George Greeley

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George Greeley was a graduate of the Juilliard School of Music who, rather than aim for a career in the concert hall, devoted his talents to elevating the sounds of popular music. The Rhode Island-born…
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George Greeley was a graduate of the Juilliard School of Music who, rather than aim for a career in the concert hall, devoted his talents to elevating the sounds of popular music. The Rhode Island-born pianist (and later orchestra leader) worked with such figures as Tommy Dorsey, Glen Gray, Abe Lyman, and Kay Kyser during the big-band era, and was also extremely busy on radio (and later television) from the end of the '30s thru the mid-'50s. He subsequently went to work for Columbia Pictures in the soundtrack department, providing mostly uncredited incidental music for a few dozen movies. He was also among the earliest artists signed to the Warner Bros. Records label upon its founding in the late '50s, providing that company with the same elegant instrumental pop sounds that Billy Vaughan brought to Dot Records and Percy Faith brought to Columbia Records. His most obviously enduring contribution to popular culture, however, may have come in the early '60s when Greeley composed the title theme to the television series My Favorite Martian, starring Ray Walston and Bill Bixby -- that goofy yet decidedly if subtly spaced-out piece of music (which even had room for a theremin-type sound) has lingered for 40 years and counting in the memories of people who have scarcely seen the series in all of that time.