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Yvette Blais

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(written from a Production point of view)

Yvette Blais was a pseudonym for Ray Ellis (28 July 192327 October 2008; age 85), a prolific musical composer and arranger. Under this pseudonym (actually the name of his wife), Ellis served as the main composer for Filmation from 1968 through 1982. As such, he co-wrote the music for Star Trek: The Animated Series with Norm Prescott (credited as "Jeff Michael"; "Jeff" and "Michael" being Prescott's two sons).

Other Filmation shows for which Ellis provided music include The Archie Show, Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids, Lassie's Rescue Rangers, The Brady Kids, My Favorite Martians, Shazam!, The Secrets of Isis,The New Adventures of Gilligan, The Ghost Busters, Ark II, The New Adventures of Mighty Mouse, The New Animated Adventures of Flash Gordon, and The New Adventures of Tom and Jerry. In addition to his work for Filmation, Ellis composed the underscore for the 1967 Spider-Man cartoon series, two themes for NBC's The Today Show, and musical themes for the game shows Sale of the Century and Scrabble. While composing these projects, Ellis often collaborated with his son, Marc Ellis.

Before he started composing for television, Ellis arranged and orchestrated many hit records in the 1950s and 1960s. In 1955, he began working at Columbia Records, where he arranged such classic songs as "Splish Splash" by Bobby Darin, "Chances Are" by Johnny Mathis, and "Standing on the Corner" by the Four Lads. Ellis moved on to Atlantic Records, where he helped put together songs such as "Under the Boardwalk" by The Drifters and "Spanish Harlem" by Ben E. King. Perhaps his best known work from this period was his orchestration of Billie Holiday's final album, Lady in Satin.

In 1959, Ellis became the Artists and Repertoire director at MGM Records, where he helped create hit songs like "Where the Boys Are" by Connie Francis. Ellis later worked with artists such as Judy Garland, Barbra Streissand, Liza Minelli, Barry Manilow, Bette Midler, and even comedian Adam Sandler. Ellis' work for the latter included co-composing the score for the 2002 animated film Eight Crazy Nights with his son, Marc.

Ellis was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He died in Encino, California, due to complications from melanoma. He was 85 years old.

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