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Eddy Manson; Noted Harmonica Player

July 16, 1996|MYRNA OLIVER | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Eddy Lawrence Manson, internationally known harmonica player and composer of background music for television and motion pictures, has died. He was 77.

Manson died Friday in Los Angeles of congestive heart failure.

As a virtuoso harmonica soloist, Manson performed concerts in such venues as the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles, Carnegie Hall in New York and Gorki Park in Moscow.

His work can be heard in such films as "Coal Miner's Daughter," "Oklahoma Crude," "The Longest Day" and "Born on the Fourth of July." He is also remembered for his performance of Henry Mancini's "Moon River" on the album for "Breakfast at Tiffany's."

An honors graduate of the Juilliard School of Music and the New York University School of Radio-TV, Manson began scoring for live television programs including "Armstrong Circle Theater," "Kraft Theater" and "Studio One."

The prolific composer also scored several television movies, including "Crash: The True Story of Flight 401," and for motion pictures presented in theaters, including "Lovers and Lollipops" in 1956 and "Three Bites of the Apple" in 1967.

Manson's voluminous output included original concert pieces, among them "Fugue for Woodwinds," "Ballad for Brass," "Parable for 16 Horns" and "Yankee Doodle Toccata."

He composed music for several commercials and arranged music for individuals and groups such as Michael Jackson, Don Ho and the Jackson Five.

The performer and composer taught film scoring at UCLA and was a columnist for Overture magazine.

Manson was a past president of the American Society of Music Arrangers and Composers and board member of the Society for the Preservation of Film Music. He was music director and vice president of Creative Arts Temple in the late 1980s and artistic director of Temple Sholom Aleichem in 1993 and 1994.

Widowed twice, Manson is survived by his son, producer and director David Manson; a sister, Lilyan Robbins and one granddaughter.

The family has asked that any memorial contributions be made to the Permanent Charities Committee of the Entertainment Industries or to Creative Arts Temple.

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