Hamlisch was a very versatile composer who spread his talents between the studio and stage for theater, television and cinema.
The composer won every major award in his career, including three Academy Awards, four Emmys, a Tony and three Golden Globes.
Hamlisch composed more than 40 film scores, including Sophie’s Choice, Ordinary People,The Swimmer, Three Men and a Baby, Ice Castles, Save The Tiger, and Take the Money and Run. He won his third Oscar for his adaptation of Scott Joplin’s music for The Sting.
On Broadway, Hamlisch received the Pulitzer Prize for the long-running favorite A Chorus Line and wrote The Goodbye Girl and Sweet Smell of Success. A news release from his publicist said he was scheduled to fly to Nashville this week to see a production of his hit musical, The Nutty Professor. He was also working on a new musical called Gotta Dance, and he had planned to write the score for Behind the Candelabra, a new film about Liberace.
Hamlisch acted as principal pops conductor for symphony orchestras in Pittsburgh, Milwaukee, Dallas, Pasadena, Seattle and San Diego. At the time of his death, he was about to take the same position at the Philadelphia Orchestra and was planning to lead the New York Philharmonic during its New Year’s Eve concert.
Although most of his work was for the stage and screen, he did some work in pop, too, writing Sunshine, Lollipops and Rainbows and California Nights for Lesley Gore. He also wrote Break It To Me Gently for Aretha Franklin.
Music Artist News, a popular website put together a list of Marvin Hamlisch’s Top 10 Hot 100 Hits As A Songwriter. The following is from their site:
This ranking is based on actual performance on the weekly Billboard Hot 100 chart. Songs are ranked based on an inverse point system, with weeks at No. 1 earning the greatest value and weeks at No. 100 earning the least. To ensure equitable representation of the biggest hits from each era, certain time frames were weighted to account for the difference between turnover rates from those years.
1. “The Way We Were,” Barbra Streisand (No. 1, three weeks), 1974
2. “Nobody Does It Better,” Carly Simon (No. 2), 1977
3. “I Finally Found Someone,” Barbra Streisand & Bryan Adams (No. 8), 1996
4. “The Way We Were/Try to Remember,” Gladys Knight & the Pips (No. 11), 1975
5. “California Nights,” Lesley Gore (No. 16), 1967
6. “Ex-Factor,” Lauryn Hill (No. 21), 1999
7. “Sunshine, Lollipops and Rainbows,” Lesley Gore (No. 13), 1965
8. “Theme from Ice Castles (Through the Eyes of Love),” Melissa Manchester (No. 76), 1979
9. “What I Did for Love,” Glee Cast (No. 51), 2010
10. “Break It to Me Gently,” Aretha Franklin (No. 85), 1977
*Since Hamlisch didn’t write “The Entertainer,” it’s not included in this top 10. If it had been eligible, it would have ranked third.
I wish that Clay Aiken had had the opportunity to work with Hamlisch. I can imagine that they would have worked well together and made some wonderful music together.
Do you have a Marvin Hamlisch song you would like to hear Clay sing?