According to USA Today and other major news sources, the great composer and award winner Marvin Hamlisch died August 6, 2012, at the age of 68. The cause of death at this point is being called brief and unspecified. Fortunately, I was blessed to enjoy an evening with Mr. Hamlisch in concert on June 26, 2012 at the Chapman Cultural Center in Spartanburg, SC. He gave a stunning performance and entertained the audience with his humor. Hamlisch even composed and played a new song on the spot, using an impromptu original title given by an audience member upon his request.
Though I had heard Hamlisch songs throughout the years, I regret to say I didn’t know who he was until the concert, where I was blessed to see, hear, and learn more about this talented composer. I will always be grateful I had this once in a lifetime opportunity. Hamlisch had an uncanny way of making his audiences feel like they had known him for a long time. He was very approachable, down-to-earth and real. I want to share two of my favorite song scores he composed for films. He played these the evening I saw him in concert and many more. Mr. Hamlisch provided us with two unforgettable hours of himself and his one of a kind talent.
My 2 Favorite Film Scores composed by the late Marvin Hamlisch
- 1. The Way We Were– is my #1 favorite song composed by Hamlisch. I cry every time I hear it. I was a teenager in 1973 and adored love stories like “The Way We Were” and still do at age 50. “The Way We Were” composed by Hamlisch for the movie starring Barbara Streisand and Robert Redford is forever imprinted in my memory. Hamlisch won an Oscar for this famous tune.
- 2. The Sting, score for the film the Entertainer, released in 1973 is unforgettable to me. It is hard to imagine that anyone would not remember the tune (The Sting), if not the lyrics, to this masterpiece! The Sting composition won Hamlisch an Oscar. The film starring Paul Newman and Robert Redford was marketed as a comedy and crime drama based on 2 con men in 1930’s Chicago meet and plot. The story line involves revenge, cons, death, and fortune. One of the familiar tag lines from the movie was…all it takes is a little confidence.
Other Favorite Songs by Marvin Hamlisch
Other Hamlisch songs I remember fondly include “Downtown,” “Frankie and Johnny,” Goodbye Girl,” and “I Ought to be in Pictures.”
Anyone who has heard Marvin Hamlisch perform has to agree there will never be anyone that will replace the genius and talent of him. The world has lost a great entertainer indeed. Rest in peace Mr. Hamlisch.
An Evening with Marvin Hamlisch