To the Editor:
Reading excerpts from Stanley Gold’s letter to Michael Eisner (“Delivering a ‘Dear Michael’ letter, Daily Variety, Dec. 3), a particular phrase caught my eye: “the enormous loss of creative talent over the last years.”
My husband, Buddy Baker, who passed away last year, was a composer at the Disney Studio for 28 years. Despite his body of work, including director of all music for Epcot, after Buddy retired in 1983 he heard not one word from anyone regarding returning to do freelance work, of which there was always plenty.
It was not until 16 years later, when the new “Winnie the Pooh” ride for Disney World (now also at Disneyland) was being discussed, when someone in a meeting asked, “Who can we get to do the music?”
Dick Sherman (along with his brother Bob who wrote the song, said, “How about Buddy Baker? He did the original three Poohs.” The reply was, “Oh, is he still around?”
Oh yes, he was very much around, having become the Director of Film Scoring at USC, which became the best department of its kind in the world. He also instigated the Buddy Baker Workshop at N.Y.U. during the summer.
In the last years of his life he did “Innoventions,” “Sinbad,” and “Journey to the Center of the Earth.”
Buddy became an official Disney Legend and received the ASCAP Foundation’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Too bad millions of people were deprived of hearing more of the wonderful music of this talented, underrated composer because of those lost 16 years, during which no one seemed to care.