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Gene Page

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Arranger Gene Page’s appealing orchestrations were a hallmark of million-selling hits by Barry White, various Motown acts, Johnny Mathis & Deniece Williams, Whitney Houston, Peaches & Herb, Kenny Rogers, the Righteous Brothers, Aretha Franklin, Elton John, the Whispers, Gladys Knight, and a slew of others. Page arranged the bulk of Mathis’ LPs of the ’70s and ’80s, with “Feelings” being among the best. Page also scored TV shows and movies.

Born in Los Angeles, Page studied classical music during his youth. Winning a scholarship to the Brooklyn Conservatory, Page moved to New York. His first big break in the recording field was doing the string arrangements for the Righteous Brothers’ “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’,” which parked at number one pop for two weeks and hit number three R&B on the Billboard charts in late 1964, early 1965. He also arranged Dobie Gray’s “The In Crowd,” number 11 R&B, and Solomon Burke’s “Got to Get You off My Mind,” number one R&B for three weeks, both early 1965.

Page first met Barry White when he and the future “Icon of Love” co-arranged Bob and Earl’s “Harlem Shuffle” for Marc Records, number 44 R&B, late 1963. In the mid-’60s, when White was hired by Bob Keane for his Bronco/Mustang labels, he hired Page to do arrangements.

In 1968, Bronco/Mustang folded and White started doing freelance independent production. Though White recorded sides for Larry Marks on BMC, Malcolm Hayes on OKeh, and Brendetta Davis on Liberty, and wrote and produced songs for NBC-TV’s Saturday morning kids show The Banana Splits, they were lean times.

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