On 1 January , Rocky was released at UK cinemas. Sylvester Stallone wrote and starred in the story of an underdog unexpectedly given a shot at the world heavyweight boxing title. That summer, the theme tune Gonna Fly Now, with its famous trumpet introduction, would top the US charts. On the 40th anniversary of Rocky, the film's composer Bill Conti, speaking from Los Angeles, told us his 10 favourite facts about the film and its famous theme. There was no money for anyone.
1. He was third choice composer
2) The vocals to the theme were recorded for free by people on their lunch break
He was the musical director at the Academy Awards a record nineteen times. As early as , Bill was orchestrating pop recordings by Italian artists, such as the album "Si.. The same ceremony was also the first time Conti served as musical director for the telecast, a role he reprised 18 times, more than any other person. Conti also worked for some other films and, eventually, for television series. In , he wrote the music for the James Bond film, For Your Eyes Only ,  when John Barry was unwilling to return to the United Kingdom for tax reasons, and provided the score for playwright Jason Miller 's film version of his Pulitzer Prize winning play That Championship Season the following year. He then did Bad Boys and Mass Appeal. He also scored the Masters of the Universe live action film. Another score was the movie Happy New Year. In , Conti composed for Necessary Roughness , a college football movie.
Released in February with the movie Rocky , the song became part of American popular culture after main character Rocky Balboa as part of his daily training regimen runs up the 72 stone steps leading to the entrance of the Philadelphia Museum of Art in Philadelphia and raises his arms in a victory pose , while the song plays. The song is often played at sporting events, especially in Philadelphia. The song whose lyrics are only 30 words long was nominated for Best Original Song at the 49th Academy Awards. The version of the song from the movie, performed by Conti with an orchestra, hit number one on the Billboard Hot chart in , while a version by jazz trumpeter Maynard Ferguson hit the top Disco versions by Rhythm Heritage  and Current were on the chart at the same time Conti's own version reveals some early disco influence in the orchestration. Billboard ranked Conti's version as the No. In Rocky II , an alternative version of the song was used, with a children's choir singing the chorus. Rocky III included an updated disco influenced arrangement during the training montage on the beach.
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