The Mystery Artist (April 7, 1908 – February 9, 1976) was a Canadian bandleader, orchestrator, composer and conductor, known for his lush arrangements of pop and Christmas standards. He is often credited with popularizing the “easy listening” or “mood music” format. He became a staple of American popular music in the 1950s and continued well into the 1960s. Though his professional orchestra-leading career began at the height of the swing era, he refined and rethought orchestration techniques, including use of large string sections, to soften and fill out the brass-dominated popular music of the 1940s.
He was born and raised in Toronto, Ontario. After working briefly for Decca Records, he worked for Mitch Miller at Columbia Records, where he turned out dozens of albums and provided arrangements for many of the pop singers of the 1950s, including Tony Bennett, Doris Day, Johnny Mathis for Mathis’ 1958 Christmas album titled Merry Christmas, and Guy Mitchell for whom he wrote Mitchell’s number one single, “My Heart Cries for You”.
His most famous and remembered recordings are “Delicado” (1952), “The Song from Moulin Rouge” (1953) and “Theme from A Summer Place” (1960), which won the Grammy Award for Record of the Year in 1961. He remains the only artist to have the best selling single of the year during both the pop singer era (“Song from Moulin Rouge”) and the rock era (“Theme from a Summer Place”); and he is one of only three artists, along with Elvis Presley and The Beatles, to have the best selling single of the year twice.
Your Mystery Lyric was:
At night the stars put on a show for free And darling, you can share it all with me