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Randy Van Horne, 83; his group sang TV themes

Obituaries

October 03, 2007|Mary Rourke | Times Staff Writer

Randy Van Horne, whose Randy Van Horne Singers performed the theme songs for "The Flintstones," "The Jetsons," "The Huckleberry Hound Show" and several other popular television cartoons of the 1960s, has died. He was 83.

Van Horne died of cancer Sept. 26 at the Motion Picture and Television Country House and Hospital in Woodland Hills, said his son, Mark.

In the late 1940s, Van Horne began his career in Los Angeles as a studio musician. In the early '50s, he formed his first vocal group, The Encores, with three other musicians.

When they disbanded in the late '50s, he created the Randy Van Horne Singers. Several members of the group, including Marni Nixon, later went on to successful solo careers.

Van Horne's singers, known for their light, easy style, occasionally appeared on television shows, including "The Nat 'King' Cole Show" in 1957, but they remained primarily a studio group.

Along with theme songs for Hanna-Barbera shows, the group recorded commercials, station identification spots and jingles, many of them written by Van Horne.

The group also recorded several albums, including "Other Worlds Other Sounds" (1958) with Juan Garcia Esquivel, the popular Latin musician known for his "Space Age pop" sound.

The Randy Van Horne Singers disbanded in the early 1970s, but Van Horne continued to perform in small clubs and halls around Los Angeles.

While in his 70s, Van Horne was the bandleader of the Alumni Association, made up of about 20 musicians from the Big Band era.

Van Horne's symphonic suite, "The Running of the Bulls," premiered in 1981 at La Mirada Civic Theatre.

Born Feb. 10, 1924, in El Paso, Van Horne dropped out of high school, enlisted in the Army during World War II and later attended the Peabody Conservatory of Music in Baltimore and the University of Texas at El Paso to study music.

He married Tanya Ingwersen in the mid-1950s. They had one child, Mark, who is his only known survivor. They divorced; Van Horne later married and divorced three more times.

A service is planned for 2 p.m. Thursday at the Motion Picture and Television Country House, 23388 Mulholland Drive, Woodland Hills.

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mary.rourke@latimes.com

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