Laurie Johnson has enjoyed a long and distinguished career as a composer and producer of music. Having
studied at the Royal College of Music, he began composing and arranging at nineteen for the Ted Heath
Band and other prominent performers.
Johnson has been composing film and television scores since 1955. Notable among these are
Dr. Strangelove, Top Secret (Sucu Sucu), No Hiding Place, Whicker's World,
World in Action and This is Your Life. Johnson's most reknowned work was on The
Avengers, for which he wrote the theme music that replaced Johnny Dankworth's jazz-inspired
original. Laurie also provided many memorable incidental cues which were used in the filmed
episodes of the series, and went on to supply themes and incidental music for The New Avengers
and The Professionals. Johnson served as Executive Producer for these two 1970s series, with
both being produced by a company, Mark One Productions, that he co-owned with writer/producers Brian
Clemens and Albert Fennell. A millennial remake of the latter series, relaunched as
CI5: The New Professionals, saw Johnson and Clemens reunited once more. Another company which
Johnson co-owns, Gainsborough Pictures, has made four high profile features based upon the romantic
novels of Dame Barbara Cartland.
In the theatre, Laurie Johnson has collaborated with the acclaimed lyricists Lionel Bart and Herbert
Kretzmer, in composing the music for the award winning musical Lock Up Your Daughters and
The Four Musketeers. Johnson and Kretzmer's latest work, The Glory Road, performed by the
London Big Band, featured the actor, James Coburn as narrator.
Other compositions include his outstanding Symphony (Synthesis), recorded in 1969 and utilised
in the South African radio version of The Avengers, two tone poems, a suite, To The Few,
and a musical drama, The Battle of Waterloo. In 1995, Johnson founded the London Big Band.
Following its first concert in June 1997, the London Big Band have performed, with the Royal
Philharmonic Orchestra, at the Royal Festival Hall and the Royal Albert Hall in August 1998 and
May 1999 respectively.
Laurie Johnson continues to be a prominent player in music and television.
by Alan Hayes