Reference Entry

Riddle, Nelson

Mark Tucker

in Oxford Music Online

Published in print January 2001 |
Published online January 2001 | e-ISBN: 9781561592630 | DOI:

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(b Oradell, NJ, June 1, 1921; d Los Angeles, Oct 6, 1985). American popular arranger, composer and conductor. During the 1940s he played the trombone and arranged for a number of big bands, including those of Jerry Wald, Tommy Dorsey, Bob Crosby and Charlie Spivak. After a short period in the army, following which he gave up professional playing, he studied orchestration and composition with Castelnuovo-Tedesco, subsequently joining NBC Radio as a staff arranger and conductor. Both at NBC and Capitol Records, which he joined in 1951, he worked with many prominent popular singers, among them Peggy Lee, Judy Garland, Nat ‘King’ Cole and Ella Fitzgerald. Riddle was also the arranger for many of Frank Sinatra’s film musicals including Guys and Dolls (1955), High Society (1956) and Pal Joey (1957), and the success of Sinatra in the late 1950s owed much to Riddle’s alternately introspective and swinging arrangements....

Reference Entry.  389 words. 

Subjects: Music ; Contemporary Music

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