The Grammy-winning composer of THE YOUNG & THE RESTLESS’ theme music, Perry Botkin, Jr., died Jan. 18 at the age of 87. His friend, John Scheinfeld, shared the sad news on Facebook. “Today I share the news that the man who discovered Harry (Nilsson) and signed him to his first publishing contract, a gentleman and gentle-man named Perry Botkin, passed away on Monday at 87,” he wrote. “Perry was a magnificently talented composer, arranger, producer, and storyteller, perhaps best known for composing the Grammy-winning ‘Nadia’s Theme ‘for CBS soap Y&R.”
Botkin, the son of THE BEVERLY HILLBILLIES composer Perry Botkin, Sr., began as a performer in an episode of THE ADVENTURES OF OZZIE AND HARRIET and his first musical project was creating the soundtrack for THE GEORGE BURNS AND GRACIE ALLEN show in 1958. Among his more notable credits are shows like HAPPY DAYS, MORK AND MINDY, LAVERNE AND SHIRLEY, ADAM’S RIB, and THE SMOTHERS BROTHERS SHOW.
But soap fans will know Botkin best for composing “Nadia’s Theme” with Barry De Vorzon, which has been used as Y&R’s iconic theme music since its 1973 premiere. The song became even more popular during the 1976 Summer Olympics when ABC’s Wide World of Sports used it while highlighting the medal-winning routines of gymnast Nadia Comaneci. The song peaked at number eight in the U.S. charts and won a Grammy for Best Instrumental Arrangement, an award Botkin shared with Harry Betts. Botkin and De Vorzon shared an Oscar nomination for Best Music, Original Song for the title song from Stanley Kramer’s 1972 film Bless the Beasts & Children.
Botkin is survived by his wife, Liza, his son, David, and grandson Daniel Tyler Botkin. Our thoughts are with his friends and family during this difficult time.