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Biography

  • Born

    23 April 1939

  • Born In

    Bonne Terre, St. Francois County, Missouri, United States

  • Died

    25 July 2018 (aged 79)

Patrick Moody Williams (April 23, 1939 – July 25, 2018) was an Oscar nominated American composer, arranger, and conductor who worked in many genres of music, and in film and television.

Born in Missouri, Williams grew up in Connecticut and received a degree in history from Duke University, where he directed the student-run jazz big band, known as the Duke Ambassadors, from 1959 to 1961. Since music was always his first love, he went on to Columbia University to study music composition and conducting, where his passion became his profession. He quickly became busy as an arranger in New York; he moved to California in 1968 to pursue work in the movie and television field while continuing to write and arrange jazz albums.

Williams was also a leader in the music-education field for many years. He served as the Artistic Director of the Henry Mancini Institute — one of the nation's premier training programs for young musicians seeking professional careers in music — for five years. He was Visiting Professor and Composer-in-Residence at the University of Utah and the University of Colorado, which awarded him an honorary doctorate. He also held an honorary doctorate from Duke University and performed and/or lectured at such other institutions as the Berklee College of Music, Indiana University, Texas Christian University, UCLA, USC, and Yale University.

Williams scored more than 200 films, including Breaking Away, for which he received a 1978 Oscar nomination; All of Me, Swing Shift, Cuba, and The Grass Harp.

On television, his music accompanied Columbo, Lou Grant, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Bob Newhart Show, The Streets of San Francisco, and The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd. His jazz-funk arrangement of The Beatles' "Get Back" was used as the longtime theme for the 1970s sports quiz show Sports Challenge, emceed by Dick Enberg.

Frank Sinatra asked Williams to arrange and conduct his two Duets albums. For clarinetist Eddie Daniels, Williams wrote A Concerto in Swing; for saxophonist Tom Scott, he penned Romances for Jazz Soloist and Orchestra. His Theme For Earth Day was recorded by John Williams and the Boston Pops.

An American Concerto, composed in 1976, was one of the first successful attempts to combine jazz elements with traditional symphonic writing. In addition to An American Concerto his compositions include Gulliver, Romances, Earth Day, Adagio, and August, they have included Suite Memories for trombone and symphony orchestra, which won a 1986 Grammy; Spring Wings, a double concerto for piano and saxophone and symphony orchestra; Appalachian Morning, recorded by the Boston Pops; Memento Mei for solo soprano and orchestra; The Prayer of St. Francis for flute and strings; and others.

Another of Williams' accomplishments was the 1986 orchestral work Gulliver. He spent eight months writing the work, which was recorded by London's Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, with narration by Larry Gelbart (based on Jonathon Swift's writings) read by John Gielgud. For the concert premier, Williams conducted the Yale Philharmonia with Tony Randall narrating.

In 2016, Deana Martin, daughter of Dean Martin, recorded a new swing album, which Williams scored and conducted. He also wrote five songs for the album: "52nd & Broadway," co-written with Gail Kantor, "I've Been Around," "Hearing Ella Sing,” and “Good Things Grow,” co-written with Arthur Hamilton and “I Know What You Are” co-written with Will Jennings. The album Swing Street was released in 2016.

Nominated for the Pulitzer Prize for composing the orchestral work An American Concerto, he won two Grammys for his jazz arrangements, four Emmys for his television music, an Oscar nomination for film composition, and the Richard Kirk Award from BMI. In addition to Williams' 4 Emmy wins, he received 23 nominations.

For his 2015 album Home Suite Home, Williams earned a Grammy Award nomination for Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album.

Several of Williams' recordings are considered contemporary big-band standards, including Threshold, which won a 1974 Grammy; Too Hip for the Room, a Grammy nominee in 1983; Tenth Avenue, a double Grammy nominee in 1987; and Sinatraland, a tribute to the singer which was Grammy-nominated in 1998. Williams received 16 Grammy nominations for his compositions and arrangements.

Williams died of cancer in Santa Monica, California on July 25, 2018 at the age of 79.

Respected music critic Gene Lees was quoted as saying: "His An American Concerto is, in my opinion, the best mixture of jazz and classical that anybody has ever done. Pat's writing is breathtaking. He's just one of the finest arrangers and composers who ever put pen to paper."

Daniel Cariaga wrote in the Los Angeles Times: " An American Concerto must be one of the most attractive, affecting and original of jazz-symphonic meldings. The style is unrestrained, the tunes ingratiating, the writing expert. What Williams owes to the fair influences of Debussy, Bartok, Stravinsky and Rachmaninoff seems no more and no less than other living composers may owe in those directions. What sets him a cut above others is the individual integration he has achieved out of those influences."

Film credits
Movie Credits:
Composer
Hercules (2005/I) (TV)
When Angels Come to Town (2004) (TV)
The Perfect Husband: The Laci Peterson Story (2004) (TV)
Finding John Christmas (2003) (TV)
1st to Die (2003) (TV)
Heart of a Stranger (2002) (TV)
Just a Walk in the Park (2002) (TV)
Power and Beauty (2002) (TV)
"Monk" (2002) TV Series (unknown episodes)
We Were the Mulvaneys (2002) (TV)
Just Ask My Children (2001) (TV)
Blonde (2001) (TV)
Inside the Osmonds (2001) (TV)
Yesterday's Children (2000) (TV)
The Thin Blue Lie (2000) (TV)
The Three Stooges (2000) (TV)
Jesus (1999) (TV)
Miracle on the 17th Green (1999) (TV)
Switching Goals (1999) (TV)
Shake, Rattle and Roll: An American Love Story (1999) (TV)
Kiss the Sky (1999)
A Song from the Heart (1999) (TV)
A Cooler Climate (1999) (TV)
The Reef (1999)
Take My Advice: The Ann and Abby Story (1999) (TV)
A Murder on Shadow Mountain (1999) (TV)
Too Rich: The Secret Life of Doris Duke (1999) (TV)
A Knight in Camelot (1998) (TV)
A Change of Heart (1998/I) (TV)
Solomon (1997) (TV)
Heart Full of Rain (1997) (TV)
Julian Po (1997)
Sisters and Other Strangers (1997) (TV)
Mother Knows Best (1997) (TV)
That Old Feeling (1997)
A Walton Easter (1997) (TV)
Childhood Sweetheart? (1997) (TV)
Home Invasion (1997/I) (TV)
Ed McBain's 87th Precinct: Heatwave (1997) (TV)
After Jimmy (1996) (TV)
A Weekend in the Country (1996) (TV)
The Siege at Ruby Ridge (1996) (TV)
Never Give Up: The Jimmy V Story (1996) (TV)
My Very Best Friend (1996) (TV)
A Brother's Promise: The Dan Jansen Story (1996) (TV)
Saved by the Light (1995) (TV)
Journey (1995) (TV)
The West Side Waltz (1995) (TV)
Her Hidden Truth (1995) (TV)
Stormchasers (1995)
The Grass Harp (1995)
Deadline for Murder: From the Files of Edna Buchanan (1995) (TV)
Kingfish: A Story of Huey P. Long (1995) (TV)
Betrayed: A Story of Three Women (1995) (TV)
OP Center (1995) (TV)
"Extreme" (1995) TV Series (unknown episodes)
Take Me Home Again (1994) (TV)
Because Mommy Works (1994) (TV)
The Gift of Love (1994) (TV)
Twilight Zone: Rod Serling's Lost Classics (1994) (TV)
Getting Gotti (1994) (TV)
The Corpse Had a Familiar Face (1994) (TV)
Accidental Meeting (1994) (TV)
French Silk (1994) (TV)
Mercy Mission: The Rescue of Flight 771 (1993) (TV)
Geronimo (1993) (TV)
Zelda (1993) (TV)
"Cutters" (1993) TV Series (unknown episodes)
Taking the Heat (1993) (TV)
Murder in the Heartland (1993) (TV)
Blind Spot (1993) (TV)
"Black Tie Affair" (1993) TV Series (unknown episodes)
Jewels (1992) (TV)
Big Girls Don't Cry… They Get Even (1992)
Legacy of Lies (1992) (TV)
The Cutting Edge (1992)
Columbo: No Time to Die (1992) (TV)
Grave Secrets: The Legacy of Hilltop Drive (1992) (TV)
Back to the Streets of San Francisco (1992) (TV)
Keeping Secrets (1991) (TV)
Daughters of Privilege (1991) (TV)
In Broad Daylight (1991) (TV)
The Whereabouts of Jenny (1991) (TV)
Saturday's (1991) (TV)
Decoration Day (1990) (TV)
"The Simpsons" (1 episode, 1990)
Columbo: Murder in Malibu (1990) (TV)
Cry-Baby (1990)
In the Spirit (1990)
Love and Lies (1990) (TV)
The Earth Day Special (1990) (TV)
Goodnight Sweet Wife: A Murder in Boston (1990) (TV)
Columbo: Murder, a Self Portrait (1989) (TV)
Worth Winning (1989)
Night Walk (1989) (TV)
"FM" (1989) TV Series (unknown episodes)
"CBS Summer Playhouse" (2 episodes, 1987-1989)
Columbo: Sex and the Married Detective (1989) (TV)
Columbo: Murder, Smoke and Shadows (1989) (TV)
Fresh Horses (1988)
Double Standard (1988) (TV)
Maybe Baby (1988) (TV)
"Eisenhower & Lutz" (1988) TV Series (unknown episodes)
Laguna Heat (1987) (TV)
"The Slap Maxwell Story" (1987) TV Series (unknown episodes)
"The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd" (1987) TV Series (unknown episodes)
"Mr. President" (1987) TV Series
Kojak: The Price of Justice (1987) (TV)
Heart of the City (1986) (TV)
"Heart of the City" (1986) TV Series (unknown episodes)
Oceans of Fire (1986) (TV)
Violets Are Blue… (1986)
Just Between Friends (1986)
Spot Marks the X (1986) (TV)
The Rig (1986) (TV)
The Slugger's Wife (1985)
Seduced (1985) (TV)
All of Me (1984)
Best Defense (1984)
The Buddy System (1984)
Young Lust (1984)
Swing Shift (1984)
"Empire" (1984) TV Series (unknown episodes)
Two of a Kind (1983)
"After MASH" (1983) TV Series (unknown episodes)
"Mr. Smith" (1983) TV Series (unknown episodes)
The Fighter (1983) (TV)
Marvin & Tige (1983)
The Toy (1982)
"The Devlin Connection" (1982) TV Series (unknown episodes)
Moonlight (1982) (TV)
The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (1982)
Family in Blue (1982) (TV)
Some Kind of Hero (1982)
Tomorrow's Child (1982) (TV)
The Princess and the Cabbie (1981) (TV)
The Miracle of Kathy Miller (1981) (TV)
"The Two of Us" (1981) TV Series
Charlie Chan and the Curse of the Dragon Queen (1981)
A Girl's Life (1981) (TV)
It's My Turn (1980)
How to Beat the High Co$t of Living (1980)
Used Cars (1980)
Wholly Moses! (1980)
Hero at Large (1980)
Cuba (1979)
Butch and Sundance: The Early Days (1979)
Hot Stuff (1979)
The Seniors (1978)
The Cheap Detective (1978)
Columbo: The Conspirators (1978) (TV)
Columbo: How to Dial a Murder (1978) (TV)
Casey's Shadow (1978)
Columbo: Make Me a Perfect Murder (1978) (TV)
The One and Only (1978)
Escapade (1978) (TV)
Columbo: Try and Catch Me (1977) (TV) (as Pat Wiliams)
"Lou Grant" (2 episodes, 1977)
The Man with the Power (1977) (TV)
Stonestreet: Who Killed the Centerfold Model? (1977) (TV)
"The Tony Randall Show" (1976) TV Series (unknown episodes)
Most Wanted (1976) (TV)
"Good Heavens" (1976) TV Series (unknown episodes)
"Bert D'Angelo/Superstar" (1976) TV Series (unknown episodes)
The Lives of Jenny Dolan (1975) (TV)
Framed (1975)
"Doc" (1975) TV Series (unknown episodes)
Crossfire (1975) (TV)
"The Bob Newhart Show" (67 episodes, 1972-1975)
Stowaway to the Moon (1975) (TV)
I Wonder Who's Killing Her Now? (1975) (as Pat Williams)
Harrad Summer (1974)
Moonchild (1974)
Murder or Mercy (1974) (TV)
"Mary Tyler Moore" (90 episodes, 1970-1974)
Mrs. Sundance (1974) (TV) (as Pat Williams)
"The Magician" (1 episode, 1973)
Hex (1973)
Ordeal (1973) (TV)
SSSSSSS (1973) (as Pat Williams)
Topper Returns (1973) (TV) (as Pat Williams)
The Magician (1973) (TV)
A Time for Love (1973) (TV)
"The Streets of San Francisco" (2 episodes, 1972)
Short Walk to Daylight (1972) (TV)
The Streets of San Francisco (1972) (TV)
Hardcase (1972) (TV)
The Failing of Raymond (1971) (TV)
Lock, Stock and Barrel (1971) (TV)
"Funny Face" (1971) TV Series (unknown episodes)
Terror in the Sky (1971) (TV)
Evel Knievel (1971) (as Pat Williams)
Hitched (1971) (TV)
Travis Logan, D.A. (1971) (TV)
Incident in San Francisco (1971) (TV)
San Francisco International (1970) (TV) (as Pat Williams)
"The Headmaster" (1970) TV Series (unknown episodes)
Macho Callahan (1970) (as Pat Williams)
The Sidelong Glances of a Pigeon Kicker (1970)
A Nice Girl Like Me (1969)
Don't Drink the Water (1969) (as Pat Williams)
How Sweet It Is! (1968) (as Pat Williams)
A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Hollywood (1967) (TV)

Soundtrack
That Old Feeling (1997) (performer: "Anything Goes", "You Took Advantage Of Me", "You Do Something To Me", "There Will Never Be Another You", "Our Love Is Here To Stay", "That Old Feeling", "Isn't It Romantic", "Where Or When")
Some Kind of Hero (1982) (music: "Some Kind of Hero")
Used Cars (1980) (music: "USED CARS")
Hot Stuff (1979) ("Keep It Loose")
Casey's Shadow (1978) (music: "JUST LET ME GO TILL I'M GONE")
Don't Drink the Water (1969) (music: "Don't Drink the Water")

Director
"SK8" (2001) TV Series (unknown episodes)
"The Famous Jett Jackson" (1998) TV Series (unknown episodes)

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