Nelson Riddle (1921-1985)

My first contact with the music of composer and arranger Nelson Riddle came about as a very young kid.

I loved the theme from the early sixties television show Route 66. Nelson Riddle wrote that and lots of other film music. That piece still does something crazy to me. It has some blend of nostalgia and hipness that always sends me into an almost Proustian cascade of sense memory. That piece of music just makes me happy and I never get tired of it.

Of course, I later heard all of the great and immortal arrangements he did for Sinatra and others. I then became a big enough fan of Mr. Riddle that I purchased some of the albums under his own name.

In my opinion, Nelson Riddle created a totally original and completely American sound. His music has humor, depth and lightness. What a combination.

Historical Figures Jazz