Irving Gertz

Irving Gertz (May 19, 1915 – November 14, 2008) was an American composer recognized for his compositions for many fantasy and horror B-movies and TV series of the 1950s and 1960s. Gertz was born on May 19, 1915, in Providence, Rhode Island, and played the clarinet, piano, string bass and tuba as a youth, and attended the Providence College of Music. Gertz studied composition privately with composer and music theorist Walter Piston. He was hired by Columbia Pictures in 1938, but left to serve in the United States Army Signal Corps during World War II. After his military service, he studied with composer Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco. Along with this work, much of his library music has also been used in many films. Amongst his most recognized works are the music for the western Top Gun in 1955 and many horror films such as The Leech Woman, The Alligator People and Curse of the Undead. He also worked on the popular TV series Land of the Giants and Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea. He also worked on a single Warner Bros. cartoon Daffy Rents in 1966, filling in for regular composer William Lava. Gertz retired from film and television scoring in 1968.


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