You probably know his compositions — he scored some of Mel Brooks’ best-loved movies, including “Blazing Saddles” and “Young Frankenstein.” Composer John Morris died Thursday at his home in Red Hook, N.Y. He was 91.
“Morris was Oscar-nominated for co-writing, with Brooks, the title song for ‘Blazing Saddles’ — a sendup of classic movie cowboy tunes sung by Frankie Laine for the opening of Brooks’ 1974 film,” Variety reports. “Morris was nominated again in 1980 for his dramatic score for the Brooks-produced ‘The Elephant Man.’”
Morris was working with Brooks as far back as “The Producers” in 1967, writing the original arrangement for “Springtime for Hitler” and composing the rest of the underscore, Variety notes..
“Morris’ most famous score is undoubtedly ‘Young Frankenstein,’ for which he composed a memorable violin theme that plays a key role in the story,” Variety reports. “Under the title ‘Transylvanian Lullaby,’ it has even been performed by top classical artists from violinist Gil Shaham to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.”