Johnny Mandel

John Alfred Mandel (November 23, 1925 – June 29, 2020) was an American composer and arranger of popular songs, film music and jazz. The musicians he worked with include Count Basie, Frank Sinatra, Peggy Lee, Anita O’Day, Barbra Streisand, Tony Bennett, Diane Schuur and Shirley Horn. He won 5 Grammy Awards – from 17 nominations; his first nomination was for his debut film score for the multi-nominated 1958 film I Want to Live!.

Mandel was born in Manhattan on November 23, 1925. His father, Alfred, was a garment manufacturer who ran Mandel & Cash; his mother, Hannah (Hart-Rubin), had aimed to be an opera singer and discovered her son had perfect pitch at the age of five. His family was Jewish. They moved to Los Angeles in 1934, after his father’s business collapsed during the Great Depression. Mandel was given piano lessons, but switched to the trumpet and later the trombone.

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