Monty Norman

Biography by

b. 4 April 1928, London, England. Born into a family of Jewish immigrants from Latvia, Norman took an early interest in music and in the post-war years began singing and writing songs. He worked as a…
Read Full Biography

Artist Biography by

b. 4 April 1928, London, England. Born into a family of Jewish immigrants from Latvia, Norman took an early interest in music and in the post-war years began singing and writing songs. He worked as a singer, notably with the bands of Cyril Stapleton, Stanley Black and Ted Heath. He appeared on radio and at the popular Sunday concerts at the London Palladium. After launching his solo career he appeared at variety theatres throughout the UK and also worked on radio and television in shows such as That Old Black Magic. His composing for the West End theatre included songs written for the musicals Expresso Bongo and Irma La Douce (both 1958), in collaboration with Julian More and David Heneker, the latter show with Marguerite Monnot’s music. The former did well while the latter was a huge success and also ran on Broadway where the music brought a Tony Award nomination. Also popular was Make Me An Offer (1959), another collaboration with Heneker. For his work on Songbook (1972), another collaboration with More, Norman won an Ivor Novello Award and was also nominated for another Tony.

Norman was also active writing music for films, sometimes themes and other times complete scores. Among the films on which he worked in the early 60s were The Two Faces Of Dr. Jekyll (1960), The Day The Earth Caught Fire (1961) and Dr. No (1962), composing the title theme for the latter, which was incorporated into subsequent James Bond films. His television music includes Quick Before They Catch Us (1966). In the early 00s, Norman was reportedly working on a musical version of Kingsley Amis’ novel Lucky Jim.