Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Tommy Oliver 1932-2006

Bandleader Tommy Oliver, who was perhaps best known for being the musical director of "Name That Tune" during the 70's and 80's, died yesterday in California at the age of 73.

Tommy was a noted record producer and bandleader in the 1960's, working with such acts as Joannie Sommers ("Johnny Get Angry"), and later branched into television. He was the musical director for the late 70's "Laugh-In" revival that featured, among others, Robin Williams. He also became musical director of "Name That Tune" later in the 1970's, succeeding Bob Alberti, sharing the stage with a young singer named Kathie Lee Johnson (Gifford). Among the players in his band were the lead trombonist from the Tonight Show orchestra, Gil Falco, pianist Bill Mays, and drummer Frank Capp.

After his replacement on "Name That Tune" by the late Stan Worth, Oliver joined Sandy Frank Productions for a pale carbon of "Name That Tune" called "Face The Music", hosted by Ron Ely. But when Frank finally acquired the rights to "Name That Tune" and successfully mounted a revival in 1984, Oliver was again at the podium. That, however, was Oliver's last TV gig.

Survivors include five children and two grandchildren.

LA Times death notice

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