Possibly the greatest composer to work in cinema, John Barry has died at the age of 77. He will be best remember for his Bond work, such as Goldfinger and From Russia with Love, but I really can’t see past the theme from Midnight cowboy.
I first found the movie after reading the dead school by Pat McCabe, in which one of the characters becomes obsessed with the film. I had to see it out, and was for a while almost as fanatical as the character! The music is haunting and one of those songs that could go on forever.
There’s an interesting story that the Sunday Times was sued for saying that Barry had written the Bond theme, by Monty Norman, who is the sole name attributed to the song. Barry spoke in court, and said he had arranged it and written some additional music, and the case was eventually settle in favor of Monty. I guess we’re unlikely to know at this stage who wrote it!
He’s one five academy awards, for Born Free, the Lion in the Winter, Out of Africa and Dances with wolves.