PERCY FAITH (1908-1976)

Percy Faith (Toronto, April 7, 1908 – Encino, Cal., February 9, 1976), was a Canadian bandleader, orchestrator, composer and conductor, known for his lush arrangements of pop and Christmas standards.

He is often credited with popularizing the “easy listening” or “mood music” format. Faith became a staple of American popular music in the 1950s and continued well into the 1960s. Though his professional orchestra-leading career began at the height of the swing era, Faith refined and rethought orchestration techniques, including use of large string sections, to soften and fill out the brass-dominated popular music of the 1940s. He made many recordings for Voice of America.

After working briefly for Decca Records, he worked for Mitch Miller at Columbia Records, where he turned out dozens of albums and provided arrangements for many of the pop singers of the 1950s, including Tony Bennett, Doris Day, Johnny Mathis for Mathis’s 1958 Christmas album titled Merry Christmas, and Guy Mitchell for whom Faith co-wrote with Carl Sigman Mitchell’s number-one single, “My Heart Cries for You”. With the advent of harder rock sounds in the 1970s, Faith’s elegant arrangements fell out of favor with the listening and record-buying public, although he continued to release albums as diverse and contemporary as Jesus Christ Superstar and Black Magic Woman.

He released one album of country music and two albums of disco-oriented arrangements toward the end of his forty-year career, his very last recording being a disco-style reworking of “Theme from a Summer Place”, titled “Summer Place ’76”, which was a minor and posthumous hit.

Recordings by Percy Faith you can hear at Instrumentals Forever:

Amazing Grace
Annie’s Song
As Long As He Needs Me
Bach’s Lunch
Beautiful Obsession
Behind Closed Doors
Blowin’ In The Wind
Candy Man
Can’t Get Used To Losing You
Cherry Cherry
Come Saturday Morning
Day By Day
Do I Hear A Waltz
Don’t Let Me Be Lonely Tonight
Dream Your Dream
Eleanor Rigby
Elvira’s Theme
Everything’s Alright
Fifth Movement (Tubular Bells)
Fool On The Hill
For Love Of Ivy
For Once In My Life
For The Good Times
Funny Girl
Grunchy Granola Suite
He Ain’t Heavy He’s My Brother
Heaven On Their Minds
Help Me Make It Through The Night
Here There And Everywhere
How Are Things In Glocca Morra
How Can I Be Sure
I Don’t Know How To Love Him
I Don’t See Me In Your Eyes Anymore
I Love How You Love Me
I Need You
I’m Gonna Go Fishing
La Balanga
Lady Sings The Blues
Leaving On A Jet Plane
Let It Be
Little Green Apples
Love Theme from ”Romeo And Juliet”
Love Theme from ”The Godfather”
Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds
Make It Easy On Yourself
Moon River
Mrs Robinson
My Heart Cries For You
My Special Angel
Orange Blossom Special
Our Love
Pata Pata
Pilate’s Dream
Promises Promises
Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head
Rose Garden
Sha Bumpin’
Simon Zealotes
Since I Fell For You
Someone Who Cares
Song Sung Blue
Stranger On the Shore
Summer Place ’76 (Theme from ”A Summer Place”)
That Ballad Of John And Yoko
The First Time Ever (I Saw Your Face)
The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter
The Lion In Winter
The Most Beautiful Girl
The Temple
The Way We Were
The Windmills Of Your Mind
Theme from ”A Summer Place”
Theme from ”The Fox”
Those Were The Days
Vado Via
You Are The Sunshine Of My Life
Zorba’s Dance