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Jack Parnell (1923-2010) served as the conductor for The Muppet Show orchestra for the entire run of the series. A longtime drummer and part of the "big band" movement in England in the 1940s, Parnell set up his own group, the Jack Parnell Orchestra, in 1951. In 1956, he was hired by Lord Lew Grade as musical director for the ATV broadcasting company.Parnell worked on dozens of shows, including a series spotlighting Tom Jones, in addition to The Muppet Show. The conductor also takes credit for the appearance of Buddy Rich on The Muppet Show:
Parnell died after a long battle with cancer on August 8, 2010.