Everybody knows Charlie Chaplin as the funny little man on screen with the funny little walk. But beneath the Tramp's trademark bowler hat and toothbrush mustache laid an unsung composer off screen. Best known for the hit song "Smile," Chaplin could not read or write music. It took a revolving door of talented musicians to translate his unorthodox humming, off-key singing, and amateur piano and violin playing into the singular orchestral vision he heard in his head.
This comprehensive study tells the untold story of Chaplin the composer and the string of famous and not-so-famous musicians he employed. Incorporating numerous examples transcribed from sixty years of original scores, Chaplin's music provides not only fresh insights into his famous films, it shines a new light on the man behind the icon.