Tuesday, May 10, 2016

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Bill Conti

Artist:Bill Conti
Song:Gonna Fly Now
Album:Rocky: Original Motion Picture Score

Oscar winning film composer Bill Conti scored a number one hit with Gonna Fly Now, his theme from the 1976 film Rocky. The song was a big hit mostly because the film was huge. Conti was born Apr. 13, 1942 in Providence, RI. His father taught him to play piano. Conti studied at Louisiana State and then Julliard. After graduating in 1967, he moved to Italy and got into film composition. After composing for a few Italian films, Conti returned to the US and he composed the scores for the 1973 film Blume In Love and the 1974 film Harry and Tonto. Rocky director John Avildsen knew Conti after Conti's score for the 1975 film W.W. and the Dixie Dancekings was rejected by Fox. After David Shire was not available, Avildsen needed someone who could work cheap as he didn't have much money to spend. The interesting thing is that trumpeter Maynard Ferguson's recording of Gonna Fly Now was a hit first. And then Conti's original version topped the charts in early 1977. Maybe folks don't know that there were two versions. The lyrics for Gonna Fly Now were written by veteran songwriter Carol Conners. She was lead singer on To Know Him Is To Love Him by The Teddy Bears. The vocals were by DeEtta Little and Nelson Pigford. Obviously the song is now a standard and it was used in all the Rocky films. The soundtrack is available on CD. Conti has composed many scores for films and TV. He won an Oscar in 1983 for The Right Stuff. He doesn't seem to be as active as he once was but his music will turn up occasionally. Here's the video for Gonna Fly Now by Bill Conti.

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