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Henry Mancini was born in Cleveland, Ohio, on April 16, 1924. His father, Quinto, and his mother, Anna, soon moved to the steel town of Aliquippa, Pennsylvania. It was here at the age of eight that young Henry was first introduced to music. His father, a former flutist, started him off on the flute.
At the age of twelve he took up the piano and within a few years became interested in arranging. A need for instruction and guidance led to Max Adkins, who was then conductor and arranger for the house orchestra at the Stanley Theater in Pittsburgh.
Soon after graduation from Aliquippa High School in the fall of 1942 he enrolled at the Juilliard School of Music. His studies were interrupted by a service draft call in 1943. Upon release from the service in 1945, Mr. Mancini joined the Glenn Miller/Tex Beneke orchestra as pianist-arranger. It was here that he met his wife, the former Ginny O'Connor, who was singing with the band.
They were married in Hollywood in 1947 and now live in the Holmby Hills section of Los Angeles, with their three children, a boy, Chris, and twin girls, Monica and Felice.
Private studies continued with Ernst Krenek, Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco and Dr. Alfred Sendry.
In 1952, Mr. Mancini joined the music department of Universal-International Studios. During the next six years he contributed to over one hundred films, most notable of which were THE GLENN MILLER STORY (for which he received an Academy Award nomination), THE BENNY GOODMAN STORY, and Orson Welles' TOUCH OF EVIL.
Soon after leaving Ul, he was engaged by producer/director Blake Edwards to score the TV series PETER GUNN. His use of the jazz idiom created an instant success and resulted in a nomination from the TV Academy of Arts and Sciences for the Emmy Award.
The album MUSIC FROM PETER GUNN was released by RCA Victor and to date has sold over one million copies. The album was voted two Grammies by the members of N.A.R.A.S. (National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences) as "Album of the Year" (1958) and "Best Arrangement of the Year".
The success of "PETER GUNN" was soon repeated by another Edwards-Mancini collaboration, "MR. LUCKY". The use of lush strings and organ provided a complete contrast from the driving GUNN music. The album MUSIC FROM MR. LUCKY joined PETER GUNN as a best-seller. N.A.R.A.S. again honored Mr. Mancini with two Grammies for "Best Arrangement" and "Best Performance by an Orchestra". (His album THE BLUES AND THE BEAT was also awarded a Grammy that year вЂ” 1960). Mr. Mancini is now the proud owner of eleven Grammies. To date, this is a record accomplishment.
His return to motion picture scoring has so far produced the scores to HIGH TIME, THE GREAT IMPOSTER, BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY'S, BACHELOR IN PARADISE, HATARI, EXPERIMENT IN TERROR, DAYS OF WINE AND ROSES, CHARADE, SOLDLER IN THE RAIN and THE PINK PANTHER.
In 1962 the Motion Picture Academy recognized Mancini's ability by awarding him two Oscars, one for best original score, BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY'S and the other for best song, MOON RIVER (lyrics by Johnny Mercer). In 1963 Mancini and Mercer Won another Oscar for their DAYS OF WINE AND ROSES
Dear Heart - From the Warner Brothers Picture "DEAR HEART"
Words by Jay Livingston and Ray Evans Music by Henry Manchini
Charade - Title Songs From The Stanley Donen Production A Universal Releas. Lyrics by Johnny Mercer. Music by Henry Manchini
Dreamsville - Words by Ray Evans and Jay Livingston.
Moon River - as sung in the Paramount picture "Breakfast at Tiffany's". Words by Johnny Mercer
How Soon - Theme from the Richard Boone TV Show. Lyric by Al Stillman A.S.C.A.P.
Mr. Lucky - Words by Jay Livingston and Ray Evans.
Man's Favourite Sport - liric by Johnny Mercer
I Love You and Don't You Forget It - liric by Al Stillman
Slow Hot Wind - liric by Norman Gimbel
Mostly For Lovers - liric by Paul Francis Webster.
Punch and Judy - From the Stanley Donen Production "Charade". Words by Jay Livingston and Ray Evans.
Straight to Baby - "Session at Pete's Pad". Words by Jay Livingston and Ray Evans.
Bye Bye - Theme from "Peter Gunn". Words by Jay Livingston and Ray Evans.
Joanna - Liric by Johnny Mercer.
To My Love - Words by Jay Livingston and Ray Evans.
Song About Love - Liric by Al Stillman