Top TV themes, over 100 film scores, dozens of pop hits
Grammy winner "Killing Me Softly With His Song"
Charles Fox was born and raised in New York City, graduated from High School of Music and Art, and continued his formal musical education with Nadia Boulanger in Paris. He studied jazz-piano with Lenny Tristano and electronic music with Vladimir Ussachevsky at Columbia University. He began his career playing the piano, composing and arranging for such salsa legends as Ray Barretto, Joe Quijano and Tito Puente, as well as writing theme music and arrangements for Skitch Henderson and the Tonight Show Orchestra.
Charles has composed the music for hundreds of songs. Most of them have been recorded for records, motion pictures and TV. Among the many legendary and diverse recording artists who have recorded his songs are Roberta Flack, Sarah Vaughn, Barry Manilow, Jim Croce, Fred Astaire, Luther Vandross, Johnny Cash, Lena Horne, George Shearing, The Boston Pops, Jack Jones, Tito Puente, Goldie Hawn, Carly Simon, Johnny Mathis, Shirley Bassey, Crystal Gayle, Lori Lieberman, Sergio Mendes, Maureen McGovern, Olivia Newton John, Lauryn Hill & The Fugees, and Ice T.
Among his works for theater, in collaboration with lyricist Norman Gimbel, are The Eleventh, starring Shelly Berman, and A Midsummer Night's Dream starring Cleavon Little and Mare Winningham. In collaboration with Hal David, he has composed the musicals The Chosen and The Turning Point. Other collaborators include Paul Williams, David Zippel, Sammy Cahn, Carly Simon and Carole Bayer Sager.
He has composed the musical scores for over 100 motion pictures and television films including Barbarella, Nine to Five, Goodbye Columbus, and Foul Play for which he received one of his two Academy Award nominations. The other was for the film The Other Side of the Mountain. Among his popular songs are "Ready to Take a Chance Again," "I Got a Name," and "Killing Me Softly with His Song," for which he received the Grammy Award for Best Song of the year. His TV shows and theme songs include The Love Boat, Happy Days, Laverne and Shirley, Wonder Woman, The Paper Chase and Love American Style, for which he received two Emmy Awards.
In addition to his popular works, Charles has composed music for the concert hall and ballet. His ballet A Song for Dead Warriors originally composed for the San Francisco Ballet and continuing in the repertoire of The Dance Theater of Harlem, was most recently performed in London at the Sadler Wells Theatre. His ballet, Zorro! premiered in San Francisco with the Smuin Ballet Company last May and is scheduled to tour the United States and Europe next year. He has also written numerous other works for orchestra, chorus and chamber groups, including the suite Victory at Entebbe, which was performed last month in Israel with the Jerusalem Symphony.
Charles was awarded the 1992 BMI Richard Kirk Award for outstanding life achievement in music.