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Ray Conniff
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    Though he named his singers after himself, their singing specialty was 'wordless lyrics.'
    While he helped others achieve Top 40 Singles success, he only had two Top 40 hits himself (both in 1965).
    He composed a special version of the song 'Happiness Is' for use in a TV ad for Kent cigarettes.
    He didn't marry until age 52 and didn't have his first (and only) child until age 56.
    Trying to stay hip he recorded the 1978 album 'Ray Conniff Plays the Bee Gees and Other Great Hits' during the height of the disco craze.
    One of his last gigs was to perform 'Somewhere My Love' at the March 2002 doomed to failure marriage of Liza Minnelli and David Gest.
    He came from a musical family - his father was a trombonist and mother a pianist.
    He served in the U.S. Army during World War II.
    He wrote some arrangements for Artie Shaw.
    He was the music director for Tony Bennett's 1957 album 'Tony.'
    When he played his 'big band with a small choir' repertoire for bandleader and Columbia Records bigwig Mitch Miller, he was astounded by the sound and immediately offered a record deal.
    He recorded a version of 'Lara's Theme' (aka 'Somewhere My Love') from the 1965 film 'Doctor Zhivago,' which reached Billboard's Top 10, sold over a million copies and earned him a Grammy.
    His music is featured prominently in the 1998 Farrelly Brothers hit movie 'There's Something About Mary.'
    Known as a leader in the 'Easy Listening' genre, he sold nearly 70 million albums in his lifetime.

Credit: Scar Tactics

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