( b. May 02, 1915 New York, New York, USA - d. Jul 09, 2015 Los Angeles, California, USA ) Male
Van Alexander was the 1940s bandleader who co-wrote "A-Tisket, A-Tasket" with Ella Fitzgerald and went on to score dozens of films and TV shows in the 1950s and '60s.
A three-time Emmy nominee for composition and music direction in the early 1970s, Alexander was head arranger for the entire run of NBC's "Dean Martin Show" (1965-74) and wrote scores for many 1960s sitcoms including "Hazel," "The Donna Reed Show," "Dennis the Menace," "The Farmer's Daughter," "Bewitched" and "I Dream of Jeannie."
He was also the composer of more than a dozen 1950s and '60s film scores including "The Atomic Kid," "Baby Face Nelson," "Andy Hardy Comes Home," "Girls Town" and a trio of William Castle films that have become cult favorites: "13 Frightened Girls," "Strait-Jacket" and "I Saw What You Did."
Alexander was the author of "First Arrangement," a landmark 1946 how-to book for musicians learning how to arrange for orchestra. He later penned an autobiography, "From Harlem to Hollywood: A Life in Music."
Alexander led his own band from 1939 to 1944, moving to L.A. in 1945 and starting to compose for films in the 1950s. His work on "The Atomic Kid" and TV's "The Mickey Rooney Show," both in 1954, led to a series of scores for Rooney films into the 1960s.
Over the years, Alexander worked with singers including Gordon MacRae, Peggy Lee, Dinah Shore, Doris Day, Mitzi Gaynor, Lena Horne, Bob Hope, Tony Bennett and others.
In television, Alexander worked as music director on numerous 1960s and '70s variety specials including ones headlined by Gene Kelly, Dom DeLuise and Jonathan Winters. His Emmy noms were for Winters and Kelly shows and Martin's summer-replacement series "The Golddiggers."
Alexander was a past president of the American Society of Music Arrangers and Composers, and served on its board of directors for many years. He received lifetime-achievement awards from the Los Angeles Jazz Society in 1997, Pacific Pioneer Broadcasters in 1997 and the ASCAP Foundation in 2002.
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