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Space Age Music Maker

Anton Karas


  • Born 7 July 1906, Vienna, Austria
  • Died 9 January 1985, Vienna

Self-taught on the zither, Anton Karas was playing in a Vienna tavern when British director Carol Reed heard him and decided to have him score and play for the soundtrack of the film he was then shooting in Vienna, "The Third Man." Though Karas had absolutely no experience in composition or film scoring, the choice was a brilliant stroke of luck, for both the film and Karas. Karas released the tune as a single and stayed in the Top 40 in the USA for over three months in 1950. He followed up with an LP of his own pieces and other Viennese songs on Decca. He used his earnings from the film and recordings to buy a wine bar in Grinzing, called (naturallly) "The Third Man." He played at the bar and made occasional recordings, mostly for the Austrian and German market.


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