13 August 1909
|Died||20 May 1989
Los Angeles, California
|Occupation||American film composer|
Born as Lionel Breeze in London, Murray was the son of a violinist. Before entering a career in music, Murray was a seaman. He followed that nautical occupation with a stint as a reporter with the Philadelphia Public Ledger. He also attended the Juilliard School.
Murray's initial involvement with radio came in Newport News, Virginia. From 1931 to 1937, he was staff conductor and arranger at WCAU in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. From there, he went to CBS, where he conducted, arranged, and composed music from 1934 to 1947.
In the early 1940s, Murray, his orchestra and chorus were featured on Meet the Music, "a Sunday evening feature paying weekly tribute to the modern song writers." Beginning in 1943, he led a 20-piece orchestra and 12-member singing group on To Your Good Health, broadcast three times a week on CBS radio.
Murray worked as a conductor, arranger and producer with such artists as Bing Crosby, Louis Armstrong and Burl Ives at CBS prior to moving to NBC in 1947. The Lyn Murray Singers appeared on Broadway in Finian's Rainbow (1948), singing arrangements written by Murray for the production. He composed the incidental music for 35 episodes of The Alfred Hitchcock Hour between 1962 and 1965 and for 46 episodes of Dragnet 1967 between 1967 and 1969.
In 1950, Murray moved to Hollywood and began composing scores for feature films, including The Prowler (1951), To Catch a Thief (1955), Escape from Zahrain (1962), Come Fly with Me (1963), Wives and Lovers (1963), Promise Her Anything (1965), Rosie! (1967), Strategy of Terror (1969), The Cockeyed Cowboys of Calico County (1970) and Love Hate Love (1971), as well as creating episodic underscoring for television shows such as The Virginian (1962), Daniel Boone (1964), The Time Tunnel (1966), Dragnet (1967), and the unaired pilot for Mr. Terrific.
Arranging choral music for This Is the Army was Murray's first Broadway experience. He went on to do vocal arrangements for Swingin' the Dream (1939), Panama Hattie (1940-1942), Let's Face It! (1941-1943), and Finian's Rainbow (1947-1948; 2009-2010).