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M*A*S*H composer dies

Johnny Mandel, the Oscar and Grammy-winning composer behind the theme from M*A*S*H and more, has died aged 94.

Although details of his death have not been released the news was announced by his friend Michael Feinstein, on Facebook on Monday (29Jun20).

"A dear friend and extraordinary composer arranger and all-around brilliant talent Johnny Mandel just passed away," Feinstein wrote. "The world will never be quite the same without his humor, wit and wry view of life and the human condition.

"He was truly beyond compare, and nobody could write or arrange the way he did. Lord will we miss him. Let's celebrate him with his music! He would like that."

In addition to composing Suicide is Painless, the famous theme to M*A*S*H, the movie and spin-off TV series set during the Korean War, Mandel arrange and composed for vocalists including Frank Sinatra, Count Basie, Peggy Lee, Barbra Streisand, Michael Jackson, Tony Bennett, Natalie Cole, and Hoagy Carmichael.

His death drew another tribute from Canadian crooner Michael Buble, who tweeted: "I was so sad to learn that a hero of mine, Johnny Mandel, passed away. He was a genius and one of my favorite writers, arrangers, and personalities. He was a beast."

Born in New York in 1925, Mandel studied music at schools including Juilliard, learning trumpet and trombone, before working with jazz bands and eventually moving into composing and orchestral arranging, working for some of music's biggest stars.

Mandel scored more than 30 films during his career, including the 1965 movie The Sandpiper, which contained The Shadow of Your Smile, a song that won him an Oscar and a Grammy for Song of the Year, one of six Grammys he collected in total.



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