Bill Pursell Biography (Wikipedia)
William Whitney Pursell (born June 9, 1926) is an American composer and former session pianist. He had a brief but successful career as a pop musician before continuing on as a session player. He is best known for the top ten hit "Our Winter Love."
Pursell was born in Oakland, California and raised in Tulare. He studied composition in Baltimore and arranged for the U.S. Air Force Band while serving in World War II. Bill Pursell studied classical composition under Howard Hanson at the Eastman School of Music and earned a master's degree in composition in the mid-fifties. His symphonic poem "Christ Looking Over Jerusalem" (the first movement of "Three Biblical Scenes for Orchestra") was the inaugural recipient of the Edward B. Benjamin Prize in 1953. Later that decade, he worked with the Nashville Symphony Orchestra and taught at Tennessee State University and Vanderbilt University.
In 1962 he signed with Columbia Records, and the hit single "Our Winter Love" was released that year, which hit No. 9 on the Billboard Hot 100, in addition to hitting No. 4 on the Easy Listening chart and No. 20 on the Hot R&B Singles chart. A full-length album entitled Our Winter Love was released the following year. The album reached #15 on the Billboard 200 on the strength of the popularity of the title track. The arrangements for the album were made by Bill Justis and Pursell, and the orchestra was conducted by Grady Martin.
Bill Pursell Tracks