Ralph Carmichael, the arranger and composer behind Nat King Cole’s “Christmas Song,” the title song to 1958’s The Blob, and the “Father of Contemporary Christian Music,” has died. Deadline reports that Carmichael died in Camarillo, California, at the age of 94. Carmichael got his start in music heading the music department at Southern California Bible College. Around the same time, he began writing incidental music charts for I Love Lucy. Carmichael would go on to score and arrange the horror film The Blob and the high-concept sitcom My Mother the Car. The theme to The Blob, by Burt Bacharach and Mack David, has become a Halloween staple.
Not content to grace just one major holiday, Carmichael also arranged Nat King Cole’s definitive version of “The Christmas Song.” Carmichael worked on nine full-length albums with Cole, including L-O-V-E right before the singer’s death.
Carmichael founded his own record and publishing companies that released Christian music, which gave him the unofficial title of “Father of Contemporary Christian Music.” He was inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame in 1985.