Sunday, September 30, 2012

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Hugo Montenegro

Artist:Hugo Montenegro
Song:The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
Album:Music From The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Hugo Montenegro was a film music composer, arranger and conductor and he also recorded movie theme albums for RCA Records in the 60s. His cover of Ennio Morricone's theme from The Good, The Bad and The Ugly was a top five hit in 1968. Montenegro was born Sept. 2, 1925 in New York City. During WWII, he served in the US Navy as an arranger for the Newport Naval Base Band in Newport, RI. After the war, he studied composition at Manhattan College. In the 50s, he was an assistant to Columbia Records musical director Andre Kostalanetz and was a house conductor and arranger for The Glen-Spice Orchestra. Montenegro wanted to get into the film business so he moved to Los Angeles in 1960 to work for RCA Records. He had success with his albums of Jerry Goldsmith's music from the TV series The Man From U.N.C.L.E. He also worked for Columbia Pictures and composed the scores for Hurry Sundown and the Matt Helm films The Ambushers and The Wrecking Crew. He continued to record for RCA and his cover of Ennio Morricone's theme from The Good, The Bad and The Ugly reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1968. I understand that Morricone purists sneer at Montenegro's cover.. But I'm pretty sure that anyone who heard the song on the radio heard Montenegro's version. Montenegro added a rock backbeat that got it radio play the original would not have received. It also helped Morricone's original soundtrack album become a big seller. This CD covers Montenegro's Spaghetti Western music covers. Montenegro continued to compose music for films. In the 70s, he turned to electronic music until failing health forced him to retire. Hugo Montenegro died on Feb. 6, 1981 at age 55. Here's a video for The Good, The Bad and The Ugly by Hugo Montenegro.

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