×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

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.

Popular on Variety

More TV

  • Judith Light'Transparent' TV show Musical Finale,

    'Transparent' Team Talks 'Transformative Energy' of Trans Community

    As Amazon Prime Video prepares to send off “Transparent” with a musical finale movie on Sept. 27, the cast and creative team behind the show are hoping the impact of a character such as Maura Pfefferman (Jeffrey Tambor) will not be overshadowed by the controversy that the actor who portrayed Maura caused. “I believe that [...]

  • Cherry Jones

    Cherry Jones Wins 2019 Guest Drama Actress Emmy

    Cherry Jones won the 2019 guest drama actress Emmy for her work as the titular character’s mother, Holly Osborne, in Hulu’s “The Handmaid’s Tale.” This was Jones’ second consecutive nomination for the role but first win. Interestingly, both noms were for her work in the second season of the dystopian streaming series. After a few [...]

  • Jane Lynch, Cyndi Lauper Developing 'Golden

    Jane Lynch, Cyndi Lauper Developing 'Golden Girls'-Style Comedy for Netflix

    Jane Lynch and Cyndi Lauper just wanna have fun. The comedian and the 1980s music icon have joined forces to star in a new comedy project that may be heading to Netflix. Lynch let it slip backstage at the Creative Arts Emmys that she and Lauper will co-star in a comedy that she described as [...]

  • Luke Kirby71st Annual Primetime Creative Arts

    Luke Kirby Wins 2019 Guest Comedy Actor Emmy

    Luke Kirby has been crowned the winner of the 2019 guest comedy actor Emmy for his role as the real-life comic Lenny Bruce on Amazon Prime Video’s “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.” This was Kirby’s first-ever Emmy attention. He was nominated against a slew of “Saturday Night Live” players (Robert De Niro, John Mulaney and Adam [...]

  • Bradley Whitford photographed at the PMC

    Bradley Whitford Wins 2019 Guest Drama Actor Emmy

    Bradley Whitford won the 2019 guest drama actor Emmy for his role of Commander Joseph Lawrence on Hulu’s “The Handmaid’s Tale.” Whitford joined the cast of the streaming dystopian series at the end of its second season, in episodes that were released after the close of the 2018 Emmy eligibility window. The Television Academy agreed [...]

  • TV Review: 'Transparent' Series Finale

    TV Review: 'Transparent' Series Finale

    Amazon’s “Transparent” will have a chapter, or a section of one, in some to-be-written history of television, in part thanks to how brazen and how daring its ideas were for its moment. Some of those were ideas that came to seem simply logical in retrospect: The show was a pathbreaker for trans representation onscreen, casting [...]

  • Jane Lynch NBC Relatively Happy

    Jane Lynch Wins 2019 Guest Comedy Actress Emmy

    Jane Lynch has been crowned the winner of the 2019 guest comedy actress Emmy for her role of comic Sophie Lennon on Amazon Prime Video’s “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.” This was Lynch’s second consecutive nomination for the role but first win. However, it is her fifth Emmy overall, after winning a short form statue in [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content