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Herbert W. Spencer

Mostly Credited As: Herbert W. Spencer
Birth Name: Herbert Winfield Spencer
Date Of Birth: April 07, 1906 (Age 86)
Country Of Birth: Chile
Birth Place: Santiago
Date Of Death: September 18, 1992

Herbert W. Spencer


Herbert W. Spencer, known professionally as Herb Spencer,
Born April 7, 1905 in Santiago, Chile and, passed away in Los Angeles, California on September 18, 1992. Herbert Spencer married Diana Reid born August 8, 1917 in Uruguay in Los Angeles, California on September29, 1939. Herbert and Diana Spencer had 4 children.

Herbert Spencer was an Oscar-nominated composer and orchestrator, most widely known for his early work in television in forming a music publishing company, Larrabee Music, with Earle Hagen and holds such popular TV theme songs such as The Andy Griffith Show, The Danny Thomas Show, the Joey Bishop Show and Mayberry FDR. Spencer wrote many film soundtracks for such film hits as Gentlemen Marry Brunnettes, and later he is well known for his collaborations with composer John Williams as his principal orchestrator. Spencer's career in Hollywood spanned the 1930's through his death in 1992, with other projects including songwriting and arranging, his jazz big band, and work in musical theater. His work with Williams began in the 1960's with the feature film "The Valley of the Dolls," and encompassed nearly all of Williams' subsequent film scores, through "Home Alone" in 1990.

Spencer orchestrated the original "Star Wars" trilogy, as well as numerous Spielberg-Williams collaborations, including "Jaws," "E.T.," the "Indiana Jones" series, "Close Encounters of the Third Kind," and others. Prior to working with Williams, Spencer had orchestrated over one hundred feature films, including the classics "Cleopatra," "Gentleman Prefer Blondes," and "Scrooge," for which he was nominated for an Academy Award for best song arrangement.

Often overlooked by the filmgoing audience at large, the orchestrator is something of an unsung hero in the world of cinematic music. In spite of this, Williams has acknowledged Spencer's invaluable contribution to these legendary scores in interviews and documentaries. The orchestrator is given a condensed musical sketch to expand and notate for the full studio orchestra. Although Williams' sketches are highly detailed and leave little room for artistic license on the part of the orchestrator, the process requires a comprehensive knowledge of each instrument in the orchestra and a mastery of textural and coloristic craft, and is crucial to the timely completion of the score. Spencer's work is considered to be some of the best ever recorded for film, and his reputation among Hollywood composers and orchestrators remains without peer in the industry today.


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The Joey Bishop Show (1961)• Music
The Hathaways (1961)• Music
Make Room for Daddy (1953)• Music
Tammy (1965)• Music

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