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What are Your Favorite Vintage Western Series?

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by JohnHopper, Sep 16, 2018.

  1. JohnHopper

    JohnHopper Supporting Actor

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    While watching the fifth season of Rawhide, the music editor uses a lot of a cue entitled "The Meeting" from Gunsmoke's "Doc Judge".
     
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  2. Flashgear

    Flashgear Screenwriter

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    About the truly great and thus immortal music scores of vintage and classic television...I think this represents the "then" versus the "now"...when the great John Williams was awarded his Kennedy Center Honors for his extraordinary career as a composer of innumerable wonderful scores, he reminisced in an interview about his early days in TV...while looking heavenward: "It seems incredible now, but in those days they would commission a full orchestra"... and compose and arrange an entire suite of original music for many network television shows...to a standard befitting most feature films of the day!

    The "now" is some guy in a sound booth with a monitor and computer synthesizers generating sounds that might, on a good day, somewhat resemble music. Or to license pop, rock or hip hop that was never originally intended for a TV show or theatrical film.

    For our beloved TV shows, often considered by those not in the know to be a humble creative medium compared to feature films, we will always have Bernard Herrmann, Pete Rugolo, Jerry Goldsmith, Alexander Courage, Leonard Rosenman, Lyn Murray, Billy Goldenberg, Henry Mancini, Dominic Frontiere, Dimitri Tiomkin, Bronislaw Kaper, Nelson Riddle, David Rose, Dave Grusin, Morton Stevens, Leith Stephens, Lalo Schifrin, Hugo Friedhofer, Earle Hagen, Franz Waxman, Percy Faith, John(ny) Williams...a lot of Oscars in that bunch...but many more names could be mentioned...so who else did I miss?
     
  3. Message #83 of 94 Nov 8, 2018 at 10:41 AM
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2018 at 10:47 AM
    JohnHopper

    JohnHopper Supporting Actor

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    You list the historical giants of film music. Keep in mind that back then there was either high technology nor gadgets,
    just classical culture hence the refinement of music composition.

    Western series music-wise, I suggest you to get a wonderful compilation:
    Music from CBS Westerns
    http://www.soundtrackcollector.com/catalog/soundtrackdetail.php?movieid=69873

    Find the track listing

    1. Gunsmoke: Stolen Horses (10:08)
    (The Horse Theft – Kitty – Riding – The Shack – In The Bushes – The Captive – Kurch – Back At The Ranch – Chief Quick Knife – Farewell), composed by Jerome Moross

    2. Gunsmoke: The Raid (15:56)
    (The Holdup – The Challenge – Guns For Sale – The Pursuit – All Is Clear – The Posse – The Hideout – Matt and Festus – More Dead Outlaws – The Last Two – Between The Rocks – Finale), composed by Franz Waxman

    3. Gunsmoke: Harriet (10:01)
    (Two Riders – Gone At Last – Harriet I – Harriet II – Not Talking – The Fare Game – The Plan’s Working – I’ll Be Their Hangman – Afternoon Ride – Something’s Wrong – Don’t Shoot – Finale: Harriet), composed by Bernard Herrmann

    4. Rawhide: Six Weeks To Bent Fork (12:22)
    (The Big Push – A Mean Motha – Meet Sheriff Keeley – Rowdy Goes To Town – Rowdy’s Move – Lash Quits), composed by Hugo Friedhofer

    5. Cimarron Strip: Knife In The Darkness (17:33)
    (Dancing – Through The Woods – Crown – Trouble – Gambler – At The Table – Bawled Out – Deserted – Three Indians – Luggage – Open Ceiling – Suitcase – Wardrobe), composed by Bernard Herrmann
     
  4. Flashgear

    Flashgear Screenwriter

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    Thanks for that suggestion, John, I will check that out and probably buy this soundtrack CD! Jerome Moross is a worthy name ranked with the greats that I neglected in my earlier list of TV composers during the golden era...Jerry Fielding would be another that I just thought of...what giants they were!
     
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  5. JohnHopper

    JohnHopper Supporting Actor

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    Did you know that Jerry Fielding admired the work of Bernard Herrmann?

    Jerry Fielding's Western Scores
    The Wild Bunch
    Lawman
    Chato's Land
    The Outlaw Josey Wales
    Mr. Horn
     
  6. JohnHopper

    JohnHopper Supporting Actor

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    Find the cues list for my favorite Gunsmoke score by Jerry Goldsmith.

    Goldsmith, Jerry Gunsmoke. "Doc Judge" (February 6, 1960)

    #2885 "The Trip" Goldsmith, Jerry
    #2886 "The Killer" Goldsmith, Jerry
    #2887 "The Meeting" Goldsmith, Jerry
    #2888 "The Gun" Goldsmith, Jerry
    #2889 "Night Call" Goldsmith, Jerry
    #2890 "Deep Thoughts" Goldsmith, Jerry
    #2891 "Chester's Plan" Goldsmith, Jerry
    #2892 "The Long Wait" Goldsmith, Jerry
    #2893 "Impatience" Goldsmith, Jerry
    #2894 "Chester's Victory" Goldsmith, Jerry
    #2895 "Doc" Goldsmith, Jerry
     
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  7. Message #87 of 94 Nov 9, 2018 at 1:40 AM
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2018 at 1:45 AM
    Jeff Flugel

    Jeff Flugel Supporting Actor

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    Thanks for the link to the Goldsmith Odyssey podcast, John! Am listening to the Gunsmoke episode now and it is very well done and informative. (It also reminds me to pick up some of those early seasons of the show.)

    Just listening to the quality and complexity of orchestration in these classic programs makes the contrast with much of today's scoring for television very stark. Not to say that there isn't some good music to be found out there these days, but it is a very different sort of animal today, as Randall elaborated above.
     
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  8. bmasters9

    bmasters9 Cinematographer

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    You said Johnny Williams-- how about another Williams, by the name of Patrick, who wrote the title track of a 1972-77 ABC police/detective series called The Streets of San Francisco?
     
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  9. Jeff Flugel

    Jeff Flugel Supporting Actor

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    That Goldsmith Odyssey podcast about the composer's first three Gunsmoke scores was a great listen. The hosts covered three episodes, one from season 5 ("Doc Judge,") and two from season 6 ("The Blacksmith" and "The Wake"). The Goldsmith cues for all three were wonderful and sounded great on the podcast. I dug around and found "The Blacksmith" on my Gunsmoke: 50th Anniversary Collection, Volume 1 DVD set and watched it twice last night - once normally, and again to listen to George Kennedy's commentary. A charming episode, and George Kennedy was very good as the amiable but formidable German blacksmith. According to Kennedy's commentary, this Gunsmoke episode was an important milestone in his career.

    It was an interesting exercise to listen to the music from the episode first, and then in the show proper afterward. Goldsmith wrote music for 3 more episodes of Gunsmoke, so hopefully the podcast will cover those down the road at some point. Highly recommend the podcast if you a fan of Jerry Goldsmith and soundtracks in general.

    I enjoyed the actual TV show a lot too (Chester is a riot, and gets some great lines). Guess I'm going to have to pick up the first 6 seasons here pretty soon.
     
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  10. JohnHopper

    JohnHopper Supporting Actor

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    I'm glad you enjoy the Goldsmith Odyssey podcast.
    I'll let you know when the rest of the Gunsmoke scores analysis pop-up.
     
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  11. JohnHopper

    JohnHopper Supporting Actor

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    FOCUS ON RAWHIDE
    The black and white cowboys and cattle series Rawhide lasted eight seasons from 1959 to 1965 and on CBS.
    Many people remembered the series from the initial season 1 and never tried to dig beyond that point
    hence a lack of understanding.
    It starred Eric Fleming as trail boss Gil Favor and Clint Eastwood as ramrod Rowdy Yates.

    It had six "big" periods.
    Season 1 to 3 under producer Charles Marquis Warren (1)
    Season 4 under producer Endre Bohem
    Season 5 to 6 under producer Vincent M. Fennelly
    Season 7 (two thirds) under producers Bruce Geller (2) and Bernard Kowalski
    Season 7 under producer Endre Bohem
    Season 8 under producer Robert E. Thompson (3)

    The diehard people considered the first formula to be the best and the most traditional and the final season to be the worst because of the poor scripts and the absence of actor Eric Fleming who died violently. Under Warren, the character of Gil Favor starts each first Act with a soliloquy and introduces himself.

    Casual viewers were more attracted by the middle producers from season 4 to 6 in which they started to include many "meaty, character-driven pieces".

    The television historians and film fans asserted that only season 7 was worthwhile because it took a daring revisionist approach of the series, not far away from the realm of Sam Peckinpah. From that season, all episode titles loose the gimmick title "Incident of/at …". Prior to season 7 and 8, only season 4 didn't feature the "Incident…" title because of the producer change.

    The common denominator of all seasons under actor Eric Fleming is that his character of trail boss ends up an episode with his eternal motto: “Head'Em Up! Move'Em Out!"

    Footnotes
    (1) creator-producer of Gunsmoke
    (2) creator-producer of Mission: Impossible
    (3) producer of Mission: Impossible during season 3
     
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  12. JohnHopper

    JohnHopper Supporting Actor

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    Rollin', rollin' rollin',
    Rollin', rollin' rollin',
    Keep movin', movin', movin',
    Though they're disapprovin',
    Keep them dogies movin',
    Rawhide!
    Don't try to understand 'em,
    Just rope, throw and brand 'em,
    Soon we'll be livin' high and wide!
    My heart's calculatin',
    My true love will be waitin',
    Be waiting at the end of my ride!
    Move 'em on, head 'em up, head 'em up, move 'em on,
    Move 'em on, head 'em up, Rawhide!
    Let 'em out, ride 'em in, ride 'em in, let' em out, cut 'em out,
    Ride 'em in, Rawhide!
    Lyrics of the Theme Song from Rawhide
     
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  13. BobO'Link

    BobO'Link Producer

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    ^One of my favorite scenes from The Blues Brothers is when they're playing the bar and go into "The Theme from Rawhide." :)
     
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  14. Message #94 of 94 Nov 12, 2018 at 1:59 PM
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2018 at 3:57 PM
    Flashgear

    Flashgear Screenwriter

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    Rawhide's great rip roaring theme song sung by the leather lungs of Frankie Laine. Music by the great Oscar winning (High Noon) composer Dimitri Tiomkin. I just watched an episode of 77 Sunset Strip where Dimitri Tiomkin makes an ultra rare cameo appearance, with Efrem Zimbalist Jr., Edd Byrnes, Ruta Lee and Connie Stevens. Dimitri Tiomkin was a long time family friend of Efrem Zimbalist jr., having known his parents (father a renowned concert violinist, mother a famed opera singer) for many years. The season one episode, Honey From the Bee (April 10, 1959) would have been first aired while Tiomkin was doing post production at Warner Brothers for the new John Wayne / Dean Martin western Rio Bravo. And of course, Rawhide had premiered just two months earlier that January.


    L to R, Dimitri Tiomkin, Ruta Lee, Efrem Zimbalist jr., Connie Stevens and Edd 'Kookie' Byrnes...screen caps from my home made DVD of 77 Sunset Strip's Honey From the Bee...
    A 77.JPG
    Dimitri Tiomkin engaging 'Kookie' in some jive talk...Ruta Lee is amazed at old Dimitri's with it cool...
    A 77 4.JPG
    A 77 3.JPG
    A 77 2.JPG

    Every time I hear the fabled name of the great Dimitri Tiomkin, I hear his great theme song for High Noon sung by Tex Ritter playing through my mind..."Do not forsake me oh my darling..." And of course, "Rollin' Rollin' Rollin'..."
     

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