David Rose was a renowned songwriter, music composer, arranger, and orchestra leader of America. He is better known for his scores of “The Stripper”, “Holiday for Strings” and “Calypso Music”. His composition of “Calypso Music” was an instant hit and was given a gold disc.He started his career as part of a dance band. Later, he acted as a pianist, arranger and conductor for the NBC radio. During the World War II, he played the role of a composer and conductor for the U.S. Army where he got recognition for his work of ‘Winged Victory’, a musical. His meeting with Red Skeleton was a turning point of his career. Skeleton’s radio program helped to popularize his song “Holiday for Strings”. His remarkable contribution towards music industry includes his creation of theme music for more than twenty television series. For 14 years, he was the music composer of a classic television series ‘Bonanza’ for which he won several Emmy awards. He released more than 50 albums among which the name of “The Stripper” deserved special mention for his mastery of using jazz music style. This work of Rose featured in several films like ‘Slap Shot’ and ‘The Full Monty’. Television programmes like ‘Little Britain” and ‘Scrubs’ used this musical composition successfully.
Childhood & Early Life
David Rose, the son of Jewish parents, was born in London and grew up in Chicago, Illinois. He attended the Chicago College of Music. He completed his graduation at the age of 16.
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After finishing his education, he started performing as part of a dance band under the leadership of Ted Fio Rito. He remained with this band for three years. After that, he worked as a standby pianist for NBC radio.
Besides being a standby pianist, he also worked as an arranger and conductor for this radio company. During this period, he composed songs like “Break It Down”, “Transcontinental” and “Plantation Moods”.
In 1936, he worked as an arranger of Benny Goodman’s popular song “It’s Been so Long”. After leaving New York in 1938, he shifted to Hollywood. Within a short period of reaching Hollywood, he assembled David Rose Orchestra for the Mutual Broadcast System.
During this time, he also acted as a conductor for a program called California Melodies. In 1941, he created songs for several films for MGM Studios. It was at this time when he created “Holiday for Strings” which is considered as one of his most notable works. The song received huge success in 1943.
During World War II, he served as a composer and conductor for the U. S. Army. Along with lyricist Leo Robin, he composed the song “So in Love” that featured in the film ‘Wonder Man’. The song got the nomination for an Oscar.
He met Red Skeleton during his service fort the Army. Red asked him to act as a conductor for his Raleigh Cigarettes Program. After the War was over, he used to perform regularly on Red Skelton’s radio program from 1948.
During the 1970s, he created music for Little House on Prairie which also became successful. At that time, he remained busy with conducting a number of symphony concerts and recording of albums. He continued to do so till the 1980s.
He recorded his musical composition “The Stripper” in 1958. The song was released after four years. The song reflects a jazz influence in its composition which will be remembered for its usage of trombone lines.
Personal Life & Legacy
On October 8, 1938, he married Martha Raye, an actress. After his divorce with Martha on May 19, 1941, he tied the nuptial knot with Judy Garland on July 28 in the same year.
Judy was an actress and singer. According to biographer Gerald Clarke, Judy went through an abortion during her marriage with Rose. They got divorced in 1944.
Next, he married Betty Bartholomew with whom he had two daughters. His granddaughter Samantha James is a renowned singer and song writer. He passed away at the age of 80 in Burbank, California.
A popular advertisement of shaving cream used this music maestro’s composition of “The Stripper” in its promotional campaign. This advertisement showed close-up shots of the faces of men shaving with safety razors and the strokes of the razors coincided with the emphatic portion of this tune.