November 14, 2019

In Memoriam: Hubert “Tex” Arnold

Hubert “Tex Arnold” (March 2, 1945 – August 22, 2019), pianist, arranger, music director and composer has died from complications following a sudden stroke. In a career spanning a half century, Tex Arnold worked successfully in multiple genres, including radio, television, theatre, records, major symphony orchestras, marching bands and cabaret. He was especially noted for his 25-year relationship as music director, arranger and accompanist for the legendary Margaret Whiting. He will also be remembered as a stalwart member of the cabaret community, working in recent years with performers such as Jeff Macauley, Judi Mark, Celia Berk, Carol Woods and many, many more.

Arnold was raised in Temple, Texas. He attended Michigan State University, East Lansing, where he studied with H. Owen Reed, He received a Bachelor of Music degree in 1966 and a Masters in Music Composition in 1970. The following year he attended the Juilliard School in New York, studying with Hall Overton. His first professional job was as an arranger for the US Military Academy Band at West Point NY. Arnold next moved to New York City, beginning a successful career in the music business.

He has written orchestrations for the Lincoln Center American Songbook series and for Carnegie Hall tributes to the song-writing teams of Alan and Marilyn Bergman and Betty Comden and Adolph Green. As a pianist, he accompanied Broadway stars Melissa Errico at the Cafe Carlyle in NYC, and Barbara Cook in concerts throughout the country, including performances at the LA Music Center and Carnegie Hall. He also worked with luminaries such as Michael Feinstein, Portia Nelson, Laurel Massé, Sally Mayes and many others. Arnold was also the music director and accompanist for all six editions of composer Larry Kerchner’s Hidden Treasures, a variety program featuring long-time friend Kerchner’s works.

Arnold was an instructor for the annual Cabaret Symposium at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center and continued in that capacity for its successor program, the Cabaret Conference at Yale University. For many years he was a player and mentor for young artists at Michael Feinstein’s Great American Songbook Foundation’s annual summer Songbook Academy. Arnold had originally met Feinstein in 1982. At that time he was rehearsing a new club act for Margaret Whiting and Rosemary Clooney at her Beverly Hills home. Feinstein was employed next door archiving music for Ira Gershwin. Aware of Gershwin’s interest in the new act, Feinstein arranged for the ladies and Arnold to premiere a special medley of Ira Gershwin and Richard Whiting songs (entitled “Daddy and the Boy Next Door”) in Gershwin’s living room.

As a composer, Arnold’s music is a synthesis of classical, Latin and jazz idioms. His compositions have been commissioned, published and recorded by organizations including the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Dallas Symphony, the New York Saxophone Quartet and many more. He has also been a multiple winner of the annual ASCAPlus Award for music composition. He was a member of ASCAP and Local 802, American Federation of Musicians.

Tex Arnold is survived by his wife, Linda, and beloved cat, Waldo.