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Educated at Mt St Mary's College and the New England Conservatory of Music, Winterhalter taught school for several years before joining a variety of swing bands as a multi-instrumentalist in the mid-1930s. By 1940, Winterhalter had proven himself a talented arranger and wrote for some of the top bands of the time: Count Basie, Raymond Scott, Claude Thornhill, and the Dorsey brothers. He then focused on backing singers, and arranged and conducted recordings for Dinah Shore, Billy Eckstine, and others.
Over the next 15 years, Winterhalter served as musical director for a series of labels. First MGM in 1948-49, then Columbia, and then, in 1950, RCA Victor. He matched vocalists with arrangers and oversaw assignments among RCA's house arrangers, composers, and conductors. He remained with RCA until 1963, when he switched to Kapp for several years. Winterhalter provided arrangements for many of RCA's singers, including Eddie Fisher, the Ames Brothers ("The Naughty Lady of Shady Lane"), Perry Como, and Eddy Arnold on the immortal "Cattle Call."
Winterhalter released instrumental albums under his own name from 1950 through his retirement in the late 1960s. As an arranger, Winterhalter is something of a kindred spirit with Marty Gold, clearly reflecting the philosophy that you can never have too much music. His arrangement of "Anna" on "... Continental" throws in strings, electric guitar, high reeds, trumpet flourishes, even tambourines, all behind a driving drum beat. Like Percy Faith, Winterhalter often produced arrangements that belie the "easy listening" label. He had a number of singles in the Top 40 between 1950 and 1956, including covers of "The Third Man Theme" and "Canadian Sunset."
After leaving Kapp in the mid-1960s, Winterhalter worked on Broadway and in New York-based network television and recorded an occasional album for a variety of budget labels until his death.
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