Monty Norman, a British composer best known for writing the James Bond theme song, passed away at age 94.
(AP) LONDON — British composer Monty Norman, who created the theme song for the James Bond movies, has passed away. He was 94.
It is with sadness that we relay the news that Monty Norman passed away on July 11, 2022, following a brief illness, according to a statement published on Monday on Norman’s official website.
Born in the East End of London in 1928 as Monty Noserovitch to Jewish parents, Norman received his first guitar at the age of 16. Before writing songs for early British rockers Cliff Richard and Tommy Steele and composing for theatre musicals including “Make Me an Offer,” “Expresso Bongo,” “Songbook,” and “Poppy,” he performed with big bands and shared a variety of double act with comedian Benny Hill.
Producer Albert “Cubby” Broccoli enlisted Norman to write a theme for the 1962 James Bond movie “Dr. No.”
He changed the key riff from sitar to electric guitar, drawing on a composition he had created for a proposed musical version of V.S. Naipaul’s “A House for Mr. Biswas.” The twangy end effect and frightening were used in all 25 Bond movies.
To the dismay of composer John Barry, who was engaged by the producers to arrange the theme, Barry was widely believed to have created it. Barry, who passed away in 2011, continued to write the music for nearly a dozen Bond movies, including “Goldfinger” and “You Only Live Twice.”
To prove his authorship, Norman sued the Sunday Times for libel after reading a 1997 article that claimed Barry had written the theme. He was granted 30,000 pounds in damages after winning in 2001.
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