David began his professional career as a songwriter for Shalimar Music in 1957, under the pseudonym of David Hill. David's first recording was a quick hit, which was later performed and credited to Elvis Presley. The song: "All Shook Up."
David went on to compose "Start Movin'" for Sal Mineo, and "Rockin' Shoes" for the Ames Brothers. He continued to write songs for Elvis Presley throughout the '50s and '60s, (notable Presley hit "I Got Stung" was later covered by The Beatles). Other Hess tunes performed by The King include "Come Along," and "Make Me Know You're Mine" (first performed by Conway Twitty). "Your Hand, Your Heart, Your Love" became a 60s hit when it was performed by Andy Williams. And in 1963 David wrote and recorded "Speedy Gonzalez," which became a number one single for Pat Boone, selling more than eight million copies worldwide. David then recorded two solo albums for Kapp Records, again topping the charts, this time with a Top Ten folk hit called "Two Brothers."
In 1969, David became head of A&R at Mercury Records in New York. There, he linked up with classical composer John Corigliano; together they wrote the Grammy winning Rock Opera, The Naked Carmen, which became a big hit of the Berlin Ballet Week in 1970. David's work with Mercury also included And the Children Toll the Passing of the Day, a 1969 album he wrote for Irish actor Malachy McCourt.
In 1972, David's career split off into several new directions with his starring role in the Wes Craven classic The Last House on the Left (1972), for which he also composed the soundtrack. (David has since acted in over 30 films.) He went on to score Buck at the Edge of the Heaven (1991), a children's film based on a collection of Jack London stories. The film won the top prize for film and direction at the Giffone Film Festival.
David's ability to switch seamlessly from in front of the camera to the production team earned him the opportunity to direct his first American feature film, To All A Good Night, for Media Home Entertainment in 1980. He also appeared in two low budget horror films directed by Ruggero Deodato--The House on the Edge of the Park(1980) and Body Count (1985).
David's newest musical accomplishments include the release of two recent CDs, Caught Up In The Moment, and Live & Unplugged in Hollywood. He recently contributed six tracks for Lion's Gate Films' horror feature Cabin Fever (2002) directed by Eli Roth, and is producing the upcoming debut CD from his sons--The Hess Brothers. David is scheduled to appear in two more films over the next year.
A selection of David Hess films.
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A selection of David Hess related books.
A History of Horror
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