Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Century Birthday - Edward Plumb


Disney composer and orchestrator Edward Holcomb Plumb was born and raised in Streator, Illinois, a town on the Vermilion River 100 miles southwest of Chicago. His parents Samuel and Anna already had two sons by the time Edward was born. Along with his older brothers Samuel Walter, Jr. and Gordon, his grandmother, Levancia Plumb lived with them at 206 Wilson Street.

Plumb arrived in California in the early 1930s and
found work as a composer and orchestrator in the movies. His first work for Disney was for the memorable short, Mother Goose Goes Hollywood.

He married Louise Mason and they welcomed a daughter, Susan in May of 1938. They made their home on a winding street in the hills near Silver Lake. With the addition of two more daughters Anne and Elisabeth in the early 1940s, the family was complete.

While Frank Churchill wrote the songs for Bambi, the poetic score for the film was executed by Ed Plumb. His work on Bambi would earn him the first of his four Academy Award nominations.

Although Disney seemed like home base for Ed, he frequently worked on projects beyond Walt's Studio during the 1940s and early 1950s. He worked on titles for Republic, Paramount and Twentieth Century Fox. At one point he even lent his talents to MGM for the Tom & Jerry short, The Missing Mouse (1953.) It is unclear where Scott Bradley may have been for this one!

By the early 1940s Plumb had moved his family to 12203 Laurel Terrace in the hills of Studio City. Here he was a neighbor of other Disney composers Charles Wolcott, whose home was at 12185 and Joe Dubin who was later at 12373 Laurel Terrace.

Edward worked as orchestrator at the nearby new location of the Disney Studio on the animated features The Three Caballeros, Make Mine Music, Song of the South, So Dear to My Heart, Peter Pan and Lady and the Tramp.

When Disney entered the field of television, Edward was tapped to work on The Disneyland TV show, notably Ward Kimball's "Man in Space" show. He orchestrated on the Davy Crockett films and on Westward Ho The Wagons, that also starred Fess Parker. His final film project, also for Disney, was Johnny Tremain in 1957.

Edward Plumb passed away on Friday April 18, 1958.

(If you haven't already clicked on the location links above, check out the Google Maps Locations for Ed Plumb.)


John Clavin said...

I studied with a guitar player and arranger named Roy Plumb in Madison, Wi from 1971 to 1973. Roy had been an arranger in Hollywood up until 1958. I had always wondered if he could have been related to Ed Plumb. Maybe a nephew. Roy died around 2000.

John Clavin said...

I studied guitar with Roy Plumb in Madison, Wi from 1971 to 1973. Roy was an arranger in Hollywood up until 1958 and I wondered if he could have been related to Ed Plumb. Maybe a nephew. Roy died around 2000.