Percy Faith ~ Easy Listening

Day 335 of Colourisation Project – April 7

Challenge: to publish daily a colourised photo that has some significance around the day of publication.

Considered “the most identifiable easy-listening sound-mark” by some, and musical pablum by others, Percy Faith‘s popular instrumental, Theme from ‘A Summer Place’, no matter what, vividly transports me to a time and place in my youth, when as teenagers we all identified with the angst of young lovers, Molly and Johnny in the film of the same name, starring Sandra Dee and Troy Donahue.

Composed by Max Steiner as part of the score for the 1959 movie A Summer Place, [he also wrote the musical scores for Casablanca (1942) and Gone with the Wind (1939)] the film version was performed by Hugo Winterbalter’s orchestra. However, it was Percy Faith’s arrangement and recording which made it the biggest selling single of 1960 in America. It stayed at number one in the USA for 9 weeks, the longest run of any instrumental song.

Faith’s version released by Columbia, spent seventeen weeks on the American pop charts selling over one million copies and winning the Grammy Award for Record of the Year in 1961.

Percy Faith Bef & Aft

Photographer Unknown (AP Photo)  ~ Percy Faith 1961  ~ Coloured by Loredana Crupi

Born in Toronto, Canada, this day, April 7, 1908, Percy Faith is often thought of as one of the founding fathers of easy listening. Known for his lush arrangements and use of large string sections, Faith became a staple of American popular music throughout the 1950s and 1960s.

A child piano prodigy, Percy Faith’s dreams of becoming a concert pianist were put on hold when at age 18 he suffered severe burns to his hands in a fire. When his younger sister’s clothing caught on fire, Faith put out the flames with his bare hands thus saving  his sister’s life but damaging his hands so badly that he couldn’t play the piano for nine months. This gave him time to turn his talents to conducting and arranging.

Faith went on to develop a unique orchestral sound which soon became his trademark. He recorded 85 albums for Columbia Records, and had another two major hit singles; Delicado (1952), Theme fromMoulin Rouge‘ (1953).

Percy Faith died of cancer in Encino, California in 1976, at the age of 67.

He was awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for Recording at 1501 Vine Street in Hollywood, California.

Today I leave you with a 1961 clip of Percy Faith and his Orchestra performing Theme From ‘A Summer Place’.



Dialogue from the movie, ‘A Summer Place’.

Molly:       They came just in time, we better cool off.

Johnny:    Why?

Molly:       Because I’m afraid…

Johnny:    Of me?

Molly:       [shakes head no]

Johnny:    Of yourself?

Molly:       Yes. That and some other new feelings that I can’t explain.

Johnny:    Are you angry because…

Molly:       No. We’ve gotta be good Johnny.

Johnny:    Good… Is it that easy to be good?

Molly:       Are you bad Johnny? Have you been bad with girls?

This entry was posted in Colorization, Colourisation, Composers, Film, Hollywood, Music, Photography, USA and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Percy Faith ~ Easy Listening

  1. Oh wow, I know that tune! Great to have the history behind it. And the dialogue!!! I’m going to have to find that movie. I love this series you are doing and will find the time to backtrack to the beginning, am learning such a lot of interesting stuff. Great colouring as always. 🙂


  2. Loredana Isabella Crupi says:

    A classic movie…probably more remembered for its theme music but it is one of my all time favourite movies. Get it out and watch it. It was considered racy for its time (1960) but is so tame by today’s standards. 🙂 🙂


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