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God's Gift of Music: Hugo Winterhalter & His Orchestra

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Hugo Winterhalter & his orchestra

For those of you who have never heart this man's music take a few minutes and listen.- Andy

Video from Dan Casey

"1956 was a year of many great instrumentals. This one peaked at #2 on the Hot 100 and was the #17 song of 1956. Andy Williams had a vocal version that peaked at #7. The song was written by Eddie Heywood with lyrics by Norman Gimbel. Eddie played piano on the song." from video introduction.


  • Born 15 August 1909

  • Born In Wilkes-Barre, Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, United States

  • Died 17 September 1973 (aged 64)

Hugo Winterhalter (August, 1909 - September 17, 1973) was a popular American musician. Easy listening arranger and composer. Hugo Winterhalter was born August 15, 1909 in Wilkes-Barre, PA, later studying violin and reed instruments at the New England Conservatory of Music. After graduating, he taught school for several years before turning professional during the mid-1930s, serving as a sideman and arranger for Count Basie, Tommy Dorsey, Raymond Scott, Claude Thornhill and others. Winterhalter also arranged and conducted sessions for singers including Dinah Shore and Billy Eckstine, and in 1948 he was named musical director at MGM Records. After a two-year stint with the label, he moved to Columbia Records, where he scored a hit with his orchestral reading of "Blue Christmas." In 1950, Winterhalter signed on with RCA Victor, where he arranged sessions for artists including Perry Como, Eddie Fisher and the Ames Brothers; he also recorded several instrumental albums, among them 1952's Great Music Themes of Television, one of the first collections of TV theme songs ever recorded. Winterhalter also notched a series of chart hits, including "Blue Tango," "Vanessa," "The Little Shoemaker" and "Song of The Barefoot Contessa"; with pianist Eddie Heywood, he even reached the number two spot with 1956's "Canadian Sunset." Winterhalter remained with RCA until 1963, at which time he moved to Kapp; that same year, he also penned the main title theme for the film Diamond Head. At Kapp he recorded a handful of albums including The Best of '64 and its follow-up, The Big Hits of 1965, before leaving the label to work on Broadway. He later worked in television as well, and continued recording the occasional LP for various budget labels. Winterhalter died in Greenwich, Connecticut on September 17, 1973.. from the article: Hugo Winterhalter

Eddie Heywood Jazz Pianist

Eddie Heywood playing piano
Eddie Heywood

"Eddie Heywood (born Edward Heywood, Jr., December 4, 1915, Atlanta, Georgia – January 3, 1989, Miami Beach, Florida) was a jazz pianist who was popular in the 1940s. His father, Eddie Heyward, Sr. was also a jazz musician from the 1920s. Heywood, Jr. played with several popular jazz musicians such as Wayman Carver in 1932, Clarence Love from 1934 to 1937 and Benny Carter from 1939 to 1940 after moving to New York.

After starting his band, Eddie Heywood would occasionally do back-up for Billie Holiday in 1941. In 1943, Heywood took several classic solos on a Coleman Hawkins quartet date (including “The Man I Love”) and put together the first sextet, including Doc Cheatham and Vic Dickenson. After their version of “Begin the Beguine” became a hit in 1944, they had three successful years ahead of them.

Between 1947 to 1950, Eddie Heywood was stricken with a partial paralysis of his hands and could not play at all. However, it did not stop him when he made a comeback later in the decade. In the 1950s, Heywood composed and recorded “Land of Dreams” and “Soft Summer Breeze” and is probably best known for his 1956 recording of his composition “Canadian Sunset,” all of which he recorded with Hugo Winterhalter and his orchestra. After a second partial paralysis in the 1960s, Heywood made another comeback and continued his career in the 1980s.

Eddie Heywood has a “Star” at 1709 Vine Street on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.." from the article: Eddie Heywood

Hugo Winterhalter Dead at 64; '50's Popular Music Arranger (1973)

"Hugo Winterhalter, whose lush arrangements of popular tunes in the nineteen‐fifties helped 11 records sell more than 1 million copies, died of cancer yesterday in Greenwich (Conn) Hospital. He was 64 years old.

“There was a time there when everything he touched turned to acid,” said a spokes man at RCA Records, where Mr. Winterhalter had spent 13 highly productive years.

The “gold” records — the recording industry's term for those that sell a million or more — for which he arranged the music and conducted the orchestra Included “Oh, My Papa” and “I'm Walking Be hind You,” by Eddie Fisher; “Don't Let the Stars Get in Your Eyes” and “Wanted” by Perry Como; the Ames Brothers' “You, You, You” and “Naughty Lady From Shady Lane” and Mario Lanza's “The Loveliest Night of the Year.”.. from the article: Hugo Winterhalter Dead at 64; '50's Popular Music Arranger

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