Sid Ramin

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Sidney Norton "Sid" Ramin (born January 22, 1919 in Boston , Massachusetts , † July 1, 2019 in New York City , New York ) was an American orchestrator , arranger and composer . For the soundtrack for West Side Story he was awarded an Oscar and a Grammy in 1962 together with Saul Chaplin , Johnny Green and Irwin Kostal .

life and career

Sidney Ramin grew up in Roxbury . His father was a display designer for the Jordan Marsh retail company . His father played the violin and his mother the piano. Ramin received music lessons from an early age.

As a teenager he was friends with the later conductor Leonard Bernstein . While Bernstein was studying at Harvard University , Ramin was drafted into the army and served in France in a Special Services Unit for several years. There he wrote the music for the show It's All Yours for the Army Band .

After retiring from active service, he went to New York, where he orchestrated the music for the band The Three Suns . He arranged for Milton Berle's Texaco Star Theater from 1948 to 1956 live for television performances. He also got a job with RCA Records . Shortly afterwards he was asked by Leonard Bernstein to work on the arrangements for the musical West Side Story .

At the Academy Awards in 1962 he was awarded together with Saul Chaplin , Johnny Green and Irwin Kostal in the category Best Score in a Musical for the soundtrack to the film West Side Story . For the same work, they received the award in the 1961 Grammy Awards in the category Best Sound Track Album or Recording of Original Cast from Motion Picture or Television .

After winning an Oscar, Ramin turned his attention to the theater and orchestrated more than a dozen musicals, including Jule Stynes Gypsy (1959), Cy Colemans Wildcat (1960), Stephen Sondheim's A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (1962) and Bernsteins and Alan Jay Lerners 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue (1976).

Ramin wrote the iconic theme music for The Patty Duke Show in 1963. In 1966 Ramin composed the instrumental title Music to Watch Girls By , which was initially used for a Diet Pepsi commercial and became a chart hit in 1967 in a cover version of the Bob Crewe generation. In the 1960s and 1970s, Ramin wrote and arranged numerous promotional jingles .

He has received 12 Clio Awards for his work in the advertising industry . In 1999, Ramin was honored by the American Society of Music Arrangers and Composers with the Irwin Kostal Award, named after his friend and colleague, for his many years of service in arranging, orchestrating and composing.

Ramin was married to the singer Gloria Breit from 1949 until his death. His son Ronald "Ron" Ramin , born in 1953, works as a composer for film and television.

Sidney Ramin died on July 1, 2019 at the age of 100 in his New York apartment. He left behind his wife, son and two grandchildren.

Musicals (selection)


  • 1957: West Side Story
  • 1959: Gypsy
  • 1959: The Girls Against the Boys
  • 1960: Wildcat
  • 1961: The Conquering Hero
  • 1961: Kwamina
  • 1962: I Can Get It for You Wholesale
  • 1962: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum
  • 1963: Sophie
  • 1976: 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
  • 1986: Smile
  • 1989: Jerome Robbins' Broadway
  • 1993: The Red Shoes


  • 1960: Vintage '60
  • 1960: Wildcat
  • 1961: The Conquering Hero
  • 1963: Sophie

Filmography (selection)


  • 1961: West Side Story
  • 1964: Hotel for lovers (Honeymoon Hotel)
  • 1993: Gypsy (TV movie)


  • 1963–1965: The Patty Duke Show (TV series, 72 episodes)
  • 1965–1966: The Trials of O'Brien (TV series, 22 episodes)
  • 1967: Diamond Raid (Too Many Thieves)
  • 1969: stiletto
  • 1973: Miracle on 34th Street (TV movie)

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. a b c d e f Robin Finn: Public Lives; Back on Broadway and, at 84, Lusting for a Tony. In: New York Times . March 27, 2003, accessed July 4, 2019 .
  2. a b c d e f g h Jon Burlingame: Sid Ramin, Oscar-Winning Composer-Arranger, Dies at 100. In: . July 2, 2019, accessed July 4, 2019 .
  3. ^ The 34th Academy Awards. In: Retrieved April 25, 2016 .
  4. ^ Winners 4th Annual GRAMMY Awards (1961). In: Retrieved July 4, 2019 .
  5. a b Michael H. Perlman: Legendary Locals of Forest Hills and Rego Park . Arcadia Publishing, New York, 2015, page 77 , ISBN 978-1-46710-188-2