top of page

Paul Weston/Bio


Paul Weston was born in Springfield,MA. and grew up in Pittsfield, MA.. He graduated from Dartmouth College in 1933-Economics Major, Cum Laude, and Phi Beta Kappa. While attending Dartmouth he led a dance band called The Green Serenaders for whom he did arranging.

While doing graduate work at Columbia University he sold some arrangements to Joe Haymes' Orchestra which were heard by Rudy Vallee. He joined Vallee's Fleischman Hour on radio as an arranger and also wrote arrangements for Phil Harris' orchestra.




In the fall of 1935, Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey decided to break up their band and go their separate ways with Tommy taking over the Haymes band.He offered Weston a job as chief arranger and for the next five years Weston worked with the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra on arrangements such as Song of India, Stardust, Night and Day and Who.

In 1940 Weston decided to branch out as a conductor and free-lance arranger and his first job was a Lee Wiley album for Liberty Records, followed by arranging and conducting some of the first recording sessions of a relatively unknown "Southern Girl"; Dinah Shore.

Weston also did some arrangements for the Bob Crosby Orchestra and at their invitation came to Hollywood in the summer of 1940. He continued as Dinah Shores' arranger for records and radio and in 1941 did his first motion picture arranging with the Crosby Band for the film Holiday Inn with Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire. This led to other work at Paramount Pictures with Crosby, Bob Hope, Betty Hutton and many others. While at Paramount, Weston met Johnny Mercer who was about to form Capitol Records with Glenn Wallichs and Buddy de Sylva.

Mercer offered Weston the position of musical director at Capitol; making his own albums in a style that was to be called "Mood Music" and accompanying Capitol artists like Mercer, Jo Stafford, The Pied Pipers, Betty Hutton, Margaret Whiting, and later; Gordon MacRae and Dean Martin.

ln 1943 Mercer went on the radio with the Johnny Mercer Music Shop and for the next seven years Weston divided his time between records and radio, working with Mercer, Joan Davis, Duffy's Tavern, etc. and finally; spending three years as conductor for the Jo Stafford Chesterfield Supper Club. During this period he followed his first Capitol album; Music for Dreaming with similar albums and in a Coronet magazine article he was dubbed "Master of Mood Music" for his distinctive arrangements, which combined melodic strings with a "big band" sound, featuring jazz instrumental solos by Ziggy Elman, Eddie Miller, Paul Smith, Barney Kessel and others.

In 1950 Weston moved to Columbia Records , where he continued to make his instrumental albums, functioned as Columbia's West Coast Director of Artists and Repertoire, and with his orchestra; accompanied singers Doris Day, Rosemary Clooney, Jo Stafford , Frankie Laine and others.

After a CBS radio series; The Paul Weston Show in 1951 and 1952, his career transitioned primarily to variety television beginning with the Jo Stafford Show in 1954.

In 1957 Weston was chosen to conduct Crescendo , TV's first big musical spectacular, and thereafter spent five years as a musical director for NBC-TV, doing Chevy Shows with Roy Rogers and Dale Evans, specials for Texaco, DuPont, U.S. Steel Shows with Sid Caesar, the award winning Peter and the Wolf show with Art Carney, the original Laugh-In Show with Rowan and Martin and in 1961; a year with the Bob Newhart Comedy Show.

In 1963 he started four years as Musical Director on the Danny Kaye TV show, followed by two years with Jonathan Winters and two with Jim Nabors on CBS.

During these years he continued his recording and radio work , doing seven years of Christmas Sing with Bing on radio with Bing Crosby,and recording with Judy Garland,Sarah Vaughn,and a two-album set with Ella Fitzgerald.

As a composer,Weston is responsible for such pop songs as DAY BY DAY, I SHOULD CARE, SHRIMP BOATS, AUTUMN IN ROME, WHEN APRIL COMES AGAIN and many others. He composed two symphonic suites; CRESCENT CITY SUITE, which has been performed many times in New Orleans and elsewhere and THE MERCY PARTRIDGE SUITE.

With Marilyn and Alan Bergman he co-wrote THE BELLS OF SANTA YNEZ; a choral work that has been performed for many years in the Santa Ynez Valley. He was also considerably involved with religious music having written two Masses published by the Gregorian Institute of America, and many published hymns.

Weston was a founder and first national president of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS), and received a Grammy Award in 1960 for "JONATHAN AND DARLENE IN PARIS"; a comedy album recorded with his wife; Jo Stafford. Jonathan and Darlene have recorded five albums, four singles and have a devoted following dedicated to the appreciation of inept musicianship.

After retiring from television he became the musical director for DISNEY ON PARADE for three years, served as president of Hanover Music Corp. and launched Corinthian Records. Corinthian continues to release Jo Stafford and Paul Weston recordings made for Columbia and Capitol.

For over thirty years Weston was involved with the Crippled Children's Society of Southern California where he served three years as President. Jo Stafford and Paul Weston were married in 1952, and their two children; Tim and Amy are currently pursuing careers in contemporary music.

In 1971 the Trustees of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences presented it's Trustees Award to Paul Weston. This award has been given, among others, to Thomas A. Edison, Leopold Stokowski, the Beatles, and Frank Sinatra. The award reads in part:

"To Paul Weston; whose dedication, wisdom, and strength led it (the Academy) through its earliest years, and whose inspiration and dedication ever since, has contributed so greatly to the Recording Academy's development, acceptance and respect throughout the world."

Paul Weston passed away in September of 1996.


bottom of page