b. 19 June 1920, Hackney, London, England, d. 20 April 2003, Bognor Regis, West Sussex, England. A prolific composer and arranger, who composed numerous film and television scores, Douglas also recorded with many top singers and sold millions of albums, including 80 made for RCA Records. A talented child pianist, Douglas formed a dance band while still at school and after leaving education played with the Neville Hughes sextet. An injury during wartime service in the RAF forced him to give up piano playing for a time, and concentrate on composing and arranging. After the war he was in demand from Bert Ambrose, Ted Heath, Edmundo Ros, Cyril Stapleton, Billy Cotton, Joe Loss, Mantovani, Jack Parnell and other top British bands. He also accompanied Howard Keel, Shirley Jones, Moira Anderson, Shirley Bassey, Max Bygraves, Al Martino, John Hanson, Dennis Lotis, Barbra Streisand, Vera Lynn, Tex Ritter (Douglas was on the 1952 hit ‘High Noon’), Harry Secombe and Frankie Vaughan, among many others. He provided musical support for many international stars on television and radio, and in 1955 was given the first of his several shows on BBC Radio, In The Still Of The Night.
In 1958, for the first time Douglas was given the chance to conduct a large orchestra playing his own arrangements. The RCA album Living Strings Play Music Of The Sea was the start of a long and successful association. Douglas scored over 30 feature films, the best known of which, 1970’s The Railway Children, received a British Academy nomination. Others included The Day Of The Triffids, The Hijackers, The Bay Of Saint Michel, Gunfighters Of Casa Grande, Mozambique, Crack In The World, City Of Fear, Kid Rodelo, Dateline Diamonds, Circus Of Fear, Company Of Fools, Run Like A Thief, and 21 films in the Scales Of Justice series. In 1983, Douglas formed his own record company, Dulcima, taking the name from a film score he composed for an HE Bates adaptation. He continued recording into the next decade, completing his first classical composition, a symphonic poem with three movements called The Conquest, in 1999. Douglas, who had fought prostate cancer for several years, died in April 2003.