Johnny Mandel

American composer and arranger Johnny Mandel was born John Alfred Mandel on 23 November 1925 in Manhattan, New York City. When he was five, his mother discovered that he had perfect pitch. After moving to Los Angeles, he took piano lessons but switched to trumpet and later trombone. He studied at the Manhattan School of Music and at Juilliard.

His career was mostly in the field of film music, jazz and popular songs, although he performed Erik Satie's Gnossiennes Nos 4 and 5 on piano for the 1979 film Being There. He's best known for writing Suicide is Painless, the theme song for the TV series and film M*A*S*H.

Mandel suffered from a heart ailment, and he died on 29 June 2020 at his home in Ojai, California, aged ninety-four.


A selection of articles about Johnny Mandel

CD Spotlight. A Spectacular Release - Gerald Fenech listens to film music played by John Wilson and the Sinfonia of London. '... an absolutely rewarding hour ...'

Ensemble. Vocal Chamber Music - Mike Wheeler is impressed by Mosaic at Derby Cathedral