SWDB Hall of Fame/Composers
March 16 or 18, 1925 (Rome, Italy)-
The multitalented Musician’s iconic guitar riffs and whistling were instrumental in creating the personification of the Spaghetti Western score, contributing in one way or another in some 20 Spaghetti Western and Euro Western productions. He collaborated with Ennio Morricone on several films, providing his one of a kind whistling for Once Upon a Time in the West (1968). His whistling and guitar playing can be heard in For a Few Dollars More(1965) and his 8 voice choir, “Cantori Moderni Di Alessandroni” was heard in The Good, The Bad and the Ugly (1966) and other classics like Death Rides a Horse(1967), Wanted (1967) and Dead Men Ride (1971). He worked as a choral music arranger on A Fistful of Dollars (1964). His whistling as also heard in Lucky Luke (1991) and its subsequent 1992 TV series. Alesandroni also provided creative input, contributing as an uncredited composer on such films as Any Gun Can Play (1967), Johnny Hamlet (1968), Payment in Blood (1967), collaborating with Francesco De Masi. He also served as a conductor for films such as Seven Dollars on the Red (1966). Outside of the Western genre, he continues to contribute to cinema and television and his work can be heard in various films and television series.
Luis Enríquez Bacalov
|Luis Enriquez Bacalov
March 30, 1933 (Buenos Aires, Argentina)-
Perhaps the most illustrious film composer to come out of Argentina, Bacalov spent much of his early career composing scores for Spaghetti and Euro Westerns, 15 in all. Among some of the well known westerm scores that Bacalov has composed are Django (1966), A Bullet for the General (1966), Sugar Colt (1966), The Price of Power (1969), and The Grand Duel (1972). Quentin Tarantino reused Bacalov's music in Kill Bill Vol. 1 (2003) and Kill Bill Vol. 2 (2004). Bacalov's main theme from His Name was King(1971) was featured in Tarantino's Django Unchained (2012) and the video game Red Dead Revolver (2004). His film scores have won a number of awards, including an Oscar for Best Original Dramatic Score for Il Postino: The Postman (1994). He was previously nominated for an Oscar for The Gospel According to St. Matthew (1964). He also collaborated with tenor Placido Domingo in 2000. He has composed close to 150 film scores during his decades long career and presently serves as artistic director for Orchestra della Magna Grecia.
August 20, 1937 (Rome, Italy)-
He played piano for singer Rita Pavone, studied Jazz under David Brubeck, and went on to compose over 200 film scores, including 12 Spaghetti Westerns. Cipriani’s music can be heard on such westerns as Blindman (1971), They Call Me Hallelujah (1971), The Bounty Killer (1967), and The Stranger Returns (1967). Besides westerns, he has composed scores for three Mario Bava films, Bay of Blood (1971), Baron Blood (1972), and Rabid Dogs AKA Kidnapped (1974). He has also composed horror scores for James Cameron (Piranha Part Two: The Spawning ), and Umberto Lenzi (Nightmare City ). His score for The Anonymous Venetian (1971) won the prestigious Silver Ribbon for best score. Music from Ransom! Police Is Watching (1973), was used in Quentin Tarantino’s Death Proof (2007). He has stated that he has composed music for both Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI. He continues to compose film scores today.
Guido and Maurizio De Angelis
|Guido and Maurizio De Angelis
December 22, 1944- and February 22, 1947- (Rocca di Papa, Italy)
The De Angelis brothers were dominant figures in the world of Spaghetti Western soundtrack composing during the genre’s waning years. Their musical careers started in the early 60s as arrangers for the Italian branch of RCA records. They went on to composed the scores for 11 Euro- Westerns of the 70s, including Trinity is Still My Name (1971), Zorro (1975), Man of the East (1972), Chino aka Valdez Horses (1971), The White, the Yellow and the Black (1975), Cipolla Colt (1971). The duo gained particular notoriety for composing two late-era Spaghetti Westerns, Keoma (1976) and Mannaja: A Man Called Blade (1977). The two soundtracks remain highly polarizing among fans to this day because of their moody, atmospheric quality combined with highly unorthodox vocal arrangements. It is for this reason that the siblings have become as synonymous with the “Twilight Spaghetti Western” as the films themselves. Outside of the Spaghetti Western genre, the duo gained fame in Italy as prolific musicians under the name “Oliver Onions” (named after the British novelist), even scoring a number one hit single in Germany, “Santa Maria”. Together, they have composed scores for nearly 200 film and television productions including many Terence Hill and Bud Spencer comedies such as Watch Out, We’re Mad! (1974), as well as many Sergio Martino directed films such as Torso (1973).
November 15, 1924 (Vicenza, Italy)- October 21, 2013 (Rome, Italy)
In career spanning over 60 years, Ferrio has well over 120 credits to his name as a film composer and television. Working as a conductor, arranger, and composer, Ferrio provided scores for a total of 27 Euro-westerns, many of them box office hits starring Giuliano Gemma, including One Silver Dollar (1966), A Man Called Sledge (1970), A Bullet for Sandoval (1969), Don’t Turn the Other Cheek (1971), Ben and Charlie (1971), Death Sentence (1968), Tex and the Lord of the Deep (1985), Find a Place to Die (1968), California (1977), Wanted (1967) and Fort Yuma Gold (1966). Outside of the western genre he was the composer for films from a variety of genres and directors, but mostly comedies. His other film work includes I Fidanzati (1963), Tony Arzenta aka Big Guns (1973), Death Ray (1967), Death Walks at Midnight (1972) and The Bloodstained Butterfly (1971). He was a favourite of director’s Duccio Tessari, Michele Lupo and Georgio Ferroni. He has also performed in concerts with the Rome Symphony Orchestra and has written several hit songs in Italian Pop, collaborating extensively for Italian songstress Mina and Brazilian Singer Marina Moran.
January 24, 1933 (Rome, Italy)-
Born Domenico Colarossi, he assumed the stage name of Nico Fidenko and became a popular singer in Italy throughout the 1960s and 1970s. He occasionally wrote and performed songs for films but he is also known for composing soundtracks for over 60 films. He composed scores for many comedies and erotic films, but also for a number of Spaghetti Westerns as well, 11 in total. These westerns included Taste of Killing (1966), I Want Him Dead (1968) and Those Dirty Dogs (1973). Outside of the western genre, he composed scores for Zombi Holocaust (1980), as well as several of Joe D’Amato’s “Emanuelle” films, including Emmanuelle and the Last Cannibals (1977).
July 8 or 24, 1928 (Rome, Italy)- December 12, 2003 (Assisi, Italy)
Known as a pioneer and influential figure in both Italian electronic music and religious music, Giombini also composed over 80 film scores. 15 of those film scores were Spaghetti Westerns. His most famous western score was for the hit film Sabata (1969). He also composed scores for Garringo (1969), Sabata the Killer AKA Dollars to Die For (1970), Return of Sabata (1971), and Holy Water Joe (1971). His non-western film scores includes Joe D’Amato’s Anthropophagus: The Grim Reaper (1980) and Erotic Nights of the Living Dead (1980), as well as Mario Bava’s Knifes of the Avenger (1966).
|Coriolano "Lallo" Gori
March 7, 1927 (Cervia, Italy)- December 1, 1982, (Italy)
He composed soundtracks for over 90 films during his career. His work in Spaghetti Westerns is extensive. He composed scores for 22 of those films, his most famous being Lucio Fulci’s Massacre Time (1966). He also scored a number of Demofilo Fidani’s films including Django and Sartana’s Showdown in the West (1970), His Name was Sam Walbash, But They Call Him Amen AKA Savage Guns (1971), and Showdown for a Badman AKA Coffin Full of Dollars (1971). He specialized in composing scores for comedies, many featuring Italian comedy duo, Franco Franchi and Ciccio Ingrassia. His non-western film work includes Mario Bava’s Dr. Goldfoot and the Girl Bombs (1966) and Four Times that Night (1972).
Angelo Francesco Lavagnino
|Angelo Francesco Lavagnino
February 22, 1909 (Genoa, Italy)- August 21, 1987 (Gavi, Italy)
An extremely active and prolific composer, Lavagnino scored over 200 features during his career, of which 25 are Italian Westerns. His first western score was for Il Bandolero Stanco (1952), which was one of the first Italian westerns ever made. Some of the better known westerns that he composed scores for were Today We Kill, Tomorrow We Die (1968), Pistol for 100 Coffins AKA Gun for 100 Graves (1968), and The Specialist (1969). He also helped to mentor another prolific Spaghetti Western composer, Francesco De Masi. His best known non-western scores were for two Orson Welles Shakespeare adaptations, The Tragedy of Othello: The Moor of Venice (1952), and Chimes at Midnight (1965). Additionally he scored the monster film Gorgo (1961), John Wayne adventure film Legend of the Lost (1957), and Sergio Leone’s Peplum, The Colossus of Rhodes (1961). During his career Lavagnino won two Silver Ribbons for Best Score.
Francesco De Masi
|Francesco De Masi
January 11, 1930 (Rome, Italy)- November 6, 2005 (Rome)
Known for his distinctive sound and world class conducting expertise, De Masi was as prolific as they come. He composed scores for an astounding 34 Italian and Euro Westerns, including The Last of the Mohicans (1965), Seven Dollars to Kill (1966), Arizona Colt (1966), Any Gun Can Play (1967), Payment in Blood (1967), Kill Them All and Come Back Alone (1968), Johnny Hamlet (1968), Sartana’s Here, Trade Your Pistols for a Coffin AKA Fistful of Lead (1970), and Kid Vengeance (1977). His non-western scores include The Arena (1974), The Inglorious Bastards (1978), The New York Ripper (1982), Bronx Warriors 2 (1983), and Lone Wolfe McQuade (1983). Overall, he scored some 130 odd features during his career and spent some time teaching and conducting at the Santa Cecilia Conservatory.
November 10, 1928 (Rome, Italy)-
Quite possibly the greatest and most influential film composer of all time, his sparse, highly distinctive style on Sergio Leone’s “Man With No Name" trilogy and epic orchestrations on Leone’s Once Upon a Time in the West (1968), and Duck, You Sucker (1971), helped to revolutionize the western genre and film scores in general, which previously relied on bombastic orchestral arrangements. “Il Maestro” embarked on a legendary career composing scores for nearly 500 films, TV series’, and documentaries. He scored over 40 Spaghetti Westerns including A Pistol for Ringo (1965), Return of Ringo (1965), The Big Gundown (1966), Navajo Joe (1966), A Bullet for the General (1966), Face to Face (1967), The Hellbenders (1967), Death Rides a Horse (1967), The Mercenary (1968), Run Man Run (1968), The Great Silence (1968), The Five Man Army (1969), Companeros (1970), My Name is Nobody (1973), A Genius, Two Partners and a Dupe AKA Nobody’s the Greatest (1975), and Buddy Goes West (1981). Throughout his career, he has been much sought after composer Hollywood cinema as well, creating music for The Untouchables (1987), The Thing (1982), and Once Upon a Time in America (1984). His music has also been heavily featured in the films of Quentin Tarantino. His versatility is such that his sound greatly varies from film to film, fitting each film exquisitely, regardless of the genre. He was nominated for an Academy Award five times before being awarded an honorary Oscar in 2007 for his lifetime achievement. In 2016, he won the Best Original Score Oscar for his work on Quentin Tarantino's The Hateful Eight (2015). Today, he remains active in composing as well as touring.
May 20, 1926 (Rome, Italy)- August 16, 1991 (Rome, Italy)
Perhaps the second most popular Spaghetti Western composer behind only Ennio Morricone, Nicolai composed scores for 23 of these films, and conducted and directed scores for 24 more. He was good friends with Morricone, and often conducted or served as musical director for many of Morricone’s scores, as well as that of fellow composer Carlo Rustichelli. Occasionally he even collaborated with Morricone, co-composing on westerns like The Mercenary (1968), and Run Man Run (1968). Among the westerns that he composed scores on his own were Django Shoots First (1966), Have a Good Funeral, Sartana Will Pay (1970), Arizona Colt Returns (1970), Apocalypse Joe AKA A Man Called Joe Clifford (1970), Adios Sabata (1971), Light the Fuse, Sartana is Coming (1971), They Call Him Cemetery (1971), and The Fighting Fists of Shanghai Joe (1972). Among the better known non-westerns that Nicolai composed music for were OK Connery (1967), Count Dracula (1970), The Night Evelyn Came out of the Grave (1971), The Case of the Scorpian’s Tale (1971), A Virgin Among the Living Dead (1973), Ten Little Indians (1974), and Caligula (1979). Overall, he composed nearly 100 film scores and served as conductor or musical director on countless others.
June 28, 1933 (Voghera, Italy)-
It would be fitting to refer to Orlandi as “The First Lady of Spaghetti Western Music”. Originally a chorus singer who collaborated with Ennio Morricone’s vocalist, Alessandro Alessandroni in a pop group called “4+4”, she composed her first film score at age 20. She composed 17 film scores during her career, of which eight were Spaghetti Westerns. Her Spaghetti Western work includes scores for Johnny Yuma (1966), $10,000 Blood Money (1967), Vengeance is Mine AKA For $100,000 Per Killing (1967), and Clint the Nevada’s Loner (1967). She also provided chorus work for Man of the East (1972). Outside the western genre, she composed the soundtrack to the giallo The Strange Vice of Mrs. Wardh (1971). One of the songs from this film, “Dies Irae”, was used in Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill Vol. 2 (2002).
September 4, 1931 (Pesaro, Italy) - January 23, 2014 (Rome, Italy)
In a career spanning over half a century, Ortolani has composed scores for over 200 features. In addition he has been nominated for an Oscar twice, Golden Globes four times (winning once), and one Grammy. He has composed soundtracks for 14 Spaghetti and European westerns, including Shatterhand (1963), Day of Anger (1967), Kill and Pray (1967), Beyond the Law (1968), Boot Hill (1969), The Magnificent Bandits (1970), and A Reason to Live, A Reason to Die (1972). His non-western compositions include Mondo Cane (1962), The Easy Life (1962), The Yello Rolls Royce (1964), Anzio (1968), Brother Sun, Sister Moon (1972), Don’t Torture a Duckling (1972), Cannibal Holocaust (1980), and The House on the Edge of the Park (1980). Quentin Tarantino has reused Ortolani’s songs on films such as Kill Bill Vol. 1 (2003), Kill Bill Vol. 2 (2004), Inglourious Basterds (2009) and Django Unchained (2012). His music can also be heard in films like Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005), and Legally Blonde 2 (2003).
December 6, 1928 (Catania, Italy) - November 15, 2010 (Rome)
A radio and television personality in Italy, he composed scores for eight Spaghetti Westerns, and was the conductor on three others. He graduated as a Piano player from the Naples Conservatory of Music and worked as a pianist in the RAI light orchestra. His most famous Spaghetti Western score was for The Forgotten Pistolero (1969). The film’s main theme, characterized by its memorable whistling and a fuzz guitar intro was featured in two popular cartoon television series', SpongeBob SquarePants and the Ren & Stimpy Show as well as the hit video game, Red Dead Revolver. He also provided the score for Django the Last Killer (1967). Outside of the Spaghetti Western genre, he was the composer on over 50 films over a 30 year period including many cult exploitation films such as SS Experiment Love Camp (1976), Kong Island (1968), Cannibals (1980), The Last House on the Beach (1978) and SS Camp Women’s Hell (1977).