October 24, 2021

RIP: Leslie Bricusse, Oscar-winning composer and lyricist. “Songs for [artistic partner Anthony Newley] included ‘What Kind of Fool Am I?’, which became a hit for Sammy Davis Jr. The latter featured ‘Feeling Good,’ which was recorded by Nina Simone for her 1965 album, I Put a Spell on You. Also with Newley, Bricusse penned the lyrics to ‘Goldfinger’ (1964), composed by John Barry, and sung by Shirley Bassey as the melodramatic theme song for the third James Bond film of the same name. Three years later, he wrote the words for another Barry-composed Bond theme, ‘You Only Live Twice,’ sung by Nancy Sinatra. Bricusse and Newley wrote the soundtrack to Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971), Mel Stuart’s big-screen adaptation of Roald Dahl’s children’s novel, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Songs included ‘The Candy Man,’ and ‘Pure Imagination,’ with the latter becoming the title of Bricusse’s ‘sorta-biography’ (2005).”

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