Leroy Holmes, Composer, Dies

Leroy Holmes, best known for a series of lush instrumental recordings in the 1950s, died Sunday night at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.

The composer, conductor and arranger, who studied at Juilliard School before forming his own band in 1934, was 72 and had a history of heart problems.

Born Alvin Holmes in Pittsburgh, he was an arranger for Vincent Lopez, before joining the Harry James band in the early 1940s.

Marion Morgan, a longtime friend and former big band vocalist, said he was the band arranger for "I Cried for You" and "Crazy Rhythm" and composed "The Mole," a popular James jazz vehicle.

In the 1950s, he formed a recording orchestra for MGM Records and produced a series of albums that sold well.

He also provided arrangements for and recorded with such vocalists as Art Lund, Morgan, Gloria Lynne, Helen Forrest, Shirley Bassey, Dinah Shore and Nelson Eddy.

He scored several films and later recorded for United Artists and Everest records.

Survivors include a son, daughter and four grandchildren.

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