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Dave Grusin
Grusin in 2008
Grusin in 2008
Background information
Birth nameRobert David Grusin
Born (1934-06-26) June 26, 1934 (age 87)
Littleton, Colorado, U.S.
GenresJazz, jazz fusion, contemporary jazz
Occupation(s)Musician, composer, producer
InstrumentsPiano, keyboards
Years active1962–present
Associated actsLee Ritenour

Robert David Grusin (born June 26, 1934) is an American composer, arranger, producer, and pianist. He has composed many scores for feature films and television, and has won numerous awards for his soundtrack and record work, including an Academy Award and ten Grammy Awards. He is the co-founder of GRP Records.

Early life

Grusin was born in Littleton, Colorado to Henri and Rosabelle (née de Poyster) Grusin. His mother was a pianist and his father was a violinist from Riga, Latvia.[1][2] He has one Jewish parent.[3]

He studied music at the University of Colorado at Boulder and was awarded his degree in 1956.[4] His teachers included Cecil Effinger and Wayne Scott, pianist, arranger and professor of jazz.[5]


Grusin produced his first single, "Subways Are for Sleeping", in 1962 and his first film score for Divorce American Style (1967). Other scores followed, including The Graduate (1967), Winning (1969), The Friends of Eddie Coyle (1973), The Midnight Man (1974), and Three Days of the Condor (1975).[4]

In the late 1970s, he started GRP Records with his business partner, Larry Rosen, and began to create some of the first commercial digital recordings. He was the composer for On Golden Pond (1981), Tootsie (1982) and The Goonies (1985). In 1988, he won the Oscar for best original score for The Milagro Beanfield War. He also composed the musical scores for the 1984 TriStar Pictures and the 1993 Columbia Pictures Television logos.[6]

From 1998 to 1999, he was featured on the Billboard's Top 10 Jazz Artists[7] with the numbers going between 5 and 7.[8][9]

From 2000-11, Grusin concentrated on composing classical and jazz compositions, touring and recording with collaborators, including jazz singer and lyricist Lorraine Feather[10] and guitarist Lee Ritenour. Their album Harlequin won a Grammy Award in 1985. Their classical crossover albums, Two Worlds and Amparo, were nominated for Grammys.[11][12]

Grusin has a filmography of about 100 titles. His many awards include an Oscar for best original score for The Milagro Beanfield War, as well as Oscar nominations for The Champ, The Fabulous Baker Boys, The Firm, Havana, Heaven Can Wait, and On Golden Pond.[13] He also received a Best Original Song nomination for "It Might Be You" from the film Tootsie. Six of the fourteen cuts on the soundtrack from The Graduate are his. Other film scores he has composed include Where Were You When the Lights Went Out?, Three Days of the Condor, The Goonies, Tequila Sunrise, Hope Floats, Random Hearts, The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter, Mulholland Falls and The Firm. He also composed the original opening fanfare for film studio TriStar Pictures.[14]

Grusin composed theme music for the TV programs Good Morning World (American TV series) (1967), It Takes a Thief (1968), The Name of the Game (1968), Dan August (1970), The Sandy Duncan Show (1971–72), Maude (1972), Good Times (1974), Baretta (1975), Alice (1976), St. Elsewhere (1982), and, for Televisa in Mexico, Tres Generaciones (1987). He also composed music for individual episodes of each of those shows. His other TV credits include The Wild Wild West (1966), The Girl from U.N.C.L.E. (1966), and Columbo: Prescription: Murder (1968). He also did the theme song for One Life to Live (1968) from 1984–92. Grusin also wrote the music for the This Is America, Charlie Brown episode "The Smithsonian and the Presidency", and two of the cues from the episode "History Lesson" and "Breadline Blues" (the latter covered by Kenny G) appear on the tribute album Happy Anniversary, Charlie Brown. Grusin and Larry Rosen founded GRP Records in 1978. In 1994, GRP was in charge of MCA's jazz operations. Founders Grusin and Rosen left in 1995 and were replaced by Tommy LiPuma. In 1997, Grusin and Rosen founded N2K Encoded Music, which was renamed N-Coded Music.[15]

He received honorary doctorates from Berklee College of Music in 1988 and University of Colorado, College of Music in 1989. Grusin was initiated into the Beta Chi Chapter of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia at the University of Colorado in 1991.[16]

Awards and honors

Academy Awards

Grammy Awards

  • Award, Best Arrangement on an Instrumental: "Early A.M. Attitude" (1986), "Suite" for The Milagro Beanfield War (1990), "Bess You Is My Woman/I Loves You Porgy" (1991), "Mood Indigo" (1993), "Three Cowboy Songs" (1994)[17]
  • Award, Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocals: "My Funny Valentine" by Michelle Pfeiffer (1989), "Mean Old Man" by James Taylor (2002)[17]
  • Award, Best Album Original Score Written for Motion Picture or Television: The Fabulous Baker Boys (1989)
  • Nomination, Best Original Score: Selena[17]

Golden Globe Awards

  • Nomination, Best Original Score: The Milagro Beanfield War (1988), The Fabulous Baker Boys (1989), Havana (1990), For the Boys (1991)[17]



As leader

As sideman

With Patti Austin

With the Brothers Johnson

  • 1976 Look Out for #1
  • 1977 Right on Time

With Tom Browne

  • 1979 Love Approach
  • 1979 Browne Sugar
  • 1981 Magic

With Don Grusin

  • 1981 10k-LA
  • 1993 Native Land
  • 2004 The Hang

With Quincy Jones

  • 1973 You've Got It Bad Girl
  • 1974 Body Heat
  • 1975 Mellow Madness
  • 1976 I Heard That!
  • 1977 Roots (A&M, 1977)

With John Klemmer

  • 1975 Touch
  • 1976 Barefoot Ballet

With Earl Klugh

  • 1976 Earl Klugh
  • 1976 Living Inside Your Love
  • 1978 Finger Paintings

With Jon Lucien

  • 1973 Rashida
  • 1974 Mind's Eye
  • 1975 Song for My Lady

With Harvey Mason

  • 1976 Marching in the Street
  • 1977 Funk in a Mason Jar
  • 2003 With All My Heart

With Carmen McRae

With Sergio Mendes

  • 1976 Homecooking
  • 1977 Sergio Mendes & the New Brasil '77

With Lee Ritenour

  • 1976 First Course
  • 1977 Captain Fingers
  • 1977 Gentle Thoughts
  • 1978 Friendship
  • 1978 The Captain's Journey
  • 1979 Feel the Night
  • 1979 Rio
  • 1983 On the Line
  • 1986 Earth Run
  • 1988 Festival
  • 2005 Overtime
  • 2005 World of Brazil
  • 2006 Smoke 'N' Mirrors
  • 2012 Rhythm Sessions
  • 2015 A Twist of Rit

With James Taylor

With Dave Valentin

  • 1979 Legends
  • 1980 The Hawk
  • 1984 Kalahari
  • 1990 Flute Juice

With Sadao Watanabe

  • 1977 My Dear Life
  • 1978 California Shower
  • 1979 Morning Island
  • 1980 How's Everything
  • 1981 Orange Express
  • 2016 Encore!

With others


Year Title Director(s) Studio(s) Notes
1967 Divorce American Style Bud Yorkin Columbia Pictures
Waterhole No. 3 William A. Graham Paramount Pictures
The Graduate Mike Nichols Embassy Pictures
The Scorpio Letters Richard Thorpe Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
1968 A Man Called Gannon James Goldstone Universal Pictures
Where Were You When the Lights Went Out? Hy Averback United Artists
The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter Robert Ellis Miller Warner Bros.
Candy Christian Marquand ABC Pictures
1969 Winning James Goldstone Universal Pictures
Tell Them Willie Boy Is Here Abraham Polonsky Universal Pictures
1970 Halls of Anger Paul Bogart United Artists
Adam at 6 A.M. Robert Scheerer Cinema Center Films
1971 The Pursuit of Happiness Robert Mulligan Columbia Pictures
Shoot Out Henry Hathaway Universal Pictures
A Howling in the Woods Daniel Petrie NBC
Universal Television
Television film
The Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight James Goldstone Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
1972 The Great Northfield Minnesota Raid Philip Kaufman Universal Pictures
Fuzz Richard A. Colla United Artists
1973 Amanda Fallon Jack Laird NBC
Universal Television
Television film
The Friends of Eddie Coyle Peter Yates Paramount Pictures
1974 The Death Squad Harry Falk ABC
Spelling-Goldberg Productions
Television film
The Nickel Ride Robert Mulligan 20th Century Fox
The Midnight Man Roland Kibbee
Burt Lancaster
Universal Pictures
The Yakuza Sydney Pollack Warner Bros.
1975 W.W. and the Dixie Dancekings John G. Avildsen 20th Century Fox
Three Days of the Condor Sydney Pollack Paramount Pictures
1976 Murder by Death Robert Moore Columbia Pictures
The Front Martin Ritt Columbia Pictures
1977 Mr. Billion Jonathan Kaplan 20th Century Fox
Fire Sale Alan Arkin 20th Century Fox
The Goodbye Girl Herbert Ross Warner Bros.
Bobby Deerfield Sydney Pollack Columbia Pictures
1978 Heaven Can Wait Warren Beatty
Buck Henry
Paramount Pictures Nominated for Academy Award for Best Original Score
1979 The Champ Franco Zeffirelli Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Nominated for Academy Award for Best Original Score
...And Justice for All. Norman Jewison Columbia Pictures
The Electric Horseman Sydney Pollack Columbia Pictures
1980 My Bodyguard Tony Bill 20th Century Fox
1981 On Golden Pond Mark Rydell Associated Film Distribution Nominated for Academy Award for Best Original Score
Reds Warren Beatty Paramount Pictures
Absence of Malice Sydney Pollack Columbia Pictures
1982 Author! Author! Arthur Hiller 20th Century Fox
Tootsie Sydney Pollack Columbia Pictures Nominated for Academy Award for Best Original Score
1984 Racing with the Moon Richard Benjamin Paramount Pictures
The Little Drummer Girl George Roy Hill Warner Bros.
Falling in Love Ulu Grosbard Paramount Pictures
The Pope of Greenwich Village Stuart Rosenberg United Artists
1985 The Goonies Richard Donner Warner Bros.
1986 Lucas David Seltzer 20th Century Fox
1987 Ishtar Elaine May Columbia Pictures With Bahjawa and Paul Williams
1988 The Milagro Beanfield War Robert Redford Universal Pictures Winner of the Academy Award for Best Original Score
Clara's Heart Robert Mulligan Warner Bros.
Tequila Sunrise Robert Towne Warner Bros.
1989 A Dry White Season Euzhan Palcy Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
The Fabulous Baker Boys Steve Kloves 20th Century Fox Nominated for Academy Award for Best Original Score
1990 Havana Sydney Pollack Universal Pictures Nominated for Academy Award for Best Original Score
The Bonfire of the Vanities Brian De Palma Warner Bros.
1991 For the Boys Mark Rydell 20th Century Fox
1993 The Firm Sydney Pollack Paramount Pictures Nominated for Academy Award for Best Original Score
1995 The Cure Peter Horton Universal Pictures
1996 Mulholland Falls Lee Tamahori Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
1997 Selena Gregory Nava Warner Bros.
In the Gloaming Christopher Reeve HBO Television film
1998 Hope Floats Forest Whitaker 20th Century Fox
1999 Random Hearts Sydney Pollack Columbia Pictures
2001 Dinner with Friends Norman Jewison HBO Television film
2006 Even Money Mark Rydell Yari Film Group
2008 Recount Jay Roach HBO Television film
2010 Harmony Stuart Sender
Julie Bergman Sender
NBC Television film
2013 Skating to New York Charles Minsky Well Go USA Entertainment

See also


  1. ^ "Dave Grusin Page". Soul Walking. Retrieved January 9, 2018.
  2. ^ "Dave Grusin Biography". Film Reference. Retrieved April 22, 2019.
  3. ^ High Fidelity, vol. 27, n° 7-12, p. 27.
  4. ^ a b "The Dave Grusin manuscripts An inventory of holdings at the American Music Research Center" (PDF). American Music Research Center. Retrieved April 22, 2019.
  5. ^ "Cecil Effinger Interview with Bruce Duffie". Bruce Duffie. Retrieved April 22, 2019.
  6. ^ "Dave Grusin and Larry Rosen. Behind the scenes, they're ahead of their times". Billboard. Vol. 91 no. 42. October 20, 1979.
  7. ^ "Billboard Dec 26, 1998 - Jan 2, 1999". Billboard. Vol. 110 no. 52. p. 27.
  8. ^ "Top Jazz Artists and Albums". Billboard. Vol. 110 no. 26. June 27, 1998. p. 44.
  9. ^ "Billboard Dec 27, 1997 - Jan 3, 1998". Billboard. Vol. 110 no. 26. June 27, 1998. p. YD-68.
  10. ^ Kaufman, Joanne (March 2, 2018). "When Your Home Has a History". The New York Times. Retrieved April 22, 2019.
  11. ^ Daniels, Melissa (June 20, 2008). "Lee Ritenour and Dave Grusin to Return with 'Amparo'". JazzTimes. Retrieved April 22, 2019.
  12. ^ Soergel, Brian (October 1, 2008). "Lee Ritenour & Dave Grusin: Amparo". JazzTimes. Retrieved April 22, 2019.
  13. ^ On Golden Pond (Main Theme) Sheet Music. October 1986. ISBN 978-1-4950-4316-1.
  14. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on May 12, 2013. Retrieved March 21, 2014.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  15. ^ "The Dave Grusin manuscripts An inventory of holdings at the American Music Research Center" (PDF). American Music Research Center. Retrieved April 22, 2019.
  16. ^ "Charles E. Lutton Man of Music". Retrieved April 22, 2019.
  17. ^ a b c d e "Dave Grusin". Grammys. Retrieved April 22, 2019.
  18. ^ "The Key is Versatility". Billboard. Vol. 74 no. 48. December 1, 1962. p. 47.
  19. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (illustrated ed.). St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. p. 130. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  20. ^ "Dave Grusin | Album Discography | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved April 22, 2019.
  21. ^ "Dave Grusin | Credits | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved April 22, 2019.

External links

This page was last edited on 12 January 2022, at 20:07
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