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 Posted:   Nov 18, 2010 - 8:46 AM   
 By:   Niall from Ireland   (Member)

Folks, this information is already available on another thread on the board (see link below) but I wanted to bring it to wider attention to those who may not have read it because I believe it is important news. Hugo Friedhofer's, Vera Cruz Opening Titles on the new Jasmine Records release entitled The Westerns Music And Songs From Classic Westerns, seems to my ears to be the actual original mastertapes recording in near perfect sound. It doesn't sound like a DVD rip or from acetates, I may well be wrong, but I believe it is from an original master recording session of some sort, maybe for a vocal ? This score has long been a most wanted item for a lot of us here and many of us will have heard the story that the original tapes are long lost, a sad scenario for sure. But having listened to this track on the Jasmine Records release I think that there is at least the possibility that the original tapes might still exist, even if only partly. For those of you who may have this release please listen to this recording and tell us your opinions. As poster Bluenose19 noted on the other thread "I wonder where they managed to find that" ? I wonder too!

http://filmscoremonthly.com/board/posts.cfm?threadID=72489&forumID=1&archive=0&pageID=1&r=685#bottom

 
 
 Posted:   Nov 18, 2010 - 9:35 AM   
 By:   manderley   (Member)

Hugo told me years ago that the tapes for VERA CRUZ were gone---at least at that time---so who knows? I believe he also told me that the score was recorded in Mexico as part of the joint production of the film itself, so that would make the tracking of the original mastertapes much more difficult. Perhaps they're sitting in a musty old stone vault at Churubusco Studios alongside a cache of tequila or a cask of Amontillado. smile

As for Jasmine Records.....they are long-known for combining "lifts" from the actual mixed soundtracks of films, together with transfers from the LP-45-78 record collections of some of their associates. Because of this, they tend to pick up "in-the-clear" music from the films as they can. That usually is Main and End title lifts, if they have decent beginnings and endings. I haven't looked at VERA CRUZ recently, but I'll bet the Main Title is "in-the-clear". The Jasmine recording probably sounds like the soundtrack because it IS. (It is also possible that Jasmine had access to a music-fx track for VERA CRUZ, but I think this is very, very unlikely. I'm sure we all are aware of the extremely spotty nature and completeness of the United Artists music library, particularly as far back as 1954.)

An analysis of the Jasmine RACHEL AND THE STRANGER material, for example, leads one to suspect that they took the Main Title and material involving Gary Gray and Loretta Young from the film's mixed track, and the Mitchum (alone) material likely comes from the 1948 78rpm album Mitchum recorded of songs from the film.

When you put a disc together like this for your own listening enjoyment, you usually pick the cues from the film that are complete, and drop the rest, which is what Jasmine has done. The large amount of material and selection they provide"hides" what is missing from each film. You will note that there seems to be virtually no internal orchestral score material other than main or end titles within any of the program's content.

For the record, there is also a westerns film music collection going back to lps in the 1970s, presumably recorded in Europe, which has been recycled endlessly on CD under different titles, different orchestra names, and different conductor names. (You picks your label and you takes your choice of pseudonymous conductors... smile ) Friedhofer's "Vera Cruz" and Young's "Call of the Faraway Hills" are among the tunes. Perhaps the Jasmine has recycled several of these once again.

Still, this is an eclectic and interesting grouping of western tunes, and the Jasmine assembly and mastering processes are reasonably good, so it might be of value to purchase it for the more esoteric items, unless you wanted to assemble an accurate duplicate, drawing on lps, 45s, 78s, VHS tapes, laserdiscs, off-air transfers, acetates, 16mm prints, and DVDs from your own collections. smile

 
 
 Posted:   Nov 18, 2010 - 3:31 PM   
 By:   Niall from Ireland   (Member)

Many thanks to dear manderley for his, as always, very interesting and highly informative reply. I have been collecting Western themes and songs since I was a youngster and to my knowledge the original opening titles for Friedhofer's Vera Cruz as heard on the Jasmine disc have never been available before on any other commercial compilation release, and manderley "for the record" I am not speaking here on this thread about about rerecordings whether done 'on the sly' or whatever, in Europe (poor old relations that we are to good old uncle Hollywood, ahem, and ha ha!). To my ears, on this Jasmine release, are the original soundtrack versions and not "recycled" rerecordings, in the main, i.e. leaving out some possible vocal recordings. So, whatever Jasmine are, or are doing, I thank them for this. The sound is excellent and I am quite happy to have this Opening Titles track in my collection. Jasmine are to be complimented, because instead of providing the usual hand-off of "The tapes are believed long lost" etc, etc, they have actually gone and done something that NO ONE else have done, and they've actually provided us, the fanboy collectors, with something that some of us have long wanted! For what it's worth (and it's worth something to me) I am also thrilled to able to listen to, in this release, the original Opening Titles for, among others, Rio Bravo, Bend Of The River, and The Man From Laramie (Opening and End choruses!) in excellent sound. I sincerely hope now that some of our more exalted (and beloved) regular labels might be persuaded to follow suite and do something similar...and no doubt, eh...better!

 
 
 Posted:   Nov 18, 2010 - 4:12 PM   
 By:   filmusicnow   (Member)

Friedhofer's score for "Vera Cruz" was orchestrated and conducted by Raul La Vista, considered the dean of Mexican film music, and was one of the few film scores he
orchestrated and conducted for an American film. By the way, Sammy Cahn wrote lyrics for the main title that was never heard in the film (though Friedhofer continued to receive residuals for it).

 
 
 Posted:   Nov 18, 2010 - 4:35 PM   
 By:   Niall from Ireland   (Member)

Friedhofer's score for "Vera Cruz" was orchestrated and conducted by Raul La Vista, considered the dean of Mexican film music, and was one of the few film scores he
orchestrated and conducted for an American film. By the way, Sammy Cahn wrote lyrics for the main title that was never heard in the film (though Friedhofer continued to receive residuals for it).


Yes indeed, and who knows, maybe Raul La Vista's estate has a copy of the original sessions ?

 
 Posted:   Nov 18, 2010 - 4:39 PM   
 By:   mgh   (Member)

Friedhofer's score for "Vera Cruz" was orchestrated and conducted by Raul La Vista, considered the dean of Mexican film music, and was one of the few film scores he
orchestrated and conducted for an American film. By the way, Sammy Cahn wrote lyrics for the main title that was never heard in the film (though Friedhofer continued to receive residuals for it).


Yes indeed, and who knows, maybe Raul La Vista's estate has a copy of the original sessions ?


Let's hope so; one of my favorites too.

 
 
 Posted:   Nov 18, 2010 - 4:47 PM   
 By:   Niall from Ireland   (Member)

Friedhofer's score for "Vera Cruz" was orchestrated and conducted by Raul La Vista, considered the dean of Mexican film music, and was one of the few film scores he
orchestrated and conducted for an American film. By the way, Sammy Cahn wrote lyrics for the main title that was never heard in the film (though Friedhofer continued to receive residuals for it).


Yes indeed, and who knows, maybe Raul La Vista's estate has a copy of the original sessions ?


Let's hope so; one of my favorites too.


Yep, and the film gets better and better, watched it on TV again last weekend, great direction by Robert Aldrich. At the very least we now have the original Opening Titles on an excellent sounding release.

 
 
 Posted:   Nov 18, 2010 - 5:36 PM   
 By:   manderley   (Member)

I seemed to remember that Tony Martin had a single recording of the VERA CRUZ song released on RCA back in 1954 when the film came out.

In looking it up on the internet to confirm, I did, indeed, find it, and the conductor on the VERA CRUZ side of the 78rpm was.......Raul La Vista!!! I wonder if this was the actual soundtrack version of the Main Title with lyrics, later deleted and replaced by orchestra only. Hmmmm...

 
 Posted:   Nov 19, 2010 - 3:12 AM   
 By:   Guenther K   (Member)


Yes indeed, and who knows, maybe Raul La Vista's estate has a copy of the original sessions ?


Doubt it... Lavista according to IMDB wrote over 200 film scores... thats a lot of storage so why should he keep someone elses music? Only a few composers kept their tapes anyway.

 
 
 Posted:   Nov 19, 2010 - 10:28 AM   
 By:   James MacMillan   (Member)

I seemed to remember that Tony Martin had a single recording of the VERA CRUZ song released on RCA back in 1954 when the film came out.

In looking it up on the internet to confirm, I did, indeed, find it, and the conductor on the VERA CRUZ side of the 78rpm was.......Raul La Vista!!! I wonder if this was the actual soundtrack version of the Main Title with lyrics, later deleted and replaced by orchestra only. Hmmmm...





Manderley, the Tony Martin rendition of the song was released as one of the tracks on a Bear Family CD of western themes a few years ago. It does indeed have the same arrangement as the main title heard in the film. The lyrics by Sammy Cahn went thus -

Vera Cruz, Vera Cruz, Vera Cruz,
Have a care if you're riding there, stranger,
Every trail leads to danger
in Vera Cruz.

Vera Cruz, Vera Cruz, Vera Cruz,
Where the gold that you seek may enrich you -
Or enchant and bewitch you,
Just as you choose.

Be careful - of the web that she'll weave you.
Be careful, for she plans to deceive you, then leave you...

Vera Cruz, Vera Cruz, Vera Cruz,
Though I've warned you I know you've decided
You must go where your heart says it's guided -
Win or lose.
Love and adventure are waiting in Vera Cruz.

Vera Cruz, Vera Cruz, Vera Cruz,
Vera Cruz.
Vera Cruz, Vera Cruz, Vera Cruz,
Ve - ra Cru-u-u-u-u-u-z.

Great song! You gotta hear it!

- James.

 
 
 Posted:   Dec 4, 2010 - 12:14 PM   
 By:   Niall from Ireland   (Member)

Just wondering did anyone else (other then Basil W) get the Jasmine Records release in the meantime ?

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 31, 2012 - 3:05 PM   
 By:   James MacMillan   (Member)

Over on the other board it's been reported that the crooner Tony Martin has died at age 98. Just to round off this thread, here's his rendition of the VERA CRUZ song (from a 78-rpm record, yet!) referred to above :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QqWSD03VCDw

 
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