Ron Goodwin (Ronald Alfred Goodwin)

Ron Goodwin

Ron Goodwin is primarily known for his film music and worked on more than 70 scores during his career. He composed his first feature film, Man with a Gun in 1958 and was quickly followed by The Witness and Whirlpool (fr) a year later. Early minor film success followed with several films until 1961 when he composed scores for the first of four Miss Marple films starring Margaret Rutherford, entitled Murder, She Said (1961). He later went on to compose for the remaining three Miss Marple films Murder at the Gallop (1963), Murder Most Foul (1963) and Murder Ahoy (1964). He scored two horror films, Village of the Damned (1960) and its sequel Children of the Damned (1964). His war films are particularly well remembered. These include 633 Squadron (1964), Operation Crossbow (1965), Where Eagles Dare (1968), Battle of Britain (1969), for which he (mostly) replaced William Walton and Force Ten from Navarone (1978). After requests from the RAF military band, the opening from Battle of Britain, originally titled Luftwaffe March, was retitled Aces High and is now regularly played by military bands in the UK. Ron Goodwin wrote the scores for Of Human Bondage (1964), Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines (1965), Alfred Hitchcock’s Frenzy (1972, replacing Henry Mancini), two movies featuring Morecambe and Wise, and the Norman Wisdom film, The Early Bird (1965).

Goodwin’s score for the 1966 film The Trap is now used by the BBC as the theme to the London Marathon coverage. A 30-second variation of his 1969 composition for the film Monte Carlo or Bust is used as the intro for the BBC Radio Four panel game I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue. Ron Goodwin wrote several Disney film scores during the 1970s, including the one used for One of Our Dinosaurs Is Missing (1975). He also composed the music and lyrics for a series of animated films. These included The Selfish Giant (1971), The Happy Prince (1974), and The Little Mermaid (also 1974). Goodwin’s last film score was for the Danish-made animation film Valhalla in 1986. He composed the Yorkshire Television start up music used from their launch in July 1968 to the early 1980s before ITV had breakfast television. Goodwin wrote the television advertising jingles such as Noddy’s chant, “I like Ricicles: they’re twicicle as nicicles”, and the “Mr Sheen shines umpteen things clean” song, inspired by Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines. By 1987, Ron Goodwin had begun concentrating on live orchestrations which included his “Drake 400 Suite” in (1980) and “Armada Suite” in (1988). His “New Zealand Suite” in (1983) marked a long association with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, Goodwin appeared as guest conductor with many symphony orchestras at home and abroad including the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Hallé Orchestra, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Ulster Orchestra, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, Singapore Symphony Orchestra, Australian Pops Orchestra, Danish Radio Orchestra and the BBC Concert Orchestra. Goodwin was guest conductor at the Royal Academy of Music’s Festival of British and American Film Music in June 1996. In December 2002, Ron Goodwin completed his 32nd consecutive year of Christmas concerts in packed venues across the South of England. However, he had suffered from asthma for many years and the condition had worsened with age. On 7 January 2003, having completed conducting Christmas concerts with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, he returned home and died in his sleep at Blacknest Cottage, Brimpton Common, Berkshire, on 8 January 2003, aged 77.

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Born

  • February, 17, 1925
  • United Kingdom
  • Plymouth, Devon, England

Died

  • January, 08, 2003
  • United Kingdom
  • Newbury, Berkshire, England

Cemetery

  • St Paul Churchyard
  • Ashford Hill, Hampshire, England
  • United Kingdom

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