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Celluloid Tunes # 73: The Complete John Williams Television Music Walkthrough, Part 1 (24th International Edition)

As a tribute to the great John Williams in his 90th birthday year, we present this extensive – and extremely ambitious – podcast series about his obscure and super rare TV music from the 50s onwards. The project has taken a whole year to realize; decades if you count the accumulation of material, and the research involved. Most of this music is not available elsewhere, and has been painstakingly recovered from the episodes themselves. We’re happy to finally share it with you now, and I hope you keep tuning in for future episodes.

Feel free to comment below, or send feedback to tjhaga@celluloidtunes.no. Enjoy!

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  1. doron says:

    great. Can you make it downloadable so we can hear it in the car?

    1. Thor Joachim Haga says:

      I wish I could, but there are rights issues involved – especially for tracks available on albums – that prevent me from offering it as a downloadable file. Hence why it’s technically a webcast rather than a podcast. I hope you get to hear it anyway! 🙂

  2. Garrett Goulet says:

    That so called “Wagon Train” soundtrack L.P. is actually a rerecording.

    1. Thor Joachim Haga says:

      Indeed it is, as are most of the soundtrack albums of the era. M SQUAD is also a rerecording. But excellent rerecordings, IMO!

  3. Ron Burbella says:

    Hi Thor,
    It was so nice to musically re-live my early TV watching years accompanied with your well-informed commentary. I actually did see these TV shows in the 1950s as a child and began collecting film and TV music
    in early 1962 at age 12-1/2 (you can do the math to figure out my age). And I still have those original LPs! I’m highly anticipating your next edition. And I’m still looking for the John Williams’ sheet music to “Tomorrow”
    and to “Way of the Wand’rer,”which are very hard to find. Excellent job! It must give you great personal satisfaction to have assembled this John Williams material so that you could share it with us all. Bravo!
    Ron Burbella

    1. Thor Joachim Haga says:

      Thanks for the comment, Ron! Must have been something to have experienced these shows “live”, as they happened.

  4. Thor Joachim Haga says:

    For those of you who have already listened to the episode, here are some additions, as of August 24th, 2023, with time codes:
    – Removed some fill words, corrected a few mistakes
    – Double checked for more episodes of General Electric Theatre. None found.
    – Added an episode-by-episode walkthrough of M Squad, all 8 episodes (21:54)
    – Added a suite of incidental music from Bachelor Father (43:59)

  5. When we covered General Electric Theater on The Goldsmith Odyssey, Williams’ tracks were my favorites on the Bernstein conducted LP. Even this early, Williams brought more to the table than just music in the style of the time. You play my favorite track at 1:06:26. It’s nice to have context for it

    Agreed on The Discovery (at 41:27-43:54), it’s a great track. It’s easy to get jazzed up over a quick tempo, but there’s more interesting stuff going on in this one.

    The suite at ~47 min. is nice, too. His usual warmth is present in the light-hearted cues. I notice that, as can be the case with Williams sometimes, the title of the show could be sung to the tune, “BAATCH-ler FAHHH-ther.”

    1. Thor Joachim Haga says:

      Thanks for the comments, David! Love your work on the Goldsmith Odyssey too.

      I think you’re thinking of WAGON TRAIN, conducted by Stanley Wilson. Not GENERAL ELECTRIC THEATRE, whose soundtrack only had Bernstein’s music. But yes — good stuff. Wishing for more Williams material released for both of these.

  6. Whoops! Yes, Wagon Train, of course. The titles conflate with the passage of time and overlapping of our increasingly non-chronologically recorded episodes.

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