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George Edward Bruns was an American film score composer, who composed the music for Disney feature films and several Disney Park attractions, like the Enchanted Tiki Room, Pirates of the Caribbean (he also wrote the song "Yo Ho, Yo Ho, A Pirate's Life For Me!"), and the Country Bear Jamboree (he also wrote the song "Bear Band Serenade").

Bruns was born on July 3, 1914, in Sandy, Oregon. Bruns expressed interest in music at an early age: He began playing piano at age six, and subsequently learned how to play the bass tuba. He eventually became proficient in 15 different instruments and began performing with a high school band while still in elementary school. After graduating from Oregon State University, he worked as a musician with various groups. In 1946 he was appointed musical director at radio station KEX in Portland, and also was the bandleader for the Rose Bowl room of the Multnomah Hotel. From 1947 to 1949, he performed and recorded on trombone with Portland's Castle Jazz Band, led by banjoist Monte Ballou.

In the late 1940s, he moved to Los Angeles. That was when he was hired by Walt Disney as an arranger in 1953, eventually becoming Disney's musical director, a position he held until his retirement in 1976. Despite his retirement, he continued to work on Disney projects. Many of his film contributions included the Davy Crockett series, Mickey Mouse Club, Sleeping Beauty (his first Disney animated film he arranged the score for), Goliath II, Babes in Toyland, One Hundred and One Dalmatians, The Absent-Minded Professor, Son of Flubber, The Sword in the Stone, The Ugly Dachshund, Follow Me, Boys!, The Fighting Prince of Donegal, The Adventures of Bullwhip Griffin, The Jungle Book, The Love Bug, The Aristocats, Robin Hood (his last Disney animated film he arranged the score for), Herbie Rides Again, Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color, and many cartoon shorts.

During his tenure with Disney Studios, Bruns continued to play Dixieland jazz, leading his Wonderland Jazz Band on two recording sessions, and playing and recording occasionally with the Disney "house" band, the Firehouse Five Plus Two.

Bruns was posthumously named a Disney Legend in 2001.

Filmography[]

Year Film Position
1952 Captains Outrageous Composer
1954-1970 The Wonderful World of Disney Composer
Piano Conductor
Himself: "Backstage Party"
1955 The Mickey Mouse Club Composer: "Circus Day"
Davy Crockett, King of the Wild Frontier Composer
Musical Director
Songwriter:"The Ballad of Davy Crockett"
"Farewell to the Mountains"
1956 Davy Crockett and the River Pirates Composer
Songwriter: "King of the River"
"Yaller, Yaller Gold"
Westward Ho, the Wagons! Composer
Songwriter: "Westward Ho, the Wagons!"
"The Ballad of John Colter"
"I'm Lonely My Darling"
Jack and Old Mac Composer
In the Bag Composer
Songwriter: "Humphrey Hop"
A Cowboy Needs a Horse Composer
1957 Perri Composer: "Perri"
The Truth About Mother Goose Composer
Johnny Tremain Composer
"Johnny Tremain"
1957-1959 Zorro "Zorro theme"
Additional Music
1958 Paul Bunyan Composer
Tonka Songwriter: "Tonka"
1959 Disneyland '59 Composer
Eyes in Outer Space Composer
Noah's Ark Composer
Sleeping Beauty Composer
Music Adapter
Songwriter: "Hail to the Princess Aurora"
"The Gifts of Beauty and Song"
"I Wonder"

"Once Upon a Dream"
"Skumps"
"Sleeping Beauty"

1960 Toby Tyler or Ten Weeks with a Circus Composer: stock music - uncredited
Goliath II Composer
1961 One Hundred and One Dalmatians Composer
The Absent-Minded Professor Composer
1961 Babes in Toyland Conductor
Music Adaptor
music: "Mother Goose Village and Lemonade"
"We Won't Be Happy 'Till We Get It"
"Just A Whisper Away"
"Slowly He Sank to the Bottom of the Sea"
"Castle in Spain"
"Never Mind, Bo-Peep"
"I Can't Do the Sum"
"Floretta"
"Forest of No Return"
"Go To Sleep"
"Toyland"
"Workshop Song"
"Just A Toy"
"Tom and Mary"
"We Won't Be Happy Till We Get It (Reprise #1)"
"We Won't Be Happy Till We Get It (Reprise #2)"
1961 The Saga of Windwagon Smith Composer
1963 Son of Flubber Composer
The Sword in the Stone Composer
1964 The Restless Sea Composer
1965 A Country Coyote Goes Hollywood Composer
Songwriter: "Coyote Song"
1965 Freewayphobia Composer
Steel and America Composer
Donald's Fire Survival Plan Composer
Goofy's Freeway Troubles Composer
1966 The Ugly Dachshund Composer
The Fighting Prince of Donegal Composer
Follow Me, Boys! Composer
1967 The Adventures of Bullwhip Griffin Composer
Mosby's Marauders Composer
The Jungle Book Composer
1968 The Horse in the Gray Flannel Suit Composer
The Love Bug Composer
The Young Loner Composer
1969 It's Tough to Be a Bird Composer
The Social Side of Health Composer
1970 The Aristocats Composer
Cristobalito, the Calypso Colt Composer
1971 The Strange Monster of Strawberry Cove Composer
1972 The Mouse Factory musical director
music supervisor
1973 Robin Hood Composer
Songwriter: "Love"
VD Attack Plan Composer
1974 Herbie Rides Again Composer
Man, Monsters and Mysteries Composer

Trivia[]

  • Bruns met a young Brad Bird on a beach in Oregon, and was asked many questions about working at Disney. This prompted Bruns to offer Bird a tour of the studio. During this tour, Bruns introduced Bird to Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston.
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