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Ralph Burns Dies at 79

Ralph Burns, who had a distinguished career as a bop-era arranger before moving on to fame and fortune in film scoring, died last Wednesday, Nov. 28 in Los Angeles. He was 79. He died of complications from a recent stroke as well as pneumonia, according to a spokesman for his business manager.

Burns was born in Newton, Mass., on June 29, 1922. He took up the piano as a child, and spent his teenage years working in a local jazz orchestra. He said later that he learned orchestration by transcribing recordings of Count Basie, Benny Goodman and Duke Ellington note-for-note to see how they got their sound.

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