the country’s top ten “Most Promising Orchestras.” Williams toured with Johnny Mathis and the Hi-Lo’s and later became president of the Musician’s Union Local-47 in Los Angeles. Williams eventually earned his Master’s degree in music from California State University, Northridge, and taught in the Los Angeles School district, retiring in 1988. Williams died at the age of 84.

November 20



Following his uncredited (and un-Oscared!) work on LIMELIGHT, Russell Garcia continued his work in jazz, arranging strings for Buddy deFranco and Oscar Peterson’s 1954 album of George Gershwin standards. His 1955 Wigville album was one of the first jazz albums to utilize Schoenberg’s tone-row method, while Four Horns and a Lush Life featured Garcia’s original four-trombone concept. The list of artists he worked with reads like a Who’s Who of popular and jazz music—Judy Garland, Stan Kenton, Julie London, Mel Tormé, and Margaret Whiting, as well as arranging and conducting Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald’s classic 1957 recording of Porgy and Bess. Garcia’s work in television and film began in the late 1940s and he later scored a number of episodes of popular television shows like Playhouse 90, Perry Mason, Rawhide, The Untouchables, and The Fugitive. producer and director George pal was a fan of Garcia’s 1959 exotica album Fantastica, which led him to hire the composer to compose two classic scores—THE TIME MACHINE and ATLANTIS, THE LOST CONTINENT. In 1966, Garcia sold his possessions and left behind his career in Hollywood to sail the Pacific with his wife in a trimaran spreading the word of the Bahá’í faith before settling in New Zealand in 1971. Russell continued to compose and arrange, and he and Gina spent much of their time volunteering to teach primary school children. In 2002, the couple wrote the opera The Unquenchable Flame, and, in 2009, was awarded The New Zealand Order of Merit from HM Queen Elizabeth II for their Service to Music. Garcia was still touring and playing jazz until a few weeks prior to his death from cancer at age 95.

March 26


Jacques Lasry

In the 1950s, Lasry and his friend François Baschet invented the Cristal, a metal construction that produces sound from oscillating glass cylinders. With his wife Yvonne and Bernard Baschet, they formed the quartet Les Structures Sonores Lasry-Baschet, which toured in Europe, performed on The Ed Sullivan Show, and recorded several albums, including the avant-garde Chronophagie (The Time Eaters) (1969). From 1957–1958, Lasry composed and arranged the music for thirty-nine broadcasts of Francis Claude’s radio program Monsieur Flute s’en mêle. He composed ballets and began scoring films, including Le songe des chevaux sauvages (1960), Le roi du village (1963), and Elle est à tuer (1964). In 1968, Lasry converted to Orthodox Judaism, abandoning all of his professional activities. A decade later, Lasry and his wife moved to Israel to settle down in Jerusalem, where he died at age 96.

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