Saturday, November 1, 2008

Misplaced Oscar?

I was doing a little online browsing when I came across a story titled "The Case of the Misplaced Oscar" over on Well, my curiosity was peaked. How do you misplace an Oscar I wondered? The only way to find out was to read the story. So, I did!

It turns out that this isn't a case of 'I put my Oscar in the attic and now I can't find it' or 'it was misplaced when I moved.' This is a story of how someone was mistakenly given credit for the work of someone else and got an Oscar in the process!

What's the story and how did someone get an Oscar that should have gone to someone else? Long story short, Charlie Chaplin did a movie called Limelight back in the early 50's. Composer and arranger Russell Garcia did the arrangements for the movie. Some 20 years later, Limelight gets released in the U.S. and its score nominated for an Oscar. Chaplin was asked who arranged the score. He said Ray Rasch who had worked with him at the time. Apparently, symphony orchestra arrangements weren't his thing and Garcia landed the gig. The Oscar folks asked Rasch's widow who else had arranged the score. She said, 'someone named Russell.' The only Russell that came to their mind at the time was another film arranger, Larry Russell. The Oscar folks asked Russell's widow if he'd done the job and she said, 'he must have' and Oscar's were given to Rasch and Russell.

Garcia never put up a fuss over the situation and the whole thing seemed to have been forgotten about. That is, until Jazzwax's Marc Myers was doing research after interviewing Garcia who still isn't interested in putting up a fuss. Garcia seems content allowing his work to speak for itself. Would he like to have his Oscar after all these years? Probably, awards are nice to have. But, in the scope of things, getting a pat on the back in the form of a shiny piece of statuary isn't a big deal. Are the Oscar folks going to give Russell Garcia his Oscar? I hope so.

You can read the story at the following link: