11 Peculiar Facts and Triva About the Man Who Composed All the Star Wars Music, John Williams

John Williams is cinema’s most celebrated composer and one of the true reasons behind the success of the Star Wars movies.

He’s been in the music-making business for over 60 years and has produced some of the most famous musical works in history. Some of his additional composing credits include Jaws, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Superman, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, the first two Home Alone movies, the Indiana Jones movies, the first two Jurassic Park movies, Schindler's List, Saving Private Ryan, Catch Me If You Can, Seven Years In Tibet, and the first three Harry Potter movies.

Here are some key points, facts, and trivia from William's most extraordinary career:

  • John Williams started out as a jazz pianist for hire. His early work with the famous Peter Mancini opened up many opportunities for him.
  • He’s had to “thank the Academy” on five occasions thanks to his scores for the following movies; Fiddler on the Roof, Jaws, Star Wars, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, and Schindler’s List. That's fine haul of Oscars (Star Wars has a few awards too!).
  • In 1974,  the not-yet-famous director Steven Spielberg approached Williams to compose the music for his feature directorial debut, The Sugarland Express. They teamed up again a year later for Spielberg's second film, Jaws. This success led to Spielberg recommending Williams' services as a composer to George Lucas, who needed a composer to score Star Wars. The rest, as they say, is history.
  • The original Star Wars soundtrack remains the highest-grossing non-popular music recording of all-time
  • In 1999, George Lucas launched the first of a series of prequels to the original Star Wars trilogy. Williams returned for all three movies, meaning the combined scores of all six Star Wars films add up to more than 14 hours of orchestral music. His Duel of the Fates and Across the Stars are considered by most fans as being just as good as his themes from the original films.
  • Williams has been nominated for over 40 Grammy Awards, winning over 20 times. His wins include gongs for Jaws, Star Wars, Superman, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Schindler's List, Saving Private Ryan, and Memoirs of a Geisha.
  • He has had four of his themes chart on the American Billboard Charts:
    • 1975 – “Theme From Jaws,” Highest position No. 32
    • 1977 – “Star Wars Theme – Main Title,” No. 10
    • 1978 – “Theme From Close Encounters Of The Third Kind,” No. 13
    • 1979 – “Theme From Superman,” No. 81
  • This next one is a little far out – John's son Joseph is the lead singer for the band Toto! Not the original singer mind you, but the singer right now!
  • Williams has also composed music for television – some well-known works included Lost in Space, Heidi, and Gilligan's Island.
  • Such was the success of their working relationship, Williams has, to date, scored every soundtrack for Steven Spielberg's films with the exception of The Color Purple.
  • Rogue One is the first Star Wars movie for which he did not record the score. This was due to him working on The Last Jedi.
This article was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.