Sunday, February 25, 2007

This Day in Music History: Nelson Riddle and Lisbon Antigua

On this day in music history Nelson Riddle had the #1 hit on the Billboard chart with Lisbon Antigua. He heard of the song through the sister of Nat King Cole’s manager. She lived near Mexico City and a band there had a local hit with it. She thought Nelson would be interested in the song. Later he was asked to score a film that was to star Ray Milland. The film was called Lisbon. Mr. Riddle used the song as the movies theme song.
Over his entire career Nelson Riddle has worked with singers from Nat King Cole and Frank Sinatra to Linda Ronstadt. He worked with Les Baxter when Mr. Baxter asked him to do some arrangements for Nat King Cole. The arrangements that he came up with were “Mona Lisa” and “Too Young.” When the songs were released the arrangements were credited to Les Baxter. That was a little bit too much for Mr. Riddle to take.
Mr. Cole found out that Nelson Riddle really did the arrangements and decided to work with him instead. The worked together for 10 years. During that time Mr. Riddle go his own artist contract with Capitol Records.
He has not only scored movie soundtracks but has worked on many television series. He did the themes for Route 66, The Untouchables and Newhart. He passed away at the age of 64 on October 6, 1985 from cardiac and kidney failure. In his passing he left behind a rich legacy of music.

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