Mr. DeVol was one of
Hollywood's most prodigious composer-arranger-conductors,
winning recognition with nominations for five Academy
Awards and five Emmys, among them a nomination for the
"Brady Bunch" theme,
written for that sitcom of the 1970's. The nominated
movie scores were for "Hush ...
Hush, Sweet Charlotte," "Pillow
Talk" and "Guess
Who's Coming to Dinner."
He also composed the music
for the television series "My
Three Sons" and "Family
Mr. DeVol occasionally
appeared on screen as a character actor. In the late
1970's he played "Happy
Kyne," the band leader in
the offbeat Norman Lear lampoon of a small-town
talk-variety show, "Fernwood
Born in Moundsville,
W.Va., he grew up in Canton, Ohio, and joined the
musicians' union at age 14. He was playing violin and
piano with his father's band in a vaudeville theater
where silent movies were shown.
He also played at a
Chinese restaurant in Cleveland and saved his money to
buy a saxophone, which he taught himself to play. By the
late 1930's he played and arranged for the Horace Heidt
Moving to California, he
took a night job at Lockheed, but a Mutual Network radio
station asked him to lead the band for one of its music
Through radio he advanced
to engagements as musical director for such luminaries as
Rudi Vallee, Dinah Shaw and Jack Carson.
It was the era of the big
bands, and Mr. DeVol next found himself at Capitol
Records doing arrangements for Doris Day, Kay Starr, Tony
Bennett, Vic Damone and the like.
He broke into pictures and
television in 1954 when he worked on a low-budget Robert
Aldrich film, "World for Ransom." It gained
him his first Oscar nomination and a reputation as a
Hollywood composer. He went on to write the music for
several more Aldrich films, including "The
Dirty Dozen," a hit at the box
office in 1967.
Twice widowed, Mr. DeVol
is survived by two daughters, Linda Morehouse of
Lafayette and Donna Copeland of Denver; and two