Maury Laws, Rankin-Bass Composer-Arranger, Dies at 95

  • Variety
Maury Laws, who as musical director for Rankin-Bass productions supervised the scoring of such animated TV classics as “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” “Frosty the Snowman” and “The Hobbit,” died March 28 in Appleton, Wisc. He was 95.

Laws’ greatest achievement in TV was arranging and conducting all of the music for the 1964 stop-motion animation version of “Rudolph,” which featured new songs by original “Rudolph” songwriter Johnny Marks. Laws’ warm orchestral settings for such songs as “Holly Jolly Christmas,” “There’s Always Tomorrow” and the title tune helped to make the hour-long show a holiday season perennial.

The success of “Rudolph” led to a series of animated specials by the Rankin-Bass company. Laws worked with Fred Astaire on “Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town” (1970), Danny Kaye on “Here Comes Peter Cottontail” (1971), Angela Lansbury on “The First Christmas” (1975) and Judy Collins on “The Wind in the Willows” (1987), often writing the songs with lyricist and
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