Composer, Bernie Wayne dies at 74

April 18, 1993

By Variety Staff

Funeral services will be held at noon today at Hillside Memorial Park in Culver City for composer Bernie Wayne, who died Sunday of natural causes at his Marina del Rey home. He was 74.
Wayne, who was born in Paterson, N.J., in 1919, composed the music for the hit "Blue Velvet" and wrote "There She Is," the crowning theme of the Miss America Pageant. He was a winner of 11 gold records and the recipient of the Songwriters Guild of America's first presidential award, BMI's founders award, the U.S. Army special service award and the country song of the year award.

"Blue Velvet," with lyrics by the late Lee Morris, became the pivotal recording of Bobby Vinton's career and was a No. 1 song in 1963. It enjoyed a resurgence as the theme of David Lynch's 1986 movie of the same name and recently was a hit in England after it resurfaced in a TV ad.

"There She Is" was first heard at the Miss America Pageant in 1955, when the reigning queen, Lee Meriwether, made her farewell walk and Miss America 1956, Sharon Kay Ritchie, was crowned.

It was dropped from the program in 1982 in a dispute over money, then reinstated in 1985.

Wayne's songs included "Laughing on the Outside, Crying on the Inside,""You Walk By" and "Sentimental Music" and were recorded by Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby , Tony Bennett, Aretha Franklin and Ella Fitzgerald.

Wayne also produced the soundtrack albums "Zorba the Greek,""Our Man Flint, ""Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines,""Modesty Blaise" and "Batman."

Some of his songs also were featured in "Viva Las Vegas,""Raging Bull" and "The Freshman."

Wayne is survived by his wife, Phyllis, and five children.