Stu Phillips (composer)

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Stu Phillips
Phillips in 2007
Phillips in 2007
Background information
Born (1929-09-09) September 9, 1929 (age 92)
Occupation(s)Composer, arranger, conductor
Years active1958–present
LabelsColpix, Capitol

Stuart Phillips (born September 9, 1929) is an American composer of film scores and television series theme music, conductor and record producer. He is perhaps best known for composing the theme tune to the television series Battlestar Galactica and Knight Rider.



Phillips studied music at The High School of Music & Art in New York City, New York, and at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York. While at Eastman, he began arranging music for the Rochester Civic Orchestra.[1]

In 1958, Phillips began composing television and film scores. One of his first scores was for Columbia's 1964 movie, Ride the Wild Surf. He also founded Colpix Records and produced hits for Nina Simone, The Skyliners and Shelley Fabares, (pronounced 'fab bray'). Stu Phillips produced "Johnny Angel" for Shelly Fabares, who played the teen-age daughter on The Donna Reed Show. According to Joel Whitburn's 'Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits' "Johnny Angel" was released March 17, 1962 and was a #1 hit from April 7–20, 1962 staying on the charts for 13 weeks. There was also a follow-up hit to "Johnny Angel" called "Johnny Loves Me" which also made the Top 40 (#21) in July of '62.

In the mid-1960s, he worked for Capitol Records and created, produced and arranged for the easy listening studio orchestra the Hollyridge Strings.[1] Excerpts from the Hollyridge Strings album The Beatles Song Book can be heard on the 1964 Capitol documentary album The Beatles' Story.[2]

In the late 1960s and early 1970s, Phillips continued scoring films and television series including music for the films Beyond the Valley of the Dolls (1970), The Seven Minutes (1971) and the television series The Monkees and Get Christie Love!.

In 1974, he began working at Universal Studios scoring television series; Glen A. Larson made extensive use of his compositions. During this time, he scored music for the television series The Six Million Dollar Man, McCloud, and Battlestar Galactica.[1] His Battlestar Galactica theme was featured prominently in the film Airplane II: The Sequel (1980). He also composed music for the television series The Amazing Spider-Man (which was for Charles Fries/Dan Goodman/Danchuck Productions) during this time.

In the 1980s, Phillips left Universal and began working at 20th Century Fox, again being a favorite composer of Glen A. Larson, where he composed music for the television series The Fall Guy, Automan and Knight Rider.[1] All programs were Larson productions.

Later years

Phillips went into semi-retirement in the 1990s at his home in Studio City, California. Since that time, he has appeared at fan conventions for Battlestar Galactica and has attended cult-film screenings for Beyond the Valley of the Dolls.[1]

In 2002, Phillips published his autobiography Stu Who?: Forty Years of Navigating the Minefields of the Music Business.

In 2006, he also participated in a documentary film featured on the special edition DVD re-release of Beyond the Valley of the Dolls.[3]

Long a "serious" musician, Phillips has also orchestrated pieces by Ludwig van Beethoven and Sergei Rachmaninoff for symphony orchestra.[1]

Phillips can be heard on discussing the history of The Hollyridge Strings's Christmas album, which it released in 2008.


Film music

Television music

Awards and nominations

Grammy Award

BMI Film & TV Awards

Further reading

  • Phillips, Stu. 2002. Stu Who?: Forty Years of Navigating the Minefields of the Music Business. Studio City, California. Cisum Press. ISBN 978-0-9720363-3-7


  1. ^ a b c d e f Stu Phillips official biography at
  2. ^ Gillian G. Gaar, « 100 Things Beatles Fans Should Know and Do Before They Die », Triumph Books, 2013
  3. ^ The Beyond the Valley of the Dolls special-edition DVD features Look on up at the Bottom: The Music of the Dolls. USA: 20th Century Fox.

External links