David Rose was a British-born American songwriter, composer, arranger, pianist, and orchestra leader. His most famous compositions were “The Stripper”, “Holiday for Strings”, and “Calypso Melody”. He also wrote music for the television series Little House on the Prairie, Highway To Heaven and Bonanza as well as others under the name “Ray Llewellyn”. In addition, Rose was musical director for the Red Skelton show during its 21-year-run on the CBS and NBC networks. He was a member of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, the national fraternity for men in music.
Recipient of four Emmy awards, David Rose was born in London to Jewish parents and raised in Chicago, Illinois. It was here, in the early 1930s, that he first gained a reputation, while arranging for the Frank Trumbauer orchestra and later leading a house band at station WGN. He composed several early swing originals such as “Break It Down” with Frankie Trumbauer, “Transcontinental,” “Plantation Moods,” and a piece recorded under three different titles: “I’ve Got It”, “Itchola”, and “Jigsaw Rhythm,” his original version with the WGN band including Louis Prima.
In 1957 his rendition of Larry Clinton’s “Calypso Melody” became Rose’s second million selling record, and was awarded a gold disc.
“The Stripper” was composed by Rose and recorded in 1958. It was not until its use in the movie Gypsy in 1962 that it became a hit, as it was originally used as the B-side to his single, “Ebb Tide”. “The Stripper” featured especially prominent trombone lines, giving the tune its lascivious signature, and evokes the feel of music used to accompany vaudeville striptease artists. The piece features in the films Slap Shot, The Full Monty and Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit as well as TV series Little Britain and Scrubs. It was also famously used in a parody by British comedy duo Morecambe and Wise, where they danced to the tune while making breakfast.