British film music composer Roy Budd was born in London on March 14, 1947; a child prodigy, he taught himself to play piano by ear, later mastering the Wurlitzer organ as well.
Making his London Coliseum debut at the age of six, by 12 Budd was regularly appearing on television, also performing for the royal family at the London Palladium; as a teen he formed a jazz trio with bassist Pete Morgan and drummer Chris Karan, quitting school at 16 to play professionally. While in residence at the London club the Bull's Head, Budd was befriended by composer Jack Fishman, who helped him land a record contract with Pye Records; his debut single, 1965's "Birth of the Budd," was followed two years later by the full-length Pick Yourself Up!! This Is Roy Budd. In the wake of 1968's Roy Budd at Newport, he made his first foray into film composition with his soundtrack to 1970's Soldier Blue; later that same year, Budd completed arguably his most celebrated score, for Mike Hodges' cult favorite Get Carter. He remained one of the busiest composers in British film throughout the decade, scoring well over two dozen pictures including 1971's Kidnapped, 1973's The Stone Killer and 1978's The Wild Geese; Budd also continued making solo recordings, in 1976 issuing Everything's Coming Up Roses: The Musical World of Stephen Sondheim. The hectic pace clearly took its toll, however, and shortly after completing a new symphonic score for the 1925 silent adaptation of The Phantom of the Opera, Budd died suddenly on August 7, 1993 at the age of just 46. ~ Jason Ankeny, Rovi