David Rose, 80; Award-Winning Composer


David Rose, the Emmy- and Grammy-winning Hollywood composer and conductor responsible for such diverse hits as “The Stripper” and “Holiday for Strings,” has died. He was 80.

Rose died Thursday evening at St. Joseph Hospital in Burbank of heart failure, his publicist, Paul Marsh, said Friday.

The London-born Rose recorded more than 50 albums, scored 36 films, and composed themes and background music for 24 television series including “Highway Patrol,” “Sea Hunt,” “Bonanza” and “Highway to Heaven.”

Rose earned an Oscar nomination for the 1961 song “So in Love,” written for Frank Sinatra in the movie “Wonder Man.”


He won four Emmys--two for “Little House on the Prairie,” and one each for “Bonanza” and “The Fred Astaire Show.”

Rose took home five Grammys--for “Holiday for Strings,” “Our Waltz,” “The Stripper” and the “Like Young” and “Like Blue” albums with Andre Previn.

He racked up six gold records--"Holiday for Strings,” “The Stripper,” “Calypso Melody,” “Dance of the Spanish Onion” and the “Like Young” and “Like Blue” albums.

Rose studied piano as a child and began his career at 16, playing for Ted Fiorito’s dance band in Chicago. While studying at the Chicago College of Music, he served as standby pianist for NBC radio and began arranging music.


Invited to Hollywood, he formed the David Rose Orchestra for Mutual Broadcasting System, arranging the music for a show called “California Melodies.”

Rose and actress-singer Judy Garland, after announcing their engagement in June, 1941, eloped to Las Vegas later that year. The marriage lasted one year.

Rose broke into television with Red Skelton’s show in 1947, and soon added Hallmark and the Jack Benny and Bob Hope shows.

“The Stripper” came about in 1962, when Rose was working on a show called “Burlesque” that needed music for a strip act happening onstage while stars Dan Dailey and Joan Blondell argued in a dressing room. He dashed off eight bars, titled it, and let the band clown around with it. The impromptu idea topped the charts.

Rose is survived by his wife, Betty, two daughters, Melanie and Angela, and three grandchildren.

The family asked that memorial contributions be made to the David Rose Memorial Music Fund at USC; the Young Musicians Foundation, 195 S. Beverly Drive, Beverly Hills 90212, or the St. Joseph Medical Center Foundation, 501 S. Buena Vista St., Burbank 91505-4866.