David Shire

Active - 1971 - 2016  |   Born - Jul 3, 1937   |   Genres - Drama, Comedy

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Biography by Hal Erickson

After years of composing music for stage shows, Yale-educated David Shire plunged into film scoring with 1971's One More Train to Rob. The soundtrack album of Shire's incidental score for Saturday Night Fever won him a 1977 Grammy Award, while his single "It Goes Like It Goes," written for 1979's Norma Rae, earned him an Oscar. In addition, Shire won a Tony for his work on the 1983 Broadway musical Baby and an Outer Critics Circle Award for his 1989 off-Broadway effort Closer Than Ever; he was further Oscar-nominated for The Promise (1978), and was honored with Emmy nominations for his TV-movie scores for Raid on Entebbe (1977), The Defection of Simas Kudirka (1979), Do You Remember Love? (1985). Among his other contributions to television was "There's a New Girl in Town," the theme song for the 1976-85 sitcom Alice, which Shire wrote in collaboration with Marilyn Bergman. Never confining himself to any one style, Shire has a gift for choosing the right musical milieu for each of his projects; for the climactic sequences of 1985's Return to Oz, for example, he decided upon a ragtime cadence, a style indigenous to the era in which L. Frank Baum wrote his "Oz" stories. In 1970, David Shire married Francis Ford Coppola's sister Talia, who continued to bill herself as Talia Shire long after their divorce; Shire's second wife, whom he wed in 1984, was actress Didi Conn.

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