Johnny Mandel (1925-2020)

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Composer Johnny Mandel died yesterday (June 29) at the age of 94. He wrote the music to “Suicide is Painless,” the theme song to the movie MASH and the TV series. Director Robert Altman’s then 14-year-old son Mike provided the lyrics. Although the version of “Suicide Is Painless” used during the opening credits of the movie included lyrics, the theme song to M*A*S*H the TV series did not.

Mandel contributed additional songs to M*A*S*H during its first season, composing music for episodes like “Henry, Please Come Home,” “Germ Warfare,” and “Requiem for a Lightweight.” In 2018, Kritzerland Records released a soundtrack collection featuring eight selections of Mandel’s music from M*A*S*H.

Obituaries can be found at The New York Times, Variety, and The Los Angeles Times.

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