On this page we bring you some interesting media snippets and quotes. We kick off with Robert Windeler’s 1985 tribute to Nelson on his KCRW radio show.
“He gave new careers to Frank Sinatra and Linda Ronstadt. Much of the best work of Ella Fitzgerald, Rosemary Clooney, and Peggy Lee was done in collaboration with him.” As his children, we have always been amazed at the sheer volume and variety of music he produced.
While there were several good arrangers in the 50’s and 60’s, Nelson Riddle stands out as probably the most prolific, as illustrated by “Laugh In” hosts Rowan and Martin who would periodically punctuate their comedic dialogue with “arranged by Nelson Riddle.” - Robert Windeler, KCRW
As this website is a tribute to Nelson Riddle and his music, it would be incomplete without some input from Jonathan Schwartz who has always acknowledged the great gift Nelson Riddle gave to American popular music. Whether speaking from WNEW,WNYC or even XM Radio Channel 73, Jonathan has truly been doing a good job of keeping the music of Nelson Riddle out there. The following is the accolade Jonathan wrote for the back of Dad’s book on arranging:
Billie Holiday, Frank Sinatra, Louis Armstrong and Nelson Riddle stand, in my judgement, at the spine of American popular music. Nelson’s voice, like the others, changed our thinking, pushed us forward, addressed us with startling originality. The scope of his talent dwarfs all other arrangers. His obvious pleasure in delegating authority-to the oboe, flute, bass trombone, muted trumpet, organ, bassoon, vibraphone-while still remaining in full control of his administration; his overseeing without overstating the strings; his own private melodies that whisper respectfully under the Gershwin or Kern or Rodgers on the table; his out and out passion that informs every bar of every arrangement. All these things are actively combined in the immense body of work that stands as one of the great achievements in American arts. To find that Nelson, personally, is a droll, tender, reclusive and richly intelligent fellow, adds a special kind of luster to my fondness for him, devotion to him. The book you are holding is about music. There is no more qualified an author available..