John M. Elton, composer, arranger and pianist, died May 19 from lung cancer at Queen of Angels-Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center in Los Angeles. He was 73.
Elton was vocal arranger and composer of special material for seven seasons in the 1960s and ’70s on CBS’ “The Carol Burnett Show.” He was vocal coach for Burnett and Rock Hudson in a stage production of “I Do, I Do.”
He also worked on TV specials featuring Frank Sinatra, Pat Boone, Ella Fitzgerald and others.
In the theater, he was vocal coach to Shirley Jones in “On a Clear Day You Can See Forever”; to George Chakiris in “Company”; and to Jane Powell in “Irene” and “My Fair Lady.”
He was musical director for such Los Angeles theater productions as “Berlin to Broadway With Kurt Weill,” “Merry Go Round” and “Show Boat.” He also worked on the West Coast premiere of Leonard Bernstein’s “Mass.”
Elton’s last major production was “Tintypes.” He was music director of the show when it traveled to Poland and Czechoslovakia about two years ago. At the time of his death, Elton was a choral director, vocal coach and accompanist for the American Center for Musical Theater in Los Angeles.
Born in Elyria, Ohio, in 1923, Elton studied music there and in Switzerland. He moved to Los Angeles early in his career.
He is survived by a brother, Robert.