Feb 17, 2014

10 facts and triva about the man who composed all the Star Wars music, John Williams

John Williams conducting
Daaaa Na!
John Williams is cinema’s most celebrated composer and one of the true reasons behind the success of the Star Wars movies. He’s been in the music making business for over 60 years and has produced some of the most famous musical works in history. Jaws. Superman. Indiana Jones. Harry Potter. E.T. Schindler’s List and Star Wars. And those are just the movies we like.

Here's some key points, facts and triva from his extraordinary career:
  • Started out as a Jazz pianist for hire. His early work with Peter Mancini opened up many opportunities for him. 
  • He’s had to thank the Academy 5 times thanks to his scores for films, Fiddler on the Roof, Jaws, Star Wars, E.T., and Schindler’s List. 
  • In 1974,  Steven Spielberg approached Williams to compose the music for his feature directorial debut, The Sugarland Express. They teamed up again a year later for Spielberg's second film, Jaws. This success lead to Spielberg recommending Williams' services as a composer to George Lucas, who needed a composer to score Star Wars. The rest is history.
  • The original Star Wars sound track remains the highest grossing non-popular music recording of all-time
  • In 1999, George Lucas launched the first of a series of prequels to the original Star Wars trilogy. Williams returned for all 3 films meaning the combined scores of all six Star Wars films add up to more than 14 hours of orchestral music.
  • Williams has been nominated for over 40 Grammy Awards, winning over 20 times.
  • Has had four of his themes chart on the American Billboard Charts:
    • 1975 – "Theme From Jaws," Highest position No. 32
    • 1977 – "Star Wars Theme – Main Title," No. 10
    • 1978 – "Theme From Close Encounters Of The Third Kind," No. 13
    • 1979 – "Theme From Superman," No. 81
  • This next one is a little far out - John's son Joseph is the lead singer for the band Toto!
  • Williams has also composed music for television - some well known works included Lost in Space, Heidi, and Gilligan's Island.
  • Such was the success of their working relationship, Williams has scored every sound track for Steven Spielberg's films with the exception of The Color Purple. 
Do you know what the best thing about all of this is? Williams has agreed to do the score for the seventh Star Wars movie!

1 comment:

  1. Slight mistake. John Williams composed all the film Spielberg directed, except TWO. The Color Purple, and Twilight Zone: the Movie. The latter was scored by Jerry Goldsmith, the composer Spielberg ALMOST went to for his first films instead of Williams. (Goldsmith scored TZ:TM because he had scored several of the best episodes of the original series, and Spielberg wanted to use that sentimental connection.)