Hometown: Stepney, East London
Cause of Death: Illness
Age: 94 Years
Some lesser known facts about Monty Norman
- Monty Norman was a British film composer and singer, best known for composing the James Bond theme for Dr No (1962), the first film in the James Bond series. He died on 11 July 2022 due to illness.
- Monty’s parents were Jewish. His father moved to England from Latvia with Monty’s grandmother when he was a child.
- Monty was young when World War II broke out, which forced him to leave London. He came back to London in the 1940s and joined the RAF to render national service.
- He was six years old when his mother bought him his first guitar, the price of which had dropped from £17 (Rs 1352) to £15 (Rs 1193). In an interview, he said that he never threw his first guitar. he adds,
I still have that guitar – a 1930s Gibson. I never use it, but I keep it like a talisman. My parents never understood the profession I chose, but bless, they were wonderful and just let me go ahead with it. ,
- In an interview, he said that when he had to leave London because of World War II, he became interested in music as the landlady’s children would play popular songs in their home.
- Later, he took guitar lessons from popular guitarist Burt Weedon.
- Before he began singing professionally, Monty used to broadcast radio. In the 1950s, he accompanied big personalities including Cyril Stapleton, Stanley Black, Ted Heath, and Nat Temple. He also performed with comedian Benny Hill.
- In the mid-1950s, he decided to write songs. He wrote his first song titled ‘Jhoothe Dil Wale Premi’, which gained a lot of fame. In an interview he talked about the change and said,
I started writing songs and when one of them, False Hearted Lover, turned out to be a huge success, I decided I wanted to move in that direction. My parents were skeptical but I was sure that’s what I wanted to do.”
- Later, he shifted from writing to composing songs. He composed songs for such famous artists as Cliff Richard, Tommy Steele, Count Basie and Bob Hope. He composed music for stage shows including Make Me an Offer, Expresso Bongo, Songbook and Poppy.
- In an interview, he said that while he was performing on stage in 1962, producer Albert Cubby was present at the Broccoli show, and that he liked his performance so much that he offered to design a theme for Dr. There was a James Bond film starring Sean. Connery. Monty further stated that he was about to decline the offer because he was busy with other tasks, but Broccoli and his partner Harry Saltzman offered Monty a trip to Jamaica with his wife at the expense of the producers. Monty talked about this in an interview and said,
Well, that was clinical for me! I thought, even if Dr. No turns out to be a stinker, at least we’ll have the sun, the sea, and the sand to show it!”
- In another interview, Monty said that the James Bond theme was a recreation of the musical theme Monty had composed for the novel ‘A House for Mr. Biswas’. On his official website, Monty spoke about the success of the theme, saying,
We realized we needed a fresh, contemporary sound for the main theme, and we found an amazing arranger in the up-and-coming young John Barry, so the whole thing worked great.
- He provided music for various films, including The Two Faces of Dr. Jekyll (1960), The Day the Earth Caught Fire (1961), Call Me Bawana (1963), and the TV miniseries Dickens of London (1976).
- Monty died of illness on 11 July 2022. His official website expressed grief over his demise and wrote,
We are sadly sharing the news that Monty Norman passed away on 11 July 2022 following a short illness.
- He practiced Judaism and worshiped at the Liberal Jewish Synagogue, London.
- He has been seen drinking alcohol on several occasions.