George Tipton

George Aliceson Tipton (January 23, 1932 February 12, 2016)[1] was an American composer, musical arranger and conductor, who is well known for his work in television and for his collaborations with singer-songwriter Harry Nilsson.

Among Tipton's works are the themes for the TV shows Soap and its spinoff Benson, It's a Living, I'm a Big Girl Now and Empty Nest, plus incidental music for numerous shows, including The Courtship of Eddie's Father, Soap, Mulligan's Stew, The Love Boat, Heartland, The Golden Girls and The Golden Palace. He also wrote the score for the film Badlands (1973), and for the television movies Home for the Holidays (1972), The Affair (1973), The Stranger Who Looks Like Me (1974), The Gun and the Pulpit (1974), Hit Lady (1974), Red Alert (1977), The Gift (1979) and Gidget's Summer Reunion (1985).

His arranging and conducting credits include numerous hits by Jan and Dean, The Sunshine Company and Jose Feliciano's hit version of "Light My Fire" by The Doors. He was one of the main arrangers on the albums of Leonard Nimoy during the late 1960s. Tipton is arguably best known in the pop-rock field for his work as an arranger on singles and albums recorded by singer-songwriter Harry Nilsson during the most productive phase of his career in the 1960s and early 1970s. They met ca. 1964 through music publisher Perry Botkin, Jr., where Tipton worked as a copyist and their collaboration began when Tipton put up his life's savings ($2,500) to arrange and record four Nilsson tracks which they sold to Tower, a sub-label of Capitol Records; these tracks were subsequently included on the Spotlight on Nilsson LP.[2] Tipton went on to arrange Nilsson's acclaimed early albums for RCA Records (1967–71), as well as his classic single "Everybody's Talkin'" (which won a Grammy Award), the Skidoo soundtrack, and Nilsson's music for the TV series The Courtship of Eddie's Father and the animated feature The Point!. In 1970 Tipton recorded a (now rare) LP of instrumental interpretations of Nilsson's music, Nilsson by Tipton (Warner Bros. Records, 1970) which featured cover illustrations by Dean Torrence. However Tipton and Nilsson had an unexplained falling-out, and Tipton reportedly refused to be involved in the 2010 documentary on Nilsson's life and career.

Tipton died in 2016 at age 84.[1]


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