William Lockwood, composer and conductor who worked with artists such as Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and many others, died Aug. 11 at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Burbank, Calif., after a brief illness. He was 69.
As a conductor, arranger and pianist, Lockwood also worked such artists as Gordon MacRae, Mickey Rooney, Kathryn Grayson, Bob Hope, Buddy Ebson, Robert Clary, Yvonne De Carlo and Dorothy Lamour, a lifelong friend.
A graduate of DePaw U. and Juilliard, Lockwood was musical director for NBC’s “Matinee Theater. ” He then began a nine-year stint as an arranger-conductor for “The Dean Martin Show.” In the 1970s, Lockwood also established Sebastian’s Dinner Theater, the first of its kind in California. After launching a second branch in Anaheim, Lockwood became musical director and producer for both theaters.
His musical talent also landed him a five-year onscreen job as a pianist on “Days of Our Lives. ” Lockwood went on to compose musical scores for stage productions including musical spoof “I’d Stake My Life” and “Boffola,” a musical chronicle of the life of Jimmy Durante.