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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Ray Bloch
Ray Bloch in 1951
Bloch in 1951
Background information
Birth nameRaymond A. Bloch
BornAugust 3, 1902
Alsace-Lorraine
DiedMarch 29, 1982(1982-03-29) (aged 79)
Miami, Florida
Occupation(s)composer, songwriter, conductor, pianist, and arranger
InstrumentsPiano
LabelsSignature Records
Associated actsRay Bloch Orchestra
Websiteraybloch.com

Raymond A. (Ray) Bloch (August 3, 1902 – March 29, 1982)[1] was a European-American composer, songwriter, conductor, pianist, author and arranger. He is best remembered as the arranger and orchestra conductor for The Ed Sullivan Show during its entire run from 1948 to 1971.

Biography

Ray Bloch was born in Alsace-Lorraine and immigrated to the United States with his parents as an infant.[1][2] His father was a chef.[3]

Career

During the 1920s, he performed with small groups on piano and also conducted ballroom bands.[2] Later in the decade he began appearing as a pianist on radio stations.[3] He began working as an arranger and composer for the Four Eton Boys in the early 1930s, and followed that as a conductor for choral groups.[3] In 1939 he joined the CBS radio variety show Johnny Presents as choral director and was promoted to orchestra conductor. This was the beginning of a long and successful career in "conducting, coaching, orchestrating, and choral directing"[3] on radio, television, and albums.

Radio

Bloch and his orchestra were featured on numerous radio variety shows of the late-1930s and 1940s. These included: Johnny Presents (1939-1946),[4] The Gay Nineties Revue (CBS, 1939-1944),[5] Let Yourself Go (CBS, 1944-1945),[6] The Continental Celebrity Club (1945-1946),[7] The Milton Berle Show (NBC, 1948-1949),[8][9] and The Mary Small Revue (1945).[10] From 1943 to 1956 Bloch and his orchestra also performed on Here's to Romance, a weekly musical variety show broadcast by the American Forces Network.[11] In 1951 Bloch hosted his own show, The Bloch Party, a 60-minute variety show on CBS Radio featuring Judy Lynn, the Russ Emery Chorus, and the Ray Bloch Orchestra.[12]

The orchestra was a fixture on several game shows, including Take It or Leave It (CBS, 1940-1947).[13] Quick as a Flash (1944–1949) – during which "clues were elaborately dramatized or were musically illustrated by Ray Bloch's orchestra"[14]– and Sing It Again (1948–1951).[15] Bloch also worked on Philip Morris Playhouse (CBS, 1939–1943),[16] and in several Orson Welles drama presentations.[2]

In 1945 Bloch signed an exclusive contract with Signature Records to serve as "musical conductor for all disks by individual singers".[17] The Ray Bloch Orchestra backed many singers, including The Five DeMarco Sisters,[18] Kay Armen,[18] and Monica Lewis.[19] The orchestra itself was featured on Signature Records' The Merry Christmas Album (1947), Best Loved Christmas Music Album (1947),[20] and a 78 record with the songs "I Must Have Your Love" and "Together" (1953).[21] Bloch wrote songs such as "When Love Has Gone", "You're Everything That's Lovely", "In the Same Old Way", "In My Little Red Book", "The Wide Open Spaces", "Sam the Vegetable Man", "Let's Make Up a Little Party", and "If You Were Mine".[22] He often worked with W. Edward Breuder and Paul Rusincky.[22]

Television

Bloch was the arranger and orchestra conductor for The Ed Sullivan Show from the show's debut on June 20, 1948[23] until its final show in June 1971. He also led the orchestra for The Jackie Gleason Show. Each week during his show, Jackie Gleason would introduce Bloch as "the flower of the music world".[2]

Other activities

He was on the original board of governors of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences and also on the board of the New York Friars' Club.[2] In the 1950s he founded Ray Bloch Productions, which continues to produce events for the entertainment and corporate industries.[24]

Later years

Bloch retired to Miami. He died of a heart attack there on March 29, 1982.[2] He was buried in Ferncliff Cemetery in Westchester County, New York.[25]

References

Notes

  1. ^ a b UPI (1 April 1982). "Area Deaths". The Bryan Times. p. 3. Retrieved 14 November 2015.
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Ray Bloch, Conductor On TV and Radio, 79". The New York Times. Associated Press. 1 April 1982. Retrieved 11 November 2015.
  3. ^ a b c d "Liner notes for Coral CRL 56074". Retrieved 14 November 2015.
  4. ^ Terrace 1998, p. 179.
  5. ^ Dunning 1998, p. 280.
  6. ^ Terrace 1998, p. 105.
  7. ^ Dunning 1998, p. 180.
  8. ^ Terrace 1998, p. 229.
  9. ^ Dunning 1998, p. 460.
  10. ^ Dunning 1998, p. 441.
  11. ^ Mackenzie 1999, p. 62.
  12. ^ Terrace 1998, p. 45.
  13. ^ Terrace 1998, p. 325.
  14. ^ Dunning 1998, p. 558.
  15. ^ Dunning 1998, p. 616.
  16. ^ Terrace 1998, p. 171.
  17. ^ "Majestic, Signature Sign Two Leaders". Billboard. 57 (47): 24. 24 November 1945. Retrieved 14 November 2015.
  18. ^ a b "Advance Record Releases". 57 (46). 17 November 1945: 28. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  19. ^ "Record Reviews: Monica Lewis-Ray Bloch". Billboard: 131. 19 April 1947.
  20. ^ "Advance Record Releases". Billboard: 30. 6 September 1947.
  21. ^ "Popular Record Reviews". Billboard: 39. 7 February 1953.
  22. ^ a b American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers 1966.
  23. ^ "Bloch On Job for 21 Years". Toledo Blade. January 11, 1970. p. 12. Retrieved November 14, 2015.
  24. ^ "About Us". Ray Bloch Productions. Retrieved 14 November 2015.
  25. ^ "Ray Bloch". Find a Grave. 17 March 1999. Retrieved 15 November 2015.

Sources

External links

This page was last edited on 24 May 2021, at 15:42
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