Randy Edelman
Born (1947-06-10) June 10, 1947 (age 76)
Paterson, New Jersey, U.S.
GenresPop, film score
Occupation(s)Composer, conductor
Years active1972–present
(m. 1976)

Randy Edelman (born June 10, 1947) is an American musician, producer, and composer for film and television. He began his career as a member of Broadway's pit orchestras; he later produced solo albums for songs that were picked up by leading music performers including The Carpenters, Barry Manilow, and Dionne Warwick. He is known for his work in comedy films. He has been awarded many prestigious awards along with two nominations for a Golden Globe Award, a BAFTA Award, and twelve BMI Awards. Edelman was given an honorary doctorate in fine arts by the University of Cincinnati in 2004.

Some of Edelman's best known films scores include Twins, Ghostbusters II, Kindergarten Cop, Drop Dead Fred, Beethoven, The Distinguished Gentleman, Gettysburg, Angels in the Outfield, The Mask, Pontiac Moon, The Indian in the Cupboard, Dragonheart, Daylight, and XXX. He also wrote the theme of the popular television series MacGyver. Many of his musical pieces have been reused in television advertising, trailers, Disney movies, and award shows.

Life and career

Edelman was born on 10 June 1947 in Paterson, New Jersey,[1] to a Jewish family.[2][3] He was raised in Teaneck, New Jersey, the son of a first-grade teacher and an accountant, and graduated from Teaneck High School in 1965.[4][5] He attended the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music before heading to New York where he played piano in Broadway pit orchestras. He produced several solo albums of songs, some of which were later recorded by The Carpenters ("I Can't Make Music", "Piano Picker" and "You"), Barry Manilow ("Weekend in New England"), "If Love Is Real" from Olivia Newton-John's Making a Good Thing Better, Dionne Warwick ("The Laughter and the Tears"), Blood, Sweat & Tears ("Blue Street") and many others before moving to Los Angeles. Edelman started to work there in television and film scoring, while producing his solo albums which found a cult following in the United Kingdom, Europe, and Japan.

Musical scores

One of his first film scores was for the 1973 film Executive Action, which put forward a conspiracy theory concerning the assassination of John Fitzgerald Kennedy in 1963. In 1977 Edelman contributed the orchestral piece 'Grey' to the multi-composer suite Colours, put together and conducted by Vic Lewis.[6] In the mid-1980s, Edelman wrote the theme to and scored many episodes of MacGyver, a popular television series starring Richard Dean Anderson.

During the 1980s and early 1990s, he also collaborated with Ivan Reitman, producing scores for several of his comedies, including Drop Dead Fred, Ghostbusters II, Pontiac Moon, Twins, and Kindergarten Cop. He also contributed to Beethoven; The Last of the Mohicans; The Distinguished Gentleman; The Mask; Daylight; Anaconda; XXX; Gettysburg; My Cousin Vinny; While You Were Sleeping; Dragonheart; Shanghai Noon; Six Days, Seven Nights; The Indian in the Cupboard; Billy Madison; Angels in the Outfield; and EDtv to name a few.

Edelman was honored with the Richard Kirk Award at the 2003 BMI Film and TV Awards. The award is given annually to a composer who has made significant contributions to film and television music. In 2004, he received an honorary doctorate in fine arts from the University of Cincinnati. He and three other honorees distinguished in other fields, including Coretta Scott King were given the degree.[7]

He produced the scores for the 2008 film The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor. This score was recorded at Abbey Road Studios in London, where in 2010 Edelman also recorded and composed the Irish flavored music score for Amy Adams's film Leap Year. He was awarded the Goldspirit Award (named in honor of Jerry Goldsmith) for best comedy score of 2011 for the Leap Year soundtrack CD on Varèse Sarabande.

Scores reused elsewhere

While some of the films scored by Edelman were not commercial successes, the music was often reused elsewhere. Themes he wrote for Kindergarten Cop (in particular Rain Ride), Dragonheart, Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story (including the film's love theme Bruce and Linda), Gettysburg, and other films have been widely used in television advertising, film trailers, Disney movies including Mulan, and during the Academy Awards. Themes from his score for Come See the Paradise have been used in film trailers more than cues from any other film soundtrack.[8][9]

NBC Sports

His music from The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr. is featured during NBC's Olympic Games coverage when upcoming events are being announced. In addition it was used during NBC's coverage of the 1997 World Series. At the end of the 1996 Summer Olympics, NBC used the closing music of Gettysburg. In the 1990s, Edelman composed the popular theme music for NBC's NFL telecasts which was used for the 1995–97 seasons through Super Bowl XXXII.[10]

Personal life

Edelman has been married to singer Jackie DeShannon since June 3, 1976. DeShannon is known for 1960s hits including "When You Walk in the Room", "Put a Little Love in Your Heart" and "What the World Needs Now Is Love". DeShannon had a few months' long, annulled first marriage. She and Edelman have a son, Noah D. Edelman.

Musical discography (as artist and songwriter)

Solo albums

Charted solo singles

Artists who have covered Edelman's songs (both music and lyrics)

(this is a partial list)



Year Title Director Studio(s) Notes
1972 Outside In Allen Baron
G. D. Spradin
1973 Snatched Sutton Roley ABC Circle Films Television film
Executive Action David Miller National General Pictures
Blood Sport Jerrold Freedman Danny Thomas Productions Television movie
1983 When Your Lover Leaves Jeff Bleckner Fair Dinkum, Inc.
Major H Productions
NBC Productions
Television film
1984 A Doctor's Story Peter Levin Embassy Television
1985 Scandal Sheet David Lowell Rich ABC
Molly and the Skywalkerz: Happily Ever After Bill Melendez
1987 The Chipmunk Adventure Janice Karman Bagdasarian Productions
The Samuel Goldwyn Company
Dennis the Menace Doug Rogers Television film
1988 Feds Daniel Goldberg Warner Bros.
Twins Ivan Reitman Universal Pictures with Georges Delerue
1989 Troop Beverly Hills Jeff Kanew Weintraub Entertainment Group
Columbia Pictures
Ghostbusters II Ivan Reitman Columbia Pictures
1990 Quick Change Howard Franklin
Bill Murray
Warner Bros.
Come See the Paradise Alan Parker 20th Century Fox
Kindergarten Cop Ivan Reitman Imagine Entertainment
Universal Pictures
1991 Drop Dead Fred Ate de Jong Working Title Films
New Line Cinema (US)
PolyGram Filmed Entertainment (International; original release)
Universal Pictures (International; current rights)
V.I. Warshawski Jeff Kanew Hollywood Pictures
Eyes of an Angel Robert Harmon LIVE Entertainment
Shout Jeffrey Hornaday Universal Pictures
1992 My Cousin Vinny Jonathan Lynn 20th Century Fox
Taking Back My Life: The Nancy Ziegenmeyer Story Harry Winer Television film
Beethoven Brian Levant Universal Pictures
The Last of the Mohicans Michael Mann Morgan Creek Productions
20th Century Fox (US & Canada)
Warner Bros. (International)
with Trevor Jones
The Distinguished Gentleman Jonathan Lynn Hollywood Pictures
1993 Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story Rob Cohen Universal Pictures
Gettysburg Ronald F. Maxwell Turner Pictures
New Line Cinema
Beethoven's 2nd Rod Daniel Northern Lights Entertainment
Universal Pictures
1994 Greedy Jonathan Lynn Imagine Entertainment
Universal Pictures
Angels in the Outfield William Dear Caravan Pictures
Walt Disney Pictures
The Mask Chuck Russell Dark Horse Entertainment
New Line Cinema
Pontiac Moon Peter Medak Paramount Pictures
1995 Billy Madison Tamra Davis Universal Pictures
Citizen X Chris Gerolmo HBO Television film
Tall Tale Jeremiah S. Chechik Caravan Pictures
Walt Disney Pictures
While You Were Sleeping Jon Turteltaub Caravan Pictures
Hollywood Pictures
The Indian in the Cupboard Frank Oz The Kennedy/Marshall Company
Paramount Pictures (US theatrical; International video release)
Columbia Pictures (US video release; International theatrical)
The Big Green Holly Goldberg Sloan Caravan Pictures
Walt Disney Pictures
1996 Down Periscope David S. Ward 20th Century Fox
Diabolique Jeremiah S. Chechik Morgan Creek Productions
Warner Bros.
The Quest Jean-Claude Van Damme Universal Pictures
Dragonheart Rob Cohen
Daylight Davis Entertainment
Universal Pictures
1997 Anaconda Luis Llosa Columbia Pictures
Gone Fishin' Christopher Cain Caravan Pictures
Hollywood Pictures
Leave It to Beaver Andy Cadiff Universal Pictures
For Richer or Poorer Bryan Spicer The Bubble Factory
Universal Pictures
1998 Six Days, Seven Nights Ivan Reitman Northern Lights Entertainment
Caravan Pictures
Touchstone Pictures
1999 EDtv Ron Howard Imagine Entertainment
Universal Pictures
The Hunley John Gray Turner Television Network Television film
2000 Passion of Mind Alan Berliner Paramount Classics
The Whole Nine Yards Jonathan Lynn Morgan Creek Productions
Franchise Pictures
Warner Bros.
The Skulls Rob Cohen Original Film
Universal Pictures
Shanghai Noon Tom Dey Spyglass Entertainment
Touchstone Pictures
2001 Head over Heels Mark Waters Universal Pictures
China: The Panda Adventure Robert M. Young Trane Pictures
Osmosis Jones Farrelly brothers Warner Bros. Feature Animation
Warner Bros.
Who Is Cletis Tout? Chris Ver Wiel Fireworks Entertainment
Seven Arts Productions
Paramount Classics
Corky Romano Rob Pritts Touchstone Pictures
Black Knight Gil Junger The Firm, Inc.
Regency Enterprises
20th Century Fox
2002 A Season on the Brink Robert Mandel ESPN Films
Frank McKlusky, C.I. Arlene Sanford Touchstone Pictures
Insomnia Christopher Nolan Alcon Entertainment
Witt/Thomas Productions
Section Eight Productions
Warner Bros.
with David Julyan
XXX Rob Cohen Revolution Studios
Original Film
Columbia Pictures
2003 National Security Dennis Dugan Columbia Pictures
Shanghai Knights David Dobkin Spyglass Entertainment
Touchstone Pictures
Gods and Generals Ronald F. Maxwell Ted Turner Pictures
Warner Bros.
with John Frizzell
2004 Connie and Carla Michael Lembeck Spyglass Entertainment
Universal Pictures
Surviving Christmas Mike Mitchell DreamWorks Pictures
2005 Son of the Mask Lawrence Guterman Dark Horse Entertainment
New Line Cinema
2006 The Last Time Michael Caleo No distributor
2007 Underdog Frederik Du Chau Spyglass Entertainment
Walt Disney Pictures
Balls of Fury Robert Ben Garant Spyglass Entertainment
Rogue Pictures
2008 27 Dresses Anne Fletcher Dune Entertainment
Spyglass Entertainment
20th Century Fox
The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor Rob Cohen Relativity Media
Universal Pictures
2010 Leap Year Anand Tucker Spyglass Entertainment
Universal Pictures
2011 The Greening of Whitney Brown Peter Skillman Odiorne ARC Entertainment
2015 The Boy Next Door Rob Cohen Blumhouse Productions
Nuyorican Productions
Universal Pictures
With Nathan Barr Additional Music By Lisbeth Scott
Leaves of the Tree Ante Novakovic
2016 Back in the Day Paul Borghese Tappan Films
2017 Max 2: White House Hero Brian Levant Warner Bros.
2019 Backdraft 2 Gonzalo López-Gallego Universal 1440 Entertainment Video
2021 Skelly Matt Greene-Delanghe Walk Like a Duck Entertainment


Year Title Notes
1983 Ryan's Four 6 episodes
1984 CBS Schoolbreak Special episode: All the Kids Do It
1985–87 MacGyver seasons 1–2
1986 Mr. Sunshine episode: Pilot
1988 ABC Afterschool Special episode: A Family Again
1993 The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr. episode: Pilot
2006 The Ten Commandments miniseries

Awards, milestones and announcements

Platinum and gold Records [13]

Barry Manilow Greatest Hits, Live,

This One's for You

Saturn Awards

International Film Music Critics Association Nomination

Best Original Score for Television for ABC's mini-series[14]

Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts

Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI)

Emmy Awards

Golden Globes Award

British Academy of Film and Television Awards Nomination

Kautz Alumni Masters Awards

Goldspirit Awards

Long Island International Film Expo


  1. ^ "Randy Edelman Biography, Songs, & Albums". AllMusic.
  2. ^ "Edelman, Randy 1947–". Encyclopedia.com. Retrieved 2015-05-22.
  3. ^ "Randy Edelman". Filmreference.com. Retrieved 28 September 2014.
  4. ^ Sheff, David. "Jackie Deshannon Wrote the Tune but Randy Edelman Put a Little Love in Her Heart", People, May 5, 1980. Accessed September 27, 2011. "Edelman, in fact, was scarcely 22, just out of Cincinnati's Conservatory of Music and still living part-time in Teaneck, N.J. with his parents (an accountant and a first-grade teacher)."
  5. ^ Coutros, Evonne. "The guy who knows the score; Composer's movie career is on a roll", The Record (North Jersey), May 18, 1994. Accessed February 12, 2020. "Edelman, born in Paterson and raised in Teaneck, also has scored the films Beethoven, Beethoven's 2nd, The Distinguished Gentleman, The Last of the Mohicans, and Kindergarten Cop.... For the 1965 graduate of Teaneck High School, his big break came after scoring the children's animated feature The Chipmunk Adventure."
  6. ^ Colours, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Vic Lewis, RCA PL25123 (1997)
  7. ^ "Randy Edelman, Merv Griffin, Eminem Among Honorees at BMI Film/TV Awards". bmi.com. 14 May 2003. Retrieved 2010-10-21.
  8. ^ "Top 100 Frequently Used Cues". soundtrack.net. Retrieved 2007-08-14.
  9. ^ Sella, Marshall (July 28, 2002). "The 150-Second Sell, Take 34". New York Times. Retrieved 18 March 2010.
  10. ^ "1995–1997 NFL on NBC Theme". Ilovewavs.com. Retrieved 28 September 2014.
  11. ^ a b c Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (illustrated ed.). St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. p. 100. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  12. ^ https://www.officialcharts.com/artist/15659/randy-edelman/
  13. ^ "Randy Edelman Returns To CMM" Archived 2016-10-25 at the Wayback Machine, Wards } Randy Edelman, Undated
  14. ^ " IFMCA Award Composer Stats ", IFMCA, No Date
  15. ^ "Randy Edelman Returns to CMM", CinciPulse, January 2, 2013
  16. ^ "Randy Edelman, Merv Griffin, Eminem Among Honorees at BMI Film/TV Awards", BMI, May 14, 2003
  17. ^ "CCM Alumnus Randy Edelman Receives 2014 BMI Spotlight Award ", CCM The Village News Blog, May 22, 2014
  18. ^ "Randy Edelman", Billboard, No date
  19. ^ " The Last of the Mohicans", IMDb, 1993
  20. ^ "Famed alumnus film composer conducts CCM orchestra ", University of Cincinnati, No Date
  21. ^ "Spirit", BSO Spirit, 2010
  22. ^ "L.I. International Film Expo to Run July 8-16" Archived 2016-11-30 at the Wayback Machine, The Island Now, July 2, 2015