Charles Previn

Charles Previn (January 11, 1888 – September 21, 1973) was an American film composer who was active at Universal in Hollywood during the 1940s and 1950s. Before being based in Hollywood, Previn arranged music for over 100 Broadway productions.

Previn was born in Brooklyn to Henrietta Giballe and the rabbi Morris Previn, who a year earlier had immigrated from Graudenz via Glasgow to the United States. He graduated from Brooklyn High School and obtained a bachelor's degree from Cornell University in 1910. He obtained a master's degree from New York College of Music.

From 1936 to 1944, Previn was musical director at Universal, overseeing everything from horror pictures to Arabian Nights fantasies. He was a cousin of the father of German-born composer, pianist, and conductor André Previn and TV and film director Steve Previn (brothers). He died in Los Angeles, aged 85.

Birth and Death Data: Born January 11th, 1888 (Brooklyn), Died September 22nd, 1973 (Hollywood)

Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1917

Roles Represented in DAHR: conductor, composer


Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Victor B-19042 10-in. 1/12/1917 My old briar pipe George MacFarlane Male vocal solo, with orchestra composer  


Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Previn, Charles," accessed October 30, 2020,

Previn, Charles. (2020). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved October 30, 2020, from

"Previn, Charles." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2020. Web. 30 October 2020.

DAHR Persistent Identifier



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