American Treasure 2012

Vince De Rosa


Vincent De Rosa is the last in an unbroken line of DeRosas, who were musicians, which spans four hundred years ... They saved the best for last.

Vincent DeRosa was born October 5, 1920 in Kansas City, and lived in Chicago until the age of twelve. He has resided in Los Angeles since 1932. He is the last in a line of musicians in his family stretching back 400 years!  Vincent DeRosa is the most recorded musician ever on the West Coast: encompassing records, film and television. He is quite likely, the most recorded musician in history.

This quiet and elegant titan of brass is best known for his stellar French horn playing, He recorded for over 70 years (1937-2008).  Known for his phenomenal intonation, he set the standard for pitch and phrasing in the recording studio. From Heifetz to Sinatra, hundreds of great artists have considered him one of the greatest musicians of the modern era.  DeRosa was a genius at hearing a style and adapting his performance to match it.  He is credited with inspiring arrangers to use horns more in their charts.

To quote John Williams: “Vince DeRosa’s contribution to American music can’t be overstated. He was the premiere horn player on virtually every recording to come out of Hollywood for over forty years.”  Among those who have worked with him, he is spoken of in reverential tones.

From the 1940’s through 2008, DeRosa worked with virtually every artist and group that recorded in Los Angeles and used horn on their arrangements. He played solo horn on every Frank Sinatra Capital date.  From Jascha Heifetz to the Beatles, Frank Zappa to The Monkees, the list is seemingly endless. He collaborated with every notable orchestrator and arranger.

He was the first call horn player on thousands of feature films, in every genre. Select highlights include the haunting solos in the main theme from The Days of Wine and Roses, How The West Was Won and Rocky V.  Spartacus, Dr. Zhivago, Patton, Jaws, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, E.T. and Out of Africa are a few titles that suggest the scope of his contributions.

Film musical soundtracks include: Oklahoma!, Guys and Dolls, Carousel, The King and I, South Pacific, My Fair Lady, The Music Man, The Sound of Music and Mary Poppins.  Mr. DeRosa performed on thousands of television programs, including: Batman, Bonanza, Dallas, Death Valley Days, Gunsmoke, Hawaii 5-0, Little House on The Prairie, Peyton Place, Rockford Files, The Simpsons, Star Trek and The Twilight Zone-to name a few. He recorded thousands of jingles.

In addition to his recording legacy, he performed on the Academy Awards for 42 consecutive years. He co-founded The Musician’s Guild in 1958 and taught at the University of Southern California from 1974 until 2005.  Viewed as a whole, his staggering body of work and contributions are simply humbling, and nearly impossible to comprehend as the work of one man’s career.

some of the places you have heard the music mastery of Vincent DeRosa