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Marvin Frederick Hamlisch (June 2, 1944 – August 6, 2012) was an American composer and conductor. He is one of only twelve people to win an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony (also known as an EGOT).
The Musical Legacy of Marvin Hamlisch
When it comes to music legends, Marvin Hamlisch’s name stands tall, with a career spanning four decades, 4 Grammys, 3 Oscars, 4 Emmys, a Tony, and a Pulitzer. The American composer and conductor, born in Manhattan in 1944, was nothing short of a musical genius. With a prodigious talent in classical music, his versatile style encompassed pop, rock, show tunes - and everything in between. In this article, we will delve into the life and work of Marvin Hamlisch, examining his best songs and contribution to a variety of music genres.
Marvin Hamlisch’s career was punctuated by several milestones, with each one cementing his status as a legend in the music industry. Hamlisch's big break came when legendary producer, Don Kirshner, recruited him as the musical director for ‘The David Frost Show’. This led to more opportunities that allowed him to score music for movies like Sophie’s Choice, Ordinary People, and The Sting, featuring the iconic song - ‘The Entertainer’. However, none of his compositions matched the success of the song ‘The Way We Were’. The song sung by Barbra Streisand, was melodious and soulful that went on to win an Academy Award, proving to be his breakthrough success.
Hamlisch is most renowned for his work in Broadway, with over 30 theater productions to his credit. His first musical, A Chorus Line, was a game-changer in the world of theater, receiving 12 Tony nominations and winning nine, a record that stood for more than a decade. The Broadway shows with Hamlisch’s compositions include The Goodbye Girl, Smile, and They're Playing Our Song. He also composed for the Off-Broadway production of The Nutty Professor, based on the film by Jerry Lewis.
Hamlisch’s music was a reflection of the world around him, and his contributions to the film industry made him one of the most sought-after composers of his time. To this day, the music he composed for the movie ‘The Spy Who Loved Me’ remains a fan favorite, particularly the opening sequence with the infamous instrumental piece. His other film compositions include ‘Bananas,’ ‘Sophie’s Choice,’ and ‘The Way We Were.’ From his elegant classical tones to rock-and-pop infused melodies, each film score mesmerized audiences across the globe and has become a hallmark of the golden era of Hollywood.
Hamlisch’s work not only influenced pop culture, but he also made significant contributions to philanthropy. Hamlisch raised over $5 million for charities and non-profits through a series of benefit concerts throughout his career. He also served on the board of directors of the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation for several years, spreading awareness among his fans and the wider public.
Marvin Hamlisch was, and still is, a legend of his time. His work has left an indelible mark on the music and film industries, inspiring countless composers and musicians around the world. Hamlisch’s contribution to the theater, film, and music industry have proven to be golden so far and will undoubtedly continue to attract audiences across generations. Hamlisch’s enduring legacy is a testament to his dedication and passion for his craft and will surely endure for many more decades to come.
1 - The Entertainer
2 - Bond 77
3 - One Singular Sensation
4 - One
5 - Mojave Club
6 - The Glove
7 - A Chorus Line
8 - Ride To Atlantis
9 - What I Did For Love
10 - Nobody Does It Better
11 - The Entertainer - The Sting/soundtrack Version/orchestra Version
12 - At The Ballet
13 - I Can Do That
14 - Nothing
15 - Sing!
16 - Eastern Lights
17 - Opening: I Hope I Get It