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Ron Goodwin

Ron Goodwin

Plymouth's movie maestro

Ron Goodwin (1925-2003) was a musical perfectionist with more than 60 feature film scores to his name.

Plymouth-born composer Ron Goodwin is best remembered for his rousing film scores.

He's probably best known for composing war movie themes - in particular 633 Squadron and Battle of Britain.

The score for Battle of Britain was surrounded in controversy. Initially the film's makers persuaded Sir William Walton to write the soundtrack - but his score wasn't what the producers were after.

So they belatedly asked Ron Goodwin to write a replacement score. In the end, most of the music to the film - including the Battle of Britain theme - was Goodwin's, and only a small section was Walton's.

Ron Goodwin conducting

Ron Goodwin conducting Photo:Ron Shillingford

Other Goodwin film scores include Alfred Hitchcock's Frenzy, Where Eagles Dare, Village of the Damned, Monte Carlo or Bust, and Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines.

Goodwin, who was born in 1925, entered the music industry during the war years, in 1943.

He wrote arrangements for many leading orchestras, including Ted Heath and the BBC Dance Orchestra.

In 1950 he joined EMI Records as musical director for record producer George Martin.

In the years which followed, he worked with some of the biggest stars of the day - including Spike Milligan, Peter Sellers and Sophia Loren.

He also composed scores of concert pieces, among them the Drake 400 Suite, which was commissioned to mark Sir Francis Drake's return to Plymouth.

His first film scores were in the late '50s, and in 1960, he started to produce scores for MGM's British studios.

Goodwin received gold discs for million selling albums, and he was presented with three Ivor Novello Awards - the last of which was a Lifetime Achievement Award in 1994.

During the '70s, '80s and '90s, Goodwin toured the world as a conductor performing a mixture of classic works and popular hits.

He died in 2003 at his home in Berkshire at the age of 77.

last updated: 30/01/2008 at 14:51
created: 30/01/2008

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