John Beal (composer)

John Beal (composer)

John Beal (born January 20, 1947 in Santa Monica, California) is an American film composer working in Hollywood, California. John Beal is notable for scoring numerous hit television series, such as "Vega$" and "Eight is Enough", as a composer of movie trailer music for the major motion picture studios and, more recently, for service as the General Manager and Producer for the Hollywood Symphony Orchestra.

Early life

John Beal was raised in La Cañada Flintridge, California, graduated from John Muir High School (Pasadena, California), and attended San Diego State University and UCLA. He studied percussion with William Kraft, Danlee Mitchell, and Irv Cotler (drummer for Frank Sinatra) and film scoring with Dominic Frontiere, George Duning and Earle Hagen. Beal served in the United States Marine Corps for six years, with a combat tour in Vietnam and, over the course of more than 200 combat missions and 24 major counter-insurgency operations, was decorated for heroism, bravery, valor and gallantry.


Beal, who was a professional soloist in a boys choir at age 8 and a professional drummer by age 10, started out in Hollywood as a musical director and arranger with recording stars Olivia Newton-John, B.B. King, Gladys Knight, Johnny Mathis, celebrities running the gamut from Phyllis Diller to Raquel Welch, and was the music conductor for many TV variety shows. He composed original music for numerous hit television series, including "Vega$" with Robert Urich, "Eight is Enough" with Dick Van Patten and Betty Buckley, "Happy Days" with Ron Howard and Henry Winkler, "Laverne & Shirley" with Penny Marshall and Cindy Williams, "Goodtime Girls" with Annie Potts and Georgia Engel, "Legmen" with Bruce Greenwood and John Terlesky, and "Chicago Story" with Dennis Franz and Craig T. Nelson. His feature films include "Zero to Sixty" starring Darren McGavin and Joan Collins, "The Funhouse" from director Tobe Hooper, "Terror in the Aisles" starring Donald Pleasance, and "The Man with Bogart's Face" starring Robert Sacchi, Franco Nero, Michelle Phillips (of The Mamas and the Papas) and Olivia Hussey.

In the 1970s, with his mentor - the "Godfather of Movie Trailers", Hollywood's marketing guru Andrew Kuehn of Kaleidoscope Films ("Jaws" and other major hit films) - John was involved in the very inception of today's contemporary movie trailer format and is the composer who defined its musical approach. Specializing in composition for theatrical marketing for over thirty years, his list of credits includes campaigns for such hit films as "JFK", "Titanic", "The Matrix", "Forrest Gump", "The Last Samurai," "Aladdin", the "Star Wars" trilogy, "The Hunt for Red October", "True Lies", "In the Line of Fire", "Patriot Games", "Mask of Zorro", "Black Rain", "Ghost", "Finding Neverland", and hundreds more. If you tally the box office results from "Daily Variety", the success of films to which he has contributed marketing music is literally measured in hundreds of billions of dollars.


Movie Trailers

:Too numerous to list all, just some of the well-known movie trailers for which John Beal wrote original scores between 1977 and 2007 include "Titanic, We Were Soldiers, The Last Samurai, Finding Neverland, Star Wars, Aladdin, The Matrix, Mean Girls, Planet of the Apes, Batman Beyond, Alaska, Being John Malkovich, Black Beauty, Black Hawk Down, Black Rain, The Bodyguard, Braveheart, Casualties of War, Chaplin, Clear and Present Danger, Conspiracy Theory, Cruising, Donnie Brasco, Fallen, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, First Blood, Flight of the Intruder, Ghost, Hamlet, Heathers, The Hunt for Red October, JFK, The Mask, The Mask of Zorro, Medicine Man, Mircale on 34th Street, Mortal Kombat, Mr. Mom, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Nothing in Common, Patriot Games, Quiz Show, Regarding Henry, Rising Sun, The Santa Clause, The Scarlet Letter, Steel Magnolias, The Toy, True Lies, Volcano, When a Man Loves a Woman, Working Girl, Payback, Tea with Mussolini, Police Academy, Indecent Proposal, Encino Man, Anaconda, Dracula, Nine to Five, Revenge, Bicentennial Man, Eraser." []

TV Series

:Vega$ :Eight Is Enough :Happy Days :Laverne & Shirley:More Than Brothers:Legmen:Chicago Story:Goodtime Girls :$weepstake$ :Whodunnit? :The MacKenzies of Paradise Cove :The Popeye and Olive Show :Challenge of the SuperFriends:Matt Houston - Orchestrator:Life Goes On - additional music :Cassie & Co. - additional music, Orchestrator :The Dukes of Hazzard - additional music, Orchestrator:Lone Star Bar & Grill - Music Supervisor :Make Your Own Kind of Music! - Music Arranger

TV Movies

:Alien Fury :Shooting Stars :Littleshots :The Death of Ocean View Park:My Sister's Keeper :Mom's Got a Date with a Vampire:Miracle on the 17th Green - additional music:Doublecrossed - Music Supervisor :It - Music Supervisor :Addicted to His Love - Music Supervisor :Shattered Innocence - Music Supervisor, Orchestrator :Velvet - Orchestrator :Money on the Side - Music Supervisor, Orchestrator :The Other Victim - Music Supervisor :A Shining Season - Music Supervisor :Breaking Up Is Hard to Do - Music Supervisor, Orchestrator :Black Market Baby - Music Supervisor

TV Specials

:The Captain & Tennille Songbook - Musical Director, Composer :A Special Olivia Newton-John - Orchestrator:John Wayne: Swing Out, Sweet Land - Conductor:Lou Rawls: Soul on Ice! - Orchestrator :Ed Sullivan's Armed Forces Tour - Musical Director:Circus Challenge - Composer:Legends of the Superheroes :The Grand Opening of Walt Disney World - Conductor


:Salmon Run :A Journey in Faith :Making 'Hamlet':Through the Eyes of Forrest Gump :Making Gilbert Grape :Making 'Bram Stoker's Dracula':The Secret World of Spying :Lights, Camera, Annie! :Getting in Shape for the Main Event


:Zero to Sixty:The Funhouse :Terror in the Aisles:Skatetown, U.S.A.:The April Fool :The Man with Bogart's Face:Barney's Great Adventure :Carpool:Defiance:Sweet Deadly Dreams:Huntington :Sister Sausalito :Baberellas :Cultivision:A Whisper to a Scream:Under the Volcano - additional music:The Stone Boy - additional music:Lookin' to Get Out additional music:Roar - additional music


:"Evergreen: Music from the films of Barbra Streisand" Sonic Images 828-278-909-2

:"Mark Snow: The SNOWFILES" Sonic Images SID-8902

:"Disturbing Behavior" Sonic Images SID-8811

:"The Best of Stephen King, Vol. 1" Cinerama CIN2200-2

:"Apocalypse Nam, the 10,000 Day War" Edel Screen EDS 5407-2

:"Watch the Skies" Sonic Images SID 8901

:"Heart of the Ocean" Sonic Images SID 8807

:"The Funhouse" Intrada JNBL 4001

:"Coming Soon" Sonic Images SID2-8815

:"Super Scary Monster Party" GNP Crescendo GNPD2240


:They're Not Very Nice (Terror in the Aisles):Skatetown USA (Skatetown USA)

Video Games

:Zork: Grand Inquisitor

Other projects

John Beal composed and arranged music for Disneyland and Walt Disney World (America Sings and Carousel of Progress) and Gentle Jungle and Enchanted Village theme parks. Beal has composed and produced the music for commercials from Apple, NASDAQ, Ben & Jerry's, AMGEN, Dr. Pepper and many other major advertisers.

John Beal served as the General Manager of the Hollywood Symphony Orchestra from 2006-2007 and continues as its event and television producer. Beal is President of Reeltime Music & Creative Advertising [] , through which he consults in motion picture creative advertising.


Beal is a former Governor of the Composers & Lyricists Guild of America (CLGA), Governor of the Los Angeles Chapter of National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, Alternate National Trustee of National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, is a Platinum member of the Society of Composers & Lyricists, and an active member of ASCAP, Academy of Television Arts & Sciences in both their Commercials and Music divisions, The Recording Academy Producers & Engineers Wing, and the American Society of Music Arrangers and Composers.

Military awards

Beal's military decorations include:

* Air Medal with Bronze Star (Heroism)
* Air Medal (8)(Bravery)
*Navy Achievement Medal with Combat 'V' Device (Valor)
*Combat Action Ribbon
*Navy and Marine Corps Presidential Unit Citation
*Navy Unit Commendation
*Meritorious Unit Commendation
*Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal
*National Defense Service Medal
*Vietnam Service Medal
*RVN Gallantry Cross Unit Citation w. Palm
*RVN Vietnam Service medal

References - Articles and books

*"The Emerging Film Composer" book by Richard Bellis, 2006 pp. 136-137
*"Welcome to Heart Attack City"' by John Beal, THE SCORE, Volume XII Number 4, Winter 1998 p. 1, (continues on p. 4) [ Online]
*"John Beal, Musical Chameleon" November 11, 1998, interview by Helene San, []
*"The Modern Hollywood Composer": Interview with Composer John Beal, by Simon Barber, Liverpool Institute for the Performing Arts [ Interview]
*"The Art of Scoring Trailers: John Beal" by Lukas Kendall, Part 1 - Film Score Monthly Magazine, issue #35, July 2003, pp 6-7, Part 2 continues in issue #36/37 Aug/September 1993, pp18-19 [ Online version]
*"Art of the Tease" by Rick Sherwood, Hollywood Reporter August 25, 1992 pp. S-39-S-72
*"Coming Attractions!: The two-minute film scores of John Beal" by Randall D. Larson, "THE SCORE" Cinefantastique, June 1999, Volume 31, Number 6 p. 60


External links

* [ ASCAP]
* [ "Film Score Monthly"]
* [ Society of Composers & Lyricists]
* [ Film Music Society]
* [ Film Music on the Web]
* [ Film Music Articles]
* [ "New York Times"]
* [ Movie Music, UK]
* [ John Beal official site]

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