Om Henry Mancini
Mancini did it all -- TV's Peter Gunn and film's The Pink Panther soundtracks, big-band jazz and easy-listening albums, and standards such as "Moon River" and "Days of Wine and Roses." Born in 1924 in Cleveland, Ohio, he discovered his preferred medium early on, sending his arrangements to Benny Goodman while he was still a teenager. He studied at Juilliard for a year before being drafted into the Army, and when World War II was over, he joined the Glenn Miller Orchestra. Mancini signed on with Universal Pictures in 1952, going on to score over 100 films for the studio. His theme songs for the television series Peter Gunn catapulted him further into pop-culture consciousness, and his 1962 soundtrack to Breakfast at Tiffany's became a period icon. (He won five Grammys and two Oscars for that film alone.) With lyrics by Johnny Mercer, "Moon River" is today a pop standard, having been recorded over 1,000 times.