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John Barry

Born: 1933-11-03 - Died: 2011-01-30
Cause of Death:
Heart Attack


Death Summary: Barry's death was sudden, dying of a heart attack in New York

Who was John Barry : John Barry is one of the most famous film composers in the medium. He is credited as being one of the architects of the original James Bond theme song. Along with his Bond work, Barry composed or conducted over 110 themes for film and TV.

Barry was educated in St. Peter's School, receiving composition lessons from Francis Jackson, organist of York Minister. He and his family moved around quite a bit, settling down in Oyster Bay, New York.

Barry's family was involved in the movie business, which naturally led him to the medium. He started as a pianist, and then branched out and learned other instruments. He formed a band called 'The John Barry Seven', and released a few hit records. His first theme song came with a song called "Hit and Miss" which was used for a BBC progam, Juke Box Jury.

Barry's breakthrough came by way of the BBC show, Drumbeat. It is where he met singer, Adam Faith. Faith made a movie called Beat Girl in 1960, calling upon the services of Barry to arrange and conduct the score.

After Beat Girl, Barry kept it going, composing and arranging for many movies. All of his work caught the attention of producers, who were working on a movie called, Dr. No. The producers were dissatisfied with the theme, put together by Monty Norman. Barry was then hired to change it up, and then created one of the most well renowned themes in cinema history - The James Bond theme. The argument over who created the theme would go on for many years.

After Dr. No, Barry's stock would continue to rise. During his career, Barry amassed five Academy Award and four Grammy Awards. Another interesting historical fact about Barry is he was the first to use synthesizers in a film score, for the movie 'On Her Majesty's Secret Service'

In 1988, Barry ruptured his esophagus after a near lethal reaction to a health tonic. The incident kept him out of work for two years, and left him vulnerable to pneumonia.

Barry was married four times. He is survived by four children, and his wife Laurie.
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6 Signatures in John Barry's guestbook

  1. Brooke Raymond Says:

    With the music in his heart and soul he gave us the very sound of an era. So few have the talent to create something original. He has been copied many times over. We will forever have him in our collective memories.

  2. Rodney Langley Says:

    What a tragedy. One of the greatest composers of our time. No piece will ever have the grandeur and magic of “Somewhere in Time”. May you rest in peace, John.

  3. Alison Says:

    One of the finest composers ever, and to me on a par with Beethoven, etc.
    Music will never be the same again.

  4. Ranessa Says:

    I love reandig these articles because they’re short but informative.

  5. Xiaotian Shi Says:

    You will continue to be my favourite and most inspiring composer of my life. You make me who I am as a musician. Thank you for everything you have done.

  6. Victor RamosGlez Says:

    It’s so tragedy to lost one of the finest composers of the time, your legacy still live on in all of your fans RIP. Yuor music will always be one of the kind The Deep, The Specialist, Somewhere in Time and so on marvelous pieces of true arts.


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