Winterhalter also arranged and conducted sessions for singers including Dinah Shore and Billy Eckstine, and in 1948 he was named musical director at MGM Records. After a two-year stint with the record label, he moved to Columbia Records, where he scored a pair of hits with his recordings of "Jealous Heart" and "Blue Christmas".
In 1950, Winterhalter signed on with RCA Victor, where he arranged sessions for many of their popular artists including Perry Como, Harry Belafonte, Eddie Fisher and the Ames Brothers; he also recorded several instrumental albums, among them 1952's Great Music Themes of Television, believed to be the first collection of TV theme songs ever recorded. Winterhalter also notched a series of chart hits, including "Mr. Touchdown, U.S.A.", "A Kiss to Build a Dream On", "Blue Tango", "Vanessa", "The Little Shoemaker", and "Song of The Barefoot Contessa". With pianist Eddie Heywood, he had a small hit with "Land of Dreams" (1954) and reached the number one spot on Billboard with 1956's "Canadian Sunset." It sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc by the RIAA.
He remained with RCA Victor until 1963, at which time he moved to Kapp Records; that same year, he also penned the main title theme for the film Diamond Head. At Kapp he recorded a handful of albums including The Best of '64 and its follow-up, The Big Hits of 1965, before leaving the label to work on Broadway. He later worked in television as well, and continued recording the occasional LP for various budget labels. His last US chart single was "Theme From 'Popi'", released on Musicor in 1969. It reached #35 in the Billboard Easy Listening Top 40.
Winterhalter's vinyl output includes:
- Airport Love Theme (1971, MusicO MDS-1036)
- All Time Movie Greats (Musicor M2S-3160) Two-disc set.
- Always (1955, RCA Victor LPM-1179)
- Applause (1970, Musicor MS-3190)
- The Best of ’64 (1964, Kapp KL-1407 (mono), KS-3407 (stereo))
- The Best of the Motion Picture Hits (Musicor MDS-1042)
- Big and Sweet With a Beat (1958, RCA Camden CAL-443)
- The Big Hits of 1965 (1965, Kapp KL-1429 (mono), KS-3429 (stereo))
- Classical Gas (1968, Musicor MS 3170) (with Eddie Haywood)
- The Eyes of Love… (1957, RCA Victor LPM-1338)
- The Great Music Themes of Television (1956, RCA Victor LPM-1020)
- Happy Hunting (1957, RCA Victor LPM-1400)
- Hawaiian Wedding Song (1969, RCA Camden CAS-2309; re-issue of Hugo Winterhalter Goes… Hawaiian)
- Hugo Winterhalter Goes… Continental (1962, RCA Victor LPM-2482 (mono), LSP-2482 (stereo))
- Hugo Winterhalter Goes Gypsy (1960, RCA Victor LPM-2167 (mono), LSP-2167 (stereo))
- Hugo Winterhalter Goes… Hawaiian (1961, RCA Victor LPM-2417 (mono), LSP-2417 (stereo); re-issued as Hawaiian Wedding Song)
- Hugo Winterhalter Goes… Latin (1959, RCA Victor LPM-1677 (mono), LSP-1677 (stereo))
- Hugo Winterhalter Goes… South of the Border (1961, RCA Victor LPM-2271 (mono), LSP-2271 (stereo))
- I Only Have Eyes For You (1964, RCA Victor LPM-2645 (mono), LSP-2645 (stereo))
- In a Sentimental Mood (RCA Camden CAL-729 (mono), CAS-729 (stereo))
- Latin Gold (1972, RCA Camden CAS-2546)
- The Magic Touch (RCA Camden CAL-379)
- Midnight Cowboy (1970, MusicO MDS-1029)
- Motion Picture Hit Themes (1971, MusicO MDS-1040)
- Music By Starlight (1956, RCA Victor LPM-1185)
- My Favorite Broadway & Hollywood Music (Musicor MS-3184)
- “Pop” Parade (1969, MusicO MDS-1013)
- Romanceable and Danceable (Musicor M2S-3168) Two-disc set.
- A Season For My Beloved (1963, ABC-Paramount ABC-447 (mono), ABCS-447 (stereo))
- Two Sides of Winterhalter (1958, RCA Victor LPM-1905 (mono), LPS-1905 (stereo))
- Wish You Were Here (1959, RCA Victor LPM-1904 (mono), LSP-1904 (stereo))
- Your Favorite Motion Picture Music (1969, Musicor M2S-3178) Two-disc set.