Het is vandaag dertig jaar geleden dat de Amerikaanse filmcomponist Lionel Newman is overleden. Zijn broers Alfred en Emil oefenden hetzelfde beroep uit. Een andere broer, Irving, daarentegen was internist. Maar die was dan weer de vader van een andere bekende componist, Randy Newman.
Born in New Haven, Connecticut, Newman was one of ten children, the youngest of seven boys, born to Russian immigrant Jewish parents. While the family had little money, the children’s mother, Luba, was a strong woman who encouraged them to achieve. Newman migrated to Hollywood where, at the age of 16, he began conducting for impresario Earl Carroll. This was where he met his future wife, Beverly Carroll, an Earl Carroll Vanities showgirl, and niece of the impresario. Newman had formal training in New York, and after moving to Los Angeles, he continued his studies with Joseph Achron and Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco.
In the 1930s, Newman earned his stripes conducting national tours and working as the piano accompanist for Mae West. She used to scold him for holding his hands too high in the pit saying, “I’m the show, Newman, not you.”
After serving an apprenticeship conducting and orchestrating live shows, Newman joined 20th Century Fox as a rehearsal pianist under the guidance of his brother, Alfred Newman, and by 1959, he had been promoted to Musical Director for Television there. This opened the doors to feature films. He was soon made vice president in charge of music for both television and features.
Lionel Newman’s tenure with Twentieth Century Fox spanned 46 years with over 200 films to his credit, including How to Marry a Millionaire, North To Alaska, The Proud Ones, Road House and Love Me Tender, Elvis Presley’s first picture. He was musical director for all of Marilyn Monroe’s films at Fox, in accordance with her request, including Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, There’s No Business Like Show Business, River of No Return and Let’s Make Love, with the exception of Bus Stop which was directed and conducted by his brother Alfred. (Wikipedia)