Gary LeMel is best known as the long-serving President of Music at the Warner Bros. film studio. During his 23 years in that position, LeMel distinguished himself as an industry innovator with a unique talent for bringing together pop music and film projects in ways that benefited song and movie both commercially and artistically. Having worked on the music for over 500 films, LeMel is often credited as “The Godfather of the Modern soundtrack” and his long list of successes include the “Batman” franchise, the “Harry Potter” films, the “Ocean’s Eleven” series, and the “Matrix” films. LeMel’s had hits ranging in tone from “Free Willy” to the “Hangover,” and set a new industry-standard when his Whitney Houston-powered soundtrack for “The Bodyguard” became the biggest selling soundtrack album of all time.
Before his work at Warner Bros., LeMel was head of music at Columbia Pictures. There, he put together a string of hits that included “The Big Chill,” “Ghostbusters,” and “Against All Odds.” LeMel began his career as a film music executive at First Artists, an independent production company founded by Barbra Streisand, Paul Newman, and Sidney Poitier. LeMel’s greatest accomplishment there was in overseeing the music for the Streisand star-vehicle, “A Star is Born” (the film’s soundtrack garnered both Oscar and Grammy awards).
In addition to working in film, LeMel has been an executive at such legendary record labels as Neil Bogart’s Casablanca and Boardwalk imprints (whose rosters included such varied ‘70s hitmakers as Donna Summer, the Village People, and Kiss) and London Records (the Rolling Stones, ZZ Top). LeMel also has an extensive career in music publishing. And while LeMel is primarily known as a well-respected film music executive, he began his life in music as a performer–a jazz bassist and vocalist–and spent years touring and performing with such well-known acts as Anita O’Day, Peggy DeCastro, and the Merry Macs.
LeMel serves on the Board of Governors for Phoenix House and for NARAS’s Musician Assistance Program. He is an advisory board member for the City of Hope cancer hospital and is an active member of the TJ Martel Cancer Foundation.
In 2011, LeMel is serving as executive producer for a Martin Scorcese-directed bio-pic on the life of Frank Sinatra. LeMel is also a founding partner of Lemac, a music-oriented film production company.
LeMel lives in Los Angeles with his wonderful wife, Maddie LeMel.