Gary LeMel, pop-jazz singer and former Warner Bros music head, dies at 80
Gary LeMel who is a well-known music supervisor died on July 6 after battling Parkinson’s disease. He is survived by his wife and three children.
The former longtime head of music at Warner Bros. Pictures, Gary LeMel died at the age of 80 on July 6 after a long battle with Parkinson's disease. Once dubbed as 'the father of the compilation soundtrack album' and 'Godfather of the Modern Soundtrack' by the media for his work in films, he has worked on projects such as 'The Big Chill', 'Ghostbusters' and 'The Bodyguard'. He is survived by his wife Maddy LeMel and three children.
In an interview Variety, Maddy spoke about the testimonials that were coming in after her husband's death and said, "It’s wild, because we’ve been married almost 47 years next month, and you think you know the person you’re living with and what they’ve done. It was mind-boggling. I always knew he was loved, because at a checkout stand, people would hear the name LeMel and say, ‘Are you related? Oh my God, I love him.’ They would say he’s one of the only executives in the industry — both industries, film and music — that was really a nice guy, or, in their language, wasn’t a (jerk). So this is a beautiful statement. I really seriously had no idea how many people’s lives he touched until this happened."
Despite being diagnosed with Parkinson's in 2010, Gary continued to make music and he even joined a jazz group named 'Fifth Dementia', which was made up of individuals diagnosed with dementia. In 2017, what has now come to be known as the last public appearance of Gary, he was awarded the Guild of Music Supervisors’ Legacy Award at the annual gathering at the Theatre at Ace Hotel.
In his capacity as the head of music at Warner Bros. Pictures from 1986, Gary worked on music for films 'Batman', 'Matrix', 'Harry Potter' and 'Ocean’s Eleven'. Before this, he worked at Jerry Weintraub’s management company as Vice President. He was also the music supervisor on Barbra Streisand’s 'A Star Is Born' project, which was one of the biggest soundtrack albums of the 1970s.