Oral History Information
Johnny Mandel brought his unique talents as a composer and arranger from jazz clubs to the big screen during a brilliant career that spanned over 60 years! As a songwriter, he spent several years in the 1940s and 50s plugging his songs in the Brill Building in New York which was the hotspot for music publishing at the time. He spent years working in Hollywood and for big bands as well as penning popular songs for artists such as Tony Bennett and Peggy Lee. Johnny was a Grammy and Oscar winner whose 1965 hit "The Shadow of Your Smile" for the movie The Sandpiper led to a series of hit movie theme songs including "Suicide Is Painless” for both the movie and television series M*A*S*H*. After his 2009 NAMM Oral History interview, Johnny often wrote to his friends about the importance of the program, which resulted in several key interviews including Leo Schifrin and Barry De Vorzon.