He was a bandleader, arranger, composer and orchestrator born in Toronto, Canada.
When he was young he learned to play the piano and the violin and would soon be playing in theatres and venues that included the Massey Hall. Tragically he was badly burned in a fire with lasting injuries to his hands and this was when he turned to conducting orchestras, often on radio, and he became nationally known for his live broadcasts from 1933 to 1940 for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. In 1940 he relocated to Chicago and became a naturalised US citizen in 1945.
Becoming involved in the recording industry he worked for Voice of America, Decca and Columbia Records and throughout the 1950s and into the 1960s he made numerous album recordings and also arranged for popular artists of the day such as Doris Day, Johnny Mathis, Rosemary Clooney, Sarah Vaughan, Frankie Laine, Jerry Vale , Vic Damone and Tony Bennett.
As a composer he wrote the score for the Doris Day film Love Me or Leave Me, “Tammy Tell Me True” and “The Oscar” and many popular songs such as Guy Mitchell’s No. 1 hit “My Heart Cries For You”. In his own right he had major hits with “Delicado”, “Song from the Moulin Rouge”, his Grammy Award winning single “Theme From a Summer Place” and the album “Love Theme from Romeo and Juliet”.
Attempting to keep up with the times in the 1970s he released two albums that were disco style recordings and also a country music LP.
In 1976 he passed away in Encino, California, after suffering from cancer. He was 68 years old.
Christmas Is… (Percy Faith/Spence Maxwell)
Columbia CK 9377 (CD; Christmas Is… )
Here he is leading his orchestra in “Theme from a Summer Place”…