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Biography

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Overview (5)

Born in Chicago, Illinois, USA
Died in Los Angeles, California, USA
Birth NameRobert Oliver Ragland
Nickname Bob
Height 5' 8" (1.73 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Robert O. Ragland is one of the most prolific music composers in the film industry. Originally from Chicago, Ragland gave up a comfortable executive position in advertising to gamble on his musical talents in Hollywood. Since that decision made in 1968, Ragland has made his impressive presence known in the film community by scoring over 50 motion pictures in a span of nearly thirty years. He first became interested in music by playing the piano at the age of five. During his school years, Ragland both performed and organized dance bands. After serving in the U.S. Navy for several years, Ragland attended and graduated from Northwestern University. He then served as a musical arranger for the Dorsey Brothers Orchestra and also attained degrees and awards in music from the American Conservatory of Music in Chicago and attended the Academy of Music in Vienna. Upon the death of Tommy Dorsey, one of the leads in the Dorsey Brothers Orchestra, Ragland officially left the music business for advertising, but his urge to write music for motion pictures overwhelmed him and he came out to California in 1969 and began composing music for such motion pictures as "Seven Alone", "Abby", "Return to Macon County", "Pony Express Rider" "Sharks Treasure", "Project: Kill", "Grizzly", "Mansion of Doom", "Jaguar Lives", "Q: The Winged Serpent", "Messenger of Death", "10 to Midnight", "The Fear", "Orion's Key", "Top of the World" and "Motel Blue". In his later years, Ragland also conducted the music for many live awards shows including the Oscars and the Emmys.Ragland passed away at the Cedars Sinai Medical Center in April, 2012 after being retired from the industry for seven years.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Blythe379@cs.com

Spouse (1)

Martha Montgomery (1972 - 9 May 2005) (her death)

Trade Mark (1)

Uses low sounding insturments in his films. Usually with a lot of his B-Movie and Cult films.

Trivia (11)

Works with music orchestrator Jack Hayes.
He retired in 1999.
Used low sounding instruments for Grizzly (1976).
Used the twelve of the lowest sounding instruments in Grizzly (1976).
Was mostly used in most of the 'disaster' films in the 70s.
He disliked a few parts in his score for Q (1982).
He played the piano at age five.
Most of his music for films is usually performed and conducted at The National Philharmonic Orchestra of London.
Stepfather of Oscar nominated film composers David Newman and Thomas Newman.
Married Martha Montgomery in the early 1972, after the death of her husband, famous Oscar winning film composer, Alfred Newman.
Member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences [Music Branch].

Personal Quotes (2)

The film composer has two main pressures... Time and Quality. Usually it is necessary to compose high quality music in a very short time and in most of my cases usually two weeks because money has already been budgeted.
(The scoring of Grizzly) "Because of the recent popularity of 'disaster' films, I was faced with the problem of creating a unique, but dramatically supportive score for Grizzly."

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