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Ray Colcord, ‘Boy Meets World’ and ‘Simpsons’ Composer, Dies at 66

Ray Colcord, Emmy-nominated TV composer whose themes included the long-running “Boy Meets World” and “227” series, died Friday at his Studio City home after a long battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 66.

Colcord scored hundreds of hours of television, mostly comedies. He was Emmy-nominated for his theme for the 1990 sitcom “Singer & Sons,” but he also wrote the themes for “The Charmings,” “The Ann Jillian Show,” “The Torkelsons” and others in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

He also composed the scores for dozens of other series including “Dinosaurs,” “Boy Meets World,” “Big Brother,” “Facts of Life,” “The Simpsons,” “Touched by an Angel,” “Silver Spoons,” “My Two Dads” and the currently running “Girl Meets World.”

Colcord’s other credits include scores for the films “Resurrection Mary,” “The King’s Guard,” “Heartwood,” “The Paper Brigade,” “Wish Upon a Star” and “Amityville Dollhouse,” and songs for “Earth Girls Are Easy” and “All Dogs Go to Heaven 2.”

He also composed music for the 1990s TV specials “50 Years of Soaps,” “Television’s Greatest Performances,” “Before They Were Stars”; the TV-movies “Devil’s Food” and “Jury Duty”; and the documentaries “Blue Whales, Giants of the Deep” and “Tales of the Tomb: Lost Sons of the Pharaohs.”

He contributed music to three recent American Film Institute specials as well as to the 2006 Daytime Emmy Awards and to Clay Aiken’s 2004 Christmas special.

Colcord was also a past president of the Society of Composers & Lyricists, a former governor of the Television Academy, and was appointed by the Library of Congress to the National Film Preservation Board. He also served on the Film Music Society board of directors and taught a music-production course at UCLA Extension.

As a boy, Colcord toured with the Columbus Boychoir. He attended Rice University in Houston, then toured with Texas R&B singer Roy Head (“Treat Her Right”) before joining Columbia Records in 1970 as an A&R executive.

It was Colcord who first heard Aerosmith’s demo and convinced label president Clive Davis to sign the band. He left in 1972 to produce Aerosmith’s second album, “Get Your Wings”; toured as a keyboard player with Lou Reed; performed on Don McLean’s legendary “American Pie” album; and moved to L.A. in 1973 to join United Artists Records.

He became music director for The Groundlings comedy troupe in 1976 and, for more than a decade, wrote all of their musical material as well as performing with actors Paul Reubens, Phil Hartman, Jon Lovitz, Laraine Newman, Edie McClurg, Cassandra “Elvira” Peterson and others. He won a Drama-Logue Award for “best music direction” in 1985.

In 1982 he became music director for TV’s “An Evening at the Improv” and began scoring network series in 1985.

Survivors include his wife Madeleine, son Alex and brother Marc.

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