b. Ronald Alfred Goodwin, 17 February 1925, Plymouth, Devon, England, d. 8 January 2003, Brimpton Common, Berkshire, England. An important composer, conductor and arranger, from an early age Goodwin was deeply interested in all things musical, but began his working life outside the business. Eventually, he took a job as a music copier with music publishers Campbell Connelly. He also studied trumpet and arranging at the Guildhall School of Music in London, and played trumpet professionally with Harry Gold and wrote arrangements for the bands of Ted Heath and Geraldo. Employed by the short-lived Polygon label and then Parlophone Records, Goodwin made several records under the name of Ron Goodwin And His Concert Orchestra, in addition to arranging and conducting the backing music for singers, including Petula Clark and Jimmy Young. Goodwin also composed music in the classical form, including his ‘Drake 400 Concert Suite’ and ‘New Zealand Suite’, and wrote several television advertising jingles, including Ricicles (‘I like Ricicles: they’re twicicle as nicicles’) and Mr Sheen (‘Mr Sheen shines umpteen things clean’).
Despite his other achievements, it is as a writer for films that Goodwin made his greatest impact. After first writing for documentaries, from the 60s through to the 80s he composed the scores - and generally served as the musical director - for numerous feature films, including Whirlpool, The Witness, I’m All Right Jack, In The Nick, Village Of The Damned, The Trials Of Oscar Wilde, The Man With The Green Carnation, The Man At The Carleton Tower, The Clue Of The New Pin, Partners In Crime, Invasion Quartet, a series of ‘Miss Marple’ films starring Margaret Rutherford (Murder, She Said, Murder At The Gallop, Murder Most Foul and Murder Ahoy), The Day Of The Triffids, Follow The Boys, Of Human Bondage, Children Of The Damned, 633 Squadron, A Home Of Your Own, Those Magnificent Men In Their Flying Machines, Operation Crossbow, The Alphabet Murders, That Riviera Touch, The Trap (used as the theme for the London Marathon), Mrs Brown, You’ve Got A Lovely Daughter, Where Eagles Dare, Battle Of Britain, The Executioner, Frenzy, One Of Our Dinosaurs Is Missing, Escape From The Dark, Ride A Wild Pony, Candleshoe, Force 10 From Navarone, The Spaceman And King Arthur, Clash Of Loyalties, and Valhalla. In the 70s, Goodwin became in-house composer for all Walt Disney’s British productions, and produced a popular series of easy listening albums. Goodwin won several Ivor Novello Awards, including the Entertainment Music Award in 1972, and a Lifetime Achievement Award in 1994. In the 70s, Goodwin made concert tours of the UK with an orchestra performing his own film scores. He continued to broadcast on radio, and worked extensively in Canada.