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09/19/2010

One year ago: Arthur Ferrante

September 19, 2010 |  6:00 am

FeranteArthur Ferrante was one half of the piano duo Ferrante and Teicher that was popular in the 1960s for lush orchestral recordings of 1960s movie themes and for their onstage antics. He died a year ago.

Over the course of their 40-year partnership, they recorded 150 albums, earning 22 gold and platinum records and selling 90 million records worldwide, and performed 5,200 concerts before retiring in 1989.

"They made beautiful music, but they were not easy listening," said Ferrante's manager, Scott W. Smith. "They were very dynamic."

They became known as the Movie Theme Team after releasing themes from "One-Eyed Jacks" (1961), "Lawrence of Arabia" (1962), "Cleopatra" (1963) and others.

Showmen from the start, they weren't content to merely play notes from a sheet of music. They would add objects to their pianos and would pluck, pound or strum the strings to make alternative sounds. These "gimmicks," as they called them, landed them spots on the leading TV variety programs.

For more on the piano man, read Arthur Ferrante's obituary by The Times.

--Michael Farr

Photo: Arthur Ferrante, left, and duo partner Lou Teicher. Credit: Los Angeles Times

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