David Rose

David Rose was born in London, England in 1910.  At the age of 4 years, Rose moved with his family to Chicago, Illinois, where at the age of 7 he began studying piano. When Rose was 14 he began studying at the Chicago College of Music and performing for small audiences.   By 16 he launched his professional career with the Ted Fio Rito Dance Band in New York City.  He worked as a standby pianist, conductor and arranger landing work with NBC Radio and penning arrangements for various projects, including Benny Goodman’s 1936 hit “It’s Been So Long.” The David Rose Orchestra was then assembled for the Mutual Broadcasting System’s “California Melodies.”  It is here where Rose, limited to only a string section, developed his rich use of strings and invigorating pizzicato style and eventually came to be known as “The King of Strings.”


In 1938 Rose became the musical director for MGM Studios in Hollywood. He served for 4 years in the Armed Forces as the director and composer for the Moss Air Force production of the play “Winged Victory,” (later a major motion picture of the same name).  In the early 1940’s, Rose wrote his famed work “Holiday for Strings” which is now in the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences Hall of Fame.

Rose scored for motion pictures at Twentieth Century-Fox, Warner Bros., Universal, and Paramount.   He earned his first Oscar nomination in 1944 for the score for the Bob Hope/Virginia Mayo film “The Princess and the Pirate.”  A second nomination followed in 1946, for a song written with Leo Robins for the The film “Wonder Man.”


In 1947 Rose began a 23-year association with Red Skelton, conducting for the Radio and TV show. Rose earned his first Emmy in 1958 for the TV show “An Evening with Fred Astaire.”  

In 1961, at MGM, Rose scored films staring such notables as Doris Day, Paul Newman, Sydney Portier, Jane Powell and Esther Williams.  By 1962, 22 shows contained music written by David Rose. “The Stripper” written by Rose, became a Billboard #1 record on July 7, 1962 and was designated gold by the RIAA on June 13, 1969.


Rose’s TV arrangement of the Livingston and Evans “Bonanza” theme and the scores for the 14 years of “Bonanza” kicked off Rose’s long association with Michael Landon leading to scores for “Little House on the Prairie,”  “Highway to Heaven,” and  “ Father Murphy.”  He earned Emmy awards for “Bonanza” and “Little House on the Prairie.”


Rose dedicated his life to music and was still writing when he died at the age of 80, in 1990.  His publishing catalog contains numerous songs, scores and cues written throughout his 60-year career.  His music is played today by marching bands, symphonies, and studio orchestras.  It is used in TV shows, Motion Pictures, Video Games, Ring Tones, Greeting Cards and TV Commercials and numerous compilation recordings and can still be heard all around the world. 

Peermusic are delighted to represent the David Rose Publishing Company in a number of territories around the World.