Herbert W. Spencer

Herbert Winfield Spencer (April 7, 1905 September 18, 1992) was a Chilean-born American film and television composer and orchestrator.

Herbert W. Spencer
Herbert Winfield Spencer

(1905-04-07)April 7, 1905
DiedSeptember 18, 1992(1992-09-18) (aged 87)

Spencer gained industry fame when he teamed up with fellow 20th Century Fox orchestrator Earle Hagen in 1953 to create the Spencer-Hagen Orchestra. They recorded albums for an offshoot of the RCA label "X", and Liberty, and also formed a film scoring service called Music Scoring, Inc. (MSI). Spencer and Earle scored many early sitcoms and other television shows, including Where's Raymond?, renamed The Ray Bolger Show, It's Always Jan starring Janis Paige, My Sister Eileen and The Danny Thomas Show. Earle wrote the underscore, while Herb wrote the arrangements. Occasionally, these chores overlapped, when time permitted. MSI was dissolved about 1960, and Herb went on to score The Joey Bishop Show. Spencer is also remembered for co-writing "The Fishin' Hole", The Andy Griffith Show theme.

Spencer also helped orchestrate such noted film musicals as Holiday Inn (1942), Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953), Call Me Madam (1953), Carousel (1956), Funny Girl (1968), and Hello, Dolly! (1969), and received the credit "musical associate" for his work on the film musical Man of La Mancha (1972).[1] He also composed the music for Sol y nieve (1962, a Chilean documentary).[2]

Later in life, Spencer was known mostly for his collaborations with composer John Williams as orchestrator and arranger (from 1967 until his death) for many of his film scores, such as the original Star Wars trilogy, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial and the Indiana Jones film series.

He orchestrated the stage musicals The Good Companions (1974, for André Previn), and Thomas And The King (1975, for John Williams). Neither show was a success.

Spencer was also principal orchestrator for the original version of Clash of the Titans (1981).


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