By Stephanie Sokol for The Pit
In honor of the 50th Anniversary of “The Pink Panther – Music from the Film Score Composed and Conducted by Henry Mancini,” Sony and Legacy Recordings are celebrating the composer by releasing a variety of collectible commemorative titles in 2014. Wednesday, April 16 would have been Henry’s 90th birthday, and a new official Henry Mancini website (www.henrymancini.com) launched.
Born Enrico Nicola “Henry” Mancini in Cleveland, the American soundtrack composer broke into the industry at the close of World War II, as a pianist and arranger for Glenn Miller Orchestra in 1946.
About ten years later, Mancini had already composed music for more than 100 movies. His score for “The Glenn Miller Story” earned him his first Academy Award nomination; out of his 18 nominations, he’d win four Oscars.
During his career, Mancini composed about 250 album titles and scored more than 190 films including classics like The Pink Panther Theme, the “Peter Gunn” bass line, “Moon River” (from “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”) and “Days of Wine and Roses.”
This year, an 11 CD deluxe box set with the best of Mancini’s soundtracks will be released. Also, a limited edition of the Pink Panther film music recording will be released as an individually numbered 12′ PINK VINYL LP for Record Store Day 2014, featuring the classic “Pink Panther Theme” in addition to other works from the film.
The song is the currently the No. 1 most-streamed in the entire Sony Music catalog, and the original soundtrack album, which will be expanded with bonus material for a 50th anniversary edition this year, was given a Grammy Hall of Fame Award in 2001.
With 72 of his albums up for awards throughout his career, Mancini still has the record for most Grammy nominations. In addition to the 20 Grammys he was awarded, Mancini received four Academy Awards, a Golden Globe, two Emmy nominations and a 2004 U.S. Commemorative Stamp.
Henry Mancini conducting a 1987 performance of “The Pink Panther Theme,” featuring clips from the film.