Gary Stockdale has an impressive resume:
Wonderful singer. Witty songwriter. Engaging performer. TV and film composer. Two EMMY nominations. A BMI award for music composition.
He plays piano and guitar. He has sung on many Henry Mancini movie scores. He has scored films for Roger Corman and others. He was an arranger for film composer Lalo Schifrin. He composed music for many Penn & Teller projects, as well as for television sitcoms including Sabrina the Teenage Witch. He has sung on commercials, on TV and in films.
And then there’s his infectious grin.
Gary Stockdale will live up to his resume and then some when he returns to Fiddlers Crossing on Friday, June 1, at 7 p.m. as part of our First Friday Showcase series.
Music was part of his life growing up. His mother was a jazz singer before she gave it up to raise a family, and he sang in church choirs from an early age. Stockdale started piano lessons when he was only four, but in sixth grade, when the Beatles hit the airwaves, he switched to guitar.
He studied theater and music at Los Angeles City College, writing, performing, and directing the music for their shows. “After a time,” he said, “it became obvious that music was where my greatest abilities lay.”
Stockdale ignored his father’s advice to have something “to fall back on” other than show business. “I always figured if you have something to fall back on, if times get tough, you’ll fall back,” he said. From college on, he was able to make a living in doing what he loved — either singing, playing music directing or writing music.
Stockdale’s singing credits range from being the solo singer on commercials for In-and-Out Burgers and singing a Paul McCartney sound-alike for a John Lennon miniseries on NBC, to creating “odd vocal sounds” in a chorus in the film “Avatar.” He said, “You can hear us most prominently in the scenes where the alien people are all sort of chanting and praying together.”
With a full body of work behind him, Stockdale now has the freedom to pursue his love of live performance, singing and playing piano and guitar. His songs are those of a man who sees the irony in life and is enjoying sharing it with his audience. Even his more serious songs have wit and humor in them.
And then there’s that grin….