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Composer Pat Williams passed away at 79!

Another formative figure of The Streets of San Francisco has passed away this week. As Billboard informed on Thursday, Patrick 'Pat' Williams, world-famous musician and composer of one of the most recognizable themes of television history, had died the day before.

"The Emmy- and Grammy-winning composer also worked on scores for The Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Bob Newhart Show, Columbo, Lou Grant and The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd. Williams also received an Oscar nod for his work in the 1979 film Breaking Away. His résumé revolves around his role as a major jazz leader - which earned him 19 Grammy nods - and includes a Pulitzer nomination for his jazz quartet and symphony orchestra for An American Concerto."

As Variety pointed out in its online edition on Wednesday, "he scored nearly 50 films, often memorable scores for movies that were not big hits, including Casey’s Shadow, The Cheap Detective and Cuba in the 1970s; Used Cars, Swing Shift and All of Me in the 1980s; Cry-Baby, The Grass Harp and That Old Feeling in the 1990s. But his primary occupation was music for television, which ultimately earned him 22 Emmy nominations for such memorable 1970s and '80s series as The Streets of San Francisco, Columbo, Lou Grant, and The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd, and such notable 1990s telefilms as Decoration Day, Geronimo and Kingfish: A Story of Huey P. Long. His miniseries, all in the ’90s and early ’00s, included Jewels, Jesus, Blonde and Hercules.

Williams had the most fun in the recording studio, working with top jazz musicians on both coasts to record contemporary big-band albums. His 19 Grammy nominations were mostly for his jazz compositions and arrangements, starting with the landmark Threshold LP and later including albums from his own 1980s Soundwings label featuring saxophonist Tom Scott, trombonist Bill Watrous, and his own big band."

I am thankful Pat Williams literally shaped such great and ever-lasting television themes in addition to his remarkable jazz and big-band music.


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