Passings: Executive, Producer and Arranger Buddy Bregman (1930 - 2017)

by VVN Music

Buddy Bregman, who was a major force behind the scenes in the music and television industries for decades, died on Sunday from complications of Alzheimer's disease at the age of 86.

Born in Chicago, Bregman was the nephew of Jule Styne and was already a force in the music industry before graduating from UCLA. In 1954, he produced the record (Bazoom) I Need Your Lovin', a song written by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, for the Cheers. The record peaked at number 15 on the national charts.

A year later and fresh out of college, he became the head of A&R for the new Verve label but he made more of an impact at the label as an arranger and conductor on such albums as Anita by Anita O'Day, two of Ella Fitzgerald's Songbook albums and Bing Sings Whilst Bregman Swings by Bing Crosby.

He went on to work with Rick Nelson, Jane Powell, Gogi Grant and many others along with scoring and orchestrating a number of films including The Pajama Game, working closely with Bob Fosse on the dance numbers, and that was all before the end of 1956.

In 1957, he became the music director for NBC's The Eddie Fisher Show and eventually had his own program, Buddy Bregman's Music Shop. By the early 60's, he was working as a TV producer and director and, in 1964, was hired by David Attenborough to work at the BBC 2. Two years later, he became head of light entertainment at Rediffusion London (ITV).

As if that wasn't enough, he also worked as Ethel Merman's personal arranger, directed a number of TV movies and recorded a number of albums under his own name.

As late as 2006, he was still working, making an album of pop and jazz standards with the likes of Hubert Laws, Patrice Rushen and others.

Bregman was married to actress Suzanne Lloyd from 1961 to 1988. They had one daughter, Tracey R. Bregman, who appeared on the soap operas The Young and the Restless, The Bold and the Beautiful and Days Of Our Lives and a son, Barry, along with four grandsons and a great-grandson.

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