American composer and Emmy Award-winning arranger-conductor Ralph Carmichael died on October 18 in Camarillo, California. He was 94. The news of his demise was announced by family spokesperson Jim Pedersen. No reason has been specified for his death. Carmichael, who has worked with music legends like Nat King Cole, Jack Jones, Ella Fitzgerald and Roger Williams to name a notable few, got his first big break after he and Capitol Records producer Lee Gillette were introduced to each other in the 1950s. Their collaboration led to an association between Carmichael and Cole, with the latter arranging the 1960 Christmas album 'The Magic of Christmas', which was re-packaged in 1962 as 'The Christmas Song'. Carmichael and Cole successfully collaborated on nine full studio projects among which also includes Nat's final sessions for the album 'L.O.V.E' in 1964. He also worked as a primary arranger/conductor for acclaimed pianist Roger Williams and the two went on to create 20 albums together over the course of their careers, including 'Born Free' in 1965. 

Born on May 27, 1927 to Rev. Richard and Adelle Carmichael in Quincy, Illinois, Ralph Carmichael studied college in California and resided there for the rest of his life. He began writing and conducting arrangements in his early 30s for music artists like Bing Crosby, Frankie Laine, Peggy Lee, Rosemary Clooney, Stan Kenton, Fitzgerald and Jones. Carmichael has also written charts for popular TV shows like My Mother the Car and I Love Lucy, including scores in films like The Blob, 4D Man and The Cross and the Switchblade. Hailed by many as the "Father of contemporary Christian music", he has composed over 300 gospel songs, including 'The Savior Is Waiting', 'There Is A Quiet Place', 'Reach Out to Jesus' and 'He’s Everything to Me'. Carmichael is survived by his wife Marvella; children Andrea, Greg and Erin; grandchildren and great grandchildren; nieces and nephews.