Ron Grainer


Ron Grainer

Ron Grainer (11 August 192221 February 1981) was an Australian-born composer who worked for most of his professional career in the United Kingdom. He is mostly remembered for his film and television music.

Biography

Grainer was born in Atherton, Queensland, Australia. He studied music under Sir Eugene Goosens at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, but this was interrupted by World War II. He was enlisted to the Australian Army and was injured, almost losing a leg.

In Britain from the 1950s, Grainer collaborated with the BBC Radiophonic Workshop on a number of television series themes, including "Giants of Steam" (a documentary about railways) and, most famously, in 1963 on the science fiction series "Doctor Who". Grainer was so impressed with Delia Derbyshire's electronic realisation of his score (which remained the standard version of the "Doctor Who" theme for 18 years) that he is reputed to have said on hearing it, "Did I really write that?" ["http://www.delia-derbyshire.org/"] . He also offered to split his royalty with her, but this was prevented by BBC bureaucracy.

Grainer composed the music for a number of ITC series, including "Man in a Suitcase" and "The Prisoner", the latter based upon an earlier piece of music he had written entitled "The Age of Elegance".

Perhaps one of his most eclectic film works was the music to "The Omega Man", based upon the book "I Am Legend" by Richard Matheson and starring Charlton Heston. The soundtrack was not released on CD until 2002 in a limited run of 3000 copies through FilmScoreMonthly [http://www.filmscoremonthly.com] . Copies appear on eBay from time to time, but it is now considered a rarity. The music contains a mix of symphonic, jazz, avant garde and electronic music. A compilation LP album, "The Exciting Television Music of Ron Grainer", appeared in 1980.

One of Grainer's later themes, "Tales of the Unexpected", was also to become famous. The light, slightly mocking theme became a hallmark of the series.

He was twice married:
* 1) Margot (one stepdaughter) (marriage dissolved)
* 2) Jennifer (one son) (marriage dissolved 1976)

He died from spinal cancer in Cuckfield, Sussex, England aged 58. His second ex-wife was at his side.

Notable television credits

* "Danger Man"
* "Doctor Who"
* "Maigret"
* "Steptoe and Son"
* "Tales of the Unexpected"
* "The Prisoner"
* "Shelley"
* "That Was The Week That Was"
* "Paul Temple"
* "Man in a Suitcase" (also used on "TFI Friday")

Notable film credits

* "A Kind of Loving"
* "The Mouse on the Moon" (1963)
* "The Omega Man"
* "Only When I Larf"
* "To Sir, with Love"
* "The Home Made Car"

Stage credits

*1964 — "Robert and Elizabeth"
*1966 — "On the Level"
*1970 — "Sing A Rude Song"

References

External links

*imdb name|id=0006112|name= Ron Grainer
* [http://www.rongrainer.org.uk/index.php Ron Grainer web-site]


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