Thursday, June 19, 2014

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Percy Faith

Artist:Percy Faith
Song:Theme From A Summer Place
Album:16 Most Requested Hits

As musical director at Columbia Records in the 50s, Percy Faith arranged and conducted many hits by Doris Day, Tony Bennett and many others. But he also recorded his own albums and Theme From A Summer Place topped the charts in 1960 and is the biggest instrumental hit of all time. He was born Apr. 7, 1908 in Toronto. He was a piano prodigy and he gave a recital at Massey Hall at age 15. His plans for a career as a concert pianist ended when his hands were burned in a fire. So he turned to arranging and conducting. He had his own radio show on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation in the 30s. When the CBC cut his budget, Faith moved to Chicago and then to New York to work for NBC. He also recorded for Decca and RCA. Faith joined Columbia Records in 1950 and was the musical director at their New York studio for the next two decades. He wrote and produced hits for Burl Ives, Doris Day, Johnny Mathis, Tony Bennett and Guy Mitchell. Faith's recording of Delicado topped the charts in 1952 and his recording of the Theme From Moulin Rouge featuring vocals by Felicia Sanders topped the charts in 1953. He also won an Oscar for adapting the music for the 1955 film Love Me Or Leave Me starring Doris Day as Ruth Etting. And he composed the music for the TV series The Virginian. But his biggest success was when Theme From A Summer Place topped the Billboard Hot 100 for nine weeks in 1960. He won a Record of the Year Grammy in 1961. A Summer Place was a hit 1959 film starring Troy Donahue and Sandra Dee. It was aimed at young people so it's not a surprise that the theme would be popular with teens. The song was written by legendary film composer Max Steiner who invented film scores. In 1976, a disco version of Theme From A Summer Place topped the dance charts. You can get all of Faith's hits on this budget comp. As the 60s progressed, Faith copied his buddy Ray Conniff and used a chorus more frequently. Faith continued to get airplay on Adult Contemporary radio but he never had another pop hit. Percy Faith died of cancer on Feb. 9, 1976 at age 67. Here's Percy Faith performing Theme From A Summer Place 1960.

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