Buddy Baker (composer) facts for kids
Quick facts for kids
|Birth name||Norman Dale Baker|
January 4, 1918|
Springfield, Missouri, U.S.
|Died||July 26, 2002
Norman Dale "Buddy" Baker (January 4, 1918 – July 26, 2002) was an American composer who scored many Disney films, including The Apple Dumpling Gang in 1975, The Apple Dumpling Gang Rides Again in 1979, The Shaggy D.A. in 1976, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh in 1977, and The Fox and the Hound in 1981. He also composed scores for Disney theme park attractions, including Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln and The Haunted Mansion.
Baker was born and raised in Springfield, Missouri, and got his degree in music from Southwest Baptist College. He moved to the West Coast in the 1930s to arrange music scores for radio, and became the musical director for Bob Hope's radio show.
One of Baker's first hits as a big band arranger was "And Her Tears Flowed Like Wine" for the Stan Kenton Orchestra. He later became a professor at L.A. City College in the early 1950s. Among his early students were film composer Jerry Goldsmith and jazz drummer Louis Bellson, with whom he composed and arranged Journey Into Love (Norgran, 1954).
At about this time, his friend George Bruns asked him to compose music for the Disney television show Davy Crockett and the River Pirates. He stayed on at the Disney studio, and eventually became its music director, as well as chief composer for Disneyland and other Disney theme parks.
Baker was nominated for an Academy Award for his score for the 1972 film Napoleon and Samantha. His work is heard in many Disney cartoons and featurettes, including Donald in Mathmagic Land, which was nominated for a 1959 Academy Award (Best Documentary - Short Subjects). In 1978, he composed the music for the first Walt Disney Home Video logo, known as the "Neon Mickey" logo—a loud string and brass fanfare with a piano and timpani beats.
The eerie music heard throughout The Haunted Mansion at Disneyland was another of Baker's works, as was the infectious theme to Walt Disney World's If You Had Wings. He arranged the medley of French classical music that accompanies the film Impressions de France at EPCOT Center, which artfully integrates works by Camille Saint-Saëns, Claude Debussy and Erik Satie, among others. He also wrote the music for the Tokyo DisneySea theme park attraction Journey to the Center of the Earth, which opened in 2001.
Awards and honors
In 1998, Baker was inducted as a Disney Legend. Baker also received the honor of having his name appear on Main Street, U.S.A. windows at DisneyWorld. The window, which can be found above the Car Barn reads: Plaza School of Music - Sheet Music—-Baker.
Later years and death
Baker retired from Disney as the last staff composer still on contract at any studio. Although he occasionally returned to work on theme park, film and television projects, he spent most of his later years teaching film scoring at the USC Thornton School of Music in Los Angeles, where he remained until his death from natural causes at age 84 in 2002. He was interred at Forest Lawn – Hollywood Hills Cemetery. In 2004, his wife Charlotte donated his papers to the Fales Library at New York University.
|1953||Wicked Woman||Russell Rouse||United Artists|
|1960||Toby Tyler||Charles Barton||Walt Disney Productions|
|1963||Summer Magic||James Neilson||Walt Disney Productions|
|1964||A Tiger Walks||Norman Tokar||Walt Disney Productions|
|The Misadventures of Merlin Jones||Robert Stevenson||Walt Disney Productions|
|1965||The Monkey's Uncle||Robert Stevenson||Walt Disney Productions|
|1967||The Gnome-Mobile||Robert Stevenson||Walt Disney Productions|
|1969||Rascal||Norman Tokar||Walt Disney Productions|
|Guns in the Heather||Robert Butler||Walt Disney Productions|
|1970||King of the Grizzlies||Ron Kelly||Walt Disney Productions|
|1971||The Million Dollar Duck||Vincent McEveety||Walt Disney Productions|
|1972||Napoleon and Samantha||Bernard McEveety||Walt Disney Productions|
|Run, Cougar, Run||Jerome Courtland||Walt Disney Productions|
|1973||Charley and the Angel||Vincent McEveety||Walt Disney Productions|
|Superdad||Vincent McEveety||Walt Disney Productions|
|1974||The Bears and I||Bernard McEveety||Walt Disney Productions|
|1975||The Apple Dumpling Gang||Norman Tokar||Walt Disney Productions|
|1976||No Deposit, No Return||Norman Tokar||Walt Disney Productions|
|Treasure of Matecumbe||Vincent McEveety||Walt Disney Productions|
|The Shaggy D.A.||Robert Stevenson||Walt Disney Productions|
|1977||The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh||Wolfgang Reitherman
|Walt Disney Productions|
|A Tale of Two Critters||Jack Spears||Walt Disney Productions|
|1978||Hot Lead and Cold Feet||Robert Butler||Walt Disney Productions|
|1979||The Apple Dumpling Gang Rides Again||Vincent McEveety||Walt Disney Productions|
|1980||Bon Voyage, Charlie Brown (and Don't Come Back!!)||Bill Melendez
Lee Mendelson-Bill Melendez Productions
Charles M. Schulz Creative Associates
United Feature Syndicate Inc.
|1981||The Devil and Max Devlin||Steven Hilliard Stern||Walt Disney Productions|
|The Fox and the Hound||Ted Berman
|Walt Disney Productions|
|1987||The Puppetoon Movie||Arnold Leibovit||Arnold Leibovit Entertainment|
Buddy Baker (composer) Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.