Disney Music Director Buddy Baker Dies


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:'( Disney Music Director Baker Dies :'(

.c The Associated Press

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Buddy Baker, musical director for nearly 200 Disney movies and TV shows including a ``Daniel Boone'' miniseries and ``The Mickey Mouse Club,'' has died. He was 84.

Baker died Friday at his home in Sherman Oaks from unspecified natural causes, studio spokesman Howard E. Green said Monday.

The composer penned incidental music for ``The Mickey Mouse Club'' show and special songs sung by its child stars and was responsible for music in the 1981 cartoon feature ``The Fox and the Hound.''

He was nominated for an Academy Award for the score to the 1972 children's drama ``Napoleon and Samantha.''

He also scored incidental music for the Disney theme park attractions ``Great Moments With Mr. Lincoln,'' ``It's a Small World,'' and ``The Haunted Mansion.''

``Anyone who has ever been to a Disney theme park has enjoyed his music and his scores,'' said Roy E. Disney, vice chairman of Walt Disney Co. ``I had the privilege of working with Buddy on scores for several projects that I produced and he always came through with something original and appropriate.''

Although Baker did not write the famous ``Mickey Mouse Club March'' or the jingly, repetitious ``It's a Small World'' song, he would adapt those melodies for use at other places in the show or ride.

Raised in Springfield, Ill., he began piano lessons at age 4 and was playing trumpet as well when he was 11 years old. He studied music at Southwest Baptist University and moved to Los Angeles in 1938 to work in Hollywood.

He wrote arrangements for radio programs starring Bob Hope, Jack Benny and Eddie Cantor.

In 1954, he was hired by Disney Studios, where he worked on arrangements for the TV show ``Davy Crockett'' and three ``Winnie the Pooh'' cartoons. He also composed original music for movies that included 1960's ``Toby Tyler,'' 1975's ``The Apple Dumpling Gang'' and 1976's ``The Shaggy D.A.''

Baker is survived by his wife, a stepson, two grandchildren and a great grandchild.