Charles Fox (composer)

Not to be confused with Charlie Foxx.
Charles Fox
Born Charles Ira Fox
(1940-10-30) October 30, 1940
New York City, New York, U.S.
Occupation composer
Years active 1965-present
Spouse(s) Joan Susan Redman (1962-present; 3 children)

Charles Ira Fox (born October 30, 1940) is an American composer for film and television. His most heard compositions are probably the "love themes" (the sunshine pop musical backgrounds which accompanied every episode of the 1970s ABC-TV show Love, American Style), and the dramatic theme music to ABC's Wide World of Sports and the original Monday Night Football, as well as his (and Norman Gimbel's) Grammy winning hit song "Killing Me Softly With His Song".

Early life

Fox was born in New York City, the son of Mollie and Walter Fox,[1] a Jewish immigrant[2] from Szydlowiec (Poland).

While still a student at the High School of Music and Art, Fox studied jazz piano with Lennie Tristano. He then continued his musical education with Nadia Boulanger, first at Fontainebleau and then privately in Paris. Following his return to the United States, he studied electronic music with Vladimir Ussachevsky at Columbia University.[3] He married Joan Susan Redman on 9 September 1962.


His career started by playing the piano for, composing and arranging for artists such as Ray Barretto, Joe Quijano and Tito Puente. He also wrote theme music and arranged for Skitch Henderson and The Tonight Show Orchestra. Fox worked under the banner of Bob Israel's Score Productions where he composed the themes for several Goodson-Todman game shows including NBC's version of the Match Game, the syndicated versions of What's My Line?, and To Tell The Truth, whose lyrics were written by Goodson-Todman director Paul Alter. He co-composed the theme song and all the original scores for Love, American Style, along with Arnold Margolin.[4]

Fox also composed the music for "Killing Me Softly with His Song," featuring lyrics by Norman Gimbel, in 1972. It became an international #1 hit for Roberta Flack in 1973 and again for The Fugees in 1997. The song won the Grammy for Best Song in 1973. Fox & Gimbel later wrote the themes for many films such as The Last American Hero ("I Got a Name", sung by Jim Croce), Foul Play ("Ready to Take a Chance Again", sung by Barry Manilow) and many television series, including The Bugaloos, Happy Days, Laverne and Shirley ("Making Our Dreams Come True" sung by Cyndi Grecco), Angie ("Different Worlds" sung by Maureen McGovern), The Paper Chase ("The First Years" sung by Seals and Crofts; Emmy-nominated Best Song), and Wonder Woman. He also composed The Love Boat theme with Paul Williams, sung by Jack Jones and later, by Dionne Warwick; and "Together Through The Years" with Stephen Geyer from The Hogan Family, sung by Roberta Flack.

In February 1981, Fox peaked at #74 on the Billboard Hot 100 with the song, "Seasons". It was co-written and co-produced by Ed Newmark.[5]

In 2010, Fox published his memoirs, Killing Me Softly: My Life in Music.[6]

"The Charles Fox Singers" was the credited name for the group vocalists who performed his compositions on television and movie themes and cues; they were actually The Ron Hicklin Singers.

Film scores

In total Fox has created film scores for over 100 films including:

Awards and honors


  1. "Charles Fox Biography (1940-)". Retrieved 2012-02-16.
  2. From TV Music to Cantorial Missions, Charles Fox Has Done It all, Jewish Standard Archived May 28, 2014, at the Wayback Machine.
  3. "Charles Fox: Ready to Take a Chance". Retrieved 2016-07-21.
  4. "Love, American Style | A Television Heaven Review". Retrieved 2012-02-16.
  5. Whitburn, Joel (1991). The Billboard Hot 100 Charts: The Eighties (1st ed.). Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin: Record Research Inc. p. Feb. 7, 1981. ISBN 0-89820-079-2.
  6. Fox, Charles (2010). Killing Me Softly: My Life in Music. Lanham, Maryland: Scarecrow Press. ISBN 9780810869929. OCLC 678101101.
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