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The Traveling Executioner (1970)
Music by Jerry Goldsmith
The Traveling Executioner The Traveling Executioner
Click to enlarge images.
Price: $19.95
Limited #: 3000
View CD Page at SAE Store
Line: Silver Age
CD Release: April 2002
Catalog #: Vol. 5, No. 6
# of Discs: 1

Released by Special Arrangement with Turner Classic Movies Music.

In 1970 Jerry Goldsmith scored one of his most offbeat films: The Traveling Executioner, a period drama/black comedy starring Stacy Keach as Jonas Candide, a proud electric chair owner who sends condemned prisoners off to "the fields of Ambrosia" for $100 a pop. When Candide is charged with executing his first woman (Mariana Hill), he falls for her and ends up crossing the line from state-sponsored execution to simple murder. The film was directed by Jack Smight (The Illustrated Man, also scored by Goldsmith, FSMCD Vol. 4, No. 14) and remains an intriguing effort virtually out of circulation today.

Coming off of such avant garde masterpieces as Planet of the Apes and The Mephisto Waltz, Goldsmith turned to a broadly melodic and bluesy approach that captures the film's 1918 Deep South setting and wild shifts in tone. The main theme is a charming blend of Americana, Dixieland and circus atmosphere as it paints a portrait of the contented but oddball title character, a former con man living on the fringes of society. As Candide delivers a heartfelt, calming pre-execution pep talk to his "customer," Goldsmith provides a soft, six-minute spell of Americana foreshadowing his score to Magic (1978). When the story kicks into high gear, the composer enthusiastically touches all the bases, from bluegrass comedy to avant garde suspense to full-scale action.

The Traveling Executioner—never before released in any form—is presented in complete form (including deleted and alternate cues) in excellent stereo sound, remixed from the original three-track masters. Liner notes are by Jeff Bond and Lukas Kendall.

Jerry Goldsmith Scores on FSM
About the Composer

What to say about Jerry Goldsmith (1929-2004), the reason so many of us are soundtrack collectors in the first place? The Los Angeles native knew early on he wanted to write music for the movies, had an extensive training in television in the 1950s (starting at CBS), and went on to an unparalleled career in the movies—capable of brilliance in every genre, and beloved by his peers and fans. FSM has released as many of his scores as we could get our hands on, from classic TV work like The Man From U.N.C.L.E. to famous features (Patton) and obscure gems like The Illustrated Man and 100 Rifles...heck, make that all of them. Jerry, we love you and miss you! IMDB

Comments (16):Log in or register to post your own comments
Bumping this because thought I left my incoherent ramblings on this release years ago....time to rectify that!! Love this album, its why FSM was so great, because who the hell would ever reelesee this insane album?
It's, for me, what made JG so great....those oddball finds where every cue continually shares new findings as the years pass. And to give such a loving treatment to an obscurity like this....please come back and make records again LK & Co., you are missed.

-Sean

Whoa, I'm so happy! Finally a promising release that is STILL AVAILABLE lol! I had given up hope.

Super thanks for giving me the scoop my friend!

You betcha, ill keep trying to help out :) Gauging ones likes is tricky sometimes, but fun. I have to try & remember not to "helpfully" rec things that are long long OOP & super expensive. :-/
Sound clip wise I'd go straight to the Fields of Ambrosia - Just gorgeous stuff.
I wouldn't jump from the symphonic stuff to this, it's a real grab bag chamber work, almost schizophrenic, but genius shines throughout. I became fond of the chamber-drama work after my run of the big stuff tapped out. You get Patch if Blue yet or what, by the way? ;-)

Yeah this is one of the oddest, most interesting and also most challenging (for me) scores in Goldsmith's output...but I can't say I listen to it very often! I don't expect it to instantly become one of your favorite WA, but I could be wrong. The Fields of Ambrosia is a very lovely exception though. I imagine the rest works brilliantly in the film, and I'll be finding out eventually!

Now A Patch of Blue on the other hand might have a chance...lets hope someone reissues that sooner rather than later, as it's long OOP.

Yavar

Yeah this is one of the oddest, most interesting and also most challenging (for me) scores in Goldsmith's output...but I can't say I listen to it very often! I don't expect it to instantly become one of your favorite WA, but I could be wrong. The Fields of Ambrosia is a very lovely exception though. I imagine the rest works brilliantly in the film, and I'll be finding out eventually!

Now A Patch of Blue on the other hand might have a chance...lets hope someone reissues that sooner rather than later, as it's long OOP.

Yavar[/endquote]

I like the challenging stuff! I remember reading (I think in Filmtracks, not sure) that some fans felt JG kind of gave up writing challenging music after a certain point (wish I could remember it word for word). That was very disappointing to read, since the soundtracks I first fell in love with by him were, in fact, musically really interesting and creative. And I'm betting that element is in Patch of Blue, even just by chronology. I hope to pick it up soon, but I'm still riding the high of both The Shadow and Illustrated Man coming in the mail.

What's truly bizarre (even to me) is that I still haven't grabbed Gathering of Eagles...Varese has a couple of other titles I wouldn't mind scooping either...

As I just wrote in the other thread, get Delerue's Joe vs. the Volcano when you place a Varese order for Gathering of Eagles. I'd also recommend Starship Troopers: The Deluxe Edition, if you feel like exploring more Poledouris. Massive sci-fi action score...I think you like those. :)

Supposedly Jerry "simplified" his style after being disheartened about how his complex score for Total Recall had to compete with sound effects in the mix. I'd say definitely his 90s scores are by and large more consistently accessible and he rarely did oddball things like he used to, but his music didn't get "dumbed down" like a lot of people act. Even in the last half decade of his career he wrote scores like The Mummy, Looney Tunes, and of course the incredible main title for The Sum of All Fears:
[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dDCxzFjFLqM[/youtube]

I just can't fathom the people who act like he lost the bulk of his talent. You'll be getting The Shadow in the mail shortly and that's from the mid-90s. Listen to it and tell me he wasn't writing circles around almost every other composer. Clearly he was directed to evoke Danny Elfman's Batman sound, but as much as I do love Elfman's Batman , the actual writing/development/orchestration in The Shadow leaves it in the dust. (I think Elfman really surpassed himself with the sequel, Batman Returns.)

Yavar

As I just wrote in the other thread, get Delerue's Joe vs. the Volcano when you place a Varese order for Gathering of Eagles. I'd also recommend Starship Troopers: The Deluxe Edition, if you feel like exploring more Poledouris. Massive sci-fi action score...I think you like those. :)

Supposedly Jerry "simplified" his style after being disheartened about how his complex score for Total Recall had to compete with sound effects in the mix. I'd say definitely his 90s scores are by and large more consistently accessible and he rarely did oddball things like he used to, but his music didn't get "dumbed down" like a lot of people act. Even in the last half decade of his career he wrote scores like The Mummy, Looney Tunes, and of course the incredible main title for The Sum of All Fears:

I just can't fathom the people who act like he lost the bulk of his talent. You'll be getting The Shadow in the mail shortly and that's from the mid-90s. Listen to it and tell me he wasn't writing circles around almost every other composer. Clearly he was directed to evoke Danny Elfman's Batman sound, but as much as I do love Elfman's Batman , the actual writing/development/orchestration in The Shadow leaves it in the dust. (I think Elfman really surpassed himself with the sequel, Batman Returns.)

Yavar[/endquote]

That is a great main title for SOAF. When you tell me about JG being directed into someone else's turf, it reminds me of the STTMP/SW debacle. Yet I prefer STTMP over SW...quite a bit in fact (as you might recall, not much of a Star Wars gal, though I must admit I've been playing everything but the "hits" on Empire Strikes Back lately...and LIKING it!).

I wasn't that wild about the Batman/Elfman thing (movie or score)...though I will most certainly will give Returns a try.I actually really like what Zimmer and Newton-Howard did for DK..as rudimentary as Zimmer can be he made a good partner with James imo.

I seem to like Elfman best when he's channeling Bernard.

As far as what folks say about latter era JG...there are a whole lot of scores put out during that time, and I don't doubt at all they had their moments of challenge. In fact, I far prefer checking those last years out to some of the "Classic" 80s stuff like Hoosiers...he just seemed to integrate the synths way more successfully after 88 or so. All imo.

It's a terrific main title for

One last tip in, but I saw THE SHADOW is on the way? That is THE best expansion & the piddly original album is included in that set as proof. Moved a meh score into best of the 90s territory IMO. Very rewarding listen, the full SHADOW.

One last tip in, but I saw THE SHADOW is on the way? That is THE best expansion & the piddly original album is included in that set as proof. Moved a meh score into best of the 90s territory IMO. Very rewarding listen, the full SHADOW.[/endquote]

SUPER psyched now! I probably should check that movie out, as I'm an Alec Baldwin fan (bring back 30 Rock!).

The film isn't as bad in hindsight, but we all hated it & the score back in the day. If the expanded set doesn't rock your world, you may mail it to me, and I will promptly eat it.

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Track List
Instruments/Musicians
Click on each musician name for more credits

Leader (Conductor):
Jerry (Jerrald) Goldsmith

Violin:
George Berres, Bonnie J. Douglas (Shure), Sam Freed, Jr., James Getzoff, Anatol Kaminsky, Nathan Kaproff, George Kast, Marvin Limonick, Joy Lyle (Sharp), Alexander Murray, Erno Neufeld, Irma W. Neumann, Paul C. Shure

Viola:
Cecil Figelski, Phillip Goldberg, Allan Harshman, Myra Kestenbaum

Cello:
Armand Kaproff, Edgar Lustgarten, Emmet Sargeant, Frederick R. Seykora

Bass:
Raymond M. "Ray" Brown

Flute:
William "Buddy" Collette, Louise M. DiTullio (Dissman)

Oboe:
John F. Ellis

Clarinet:
Dominick Fera, Abe Most

Bassoon:
Norman H. Herzberg

Trumpet:
Graham Young

Trombone:
Lloyd E. Ulyate

Piano:
Artie Kane, Michael Melvoin, Clark Spangler

Guitar:
Robert F. Bain, Alvin W. Casey, Allen Reuss

Harp:
Catherine Gotthoffer (Johnk)

Harmonica:
Tommy Morgan

Drums:
Paul N. Humphrey, Louis Singer

Orchestrator:
Gus Levene

Arranger:
Arthur Morton

Orchestra Manager:
Gerald C. Whelan

Copyist:
Russell Brown, Jack Dulong, Arthur W. Grier, Albert Lisi, Ray Mace, Donald J. Midgley, Randolph Joseph Rayburn, Ernest Rosecrans, Stanley Sheldone, Fred Sternberg, Harry Taylor, Bill Williams (aka George Davenport)

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