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 Posted:   Jun 8, 2020 - 6:51 PM   
 By:   L. Decima Vittima   (Member)

Was just reading an article about the early-'50s, live-from-New York TV series "Tales of Tomorrow", and was surprised to see a quote from one of the producers (Mort Abrahams) stating that Jerry Goldsmith had worked on the music for the series. Mostly, apparently, just picking out library music, but Abrahams is also quoted as saying Goldsmith scored an episode: "...I said I don't have any money for musicians. I'd love you to do it, Jerry, but I can't pay you...and what he did was compose a score with a guitar and a harmonica, and somebody whistled, and I think it was Jerry Goldsmith's first original composition [for television.]"

Just wondering if this is old info that has been confirmed, or if possibly Mr. Abrahams was mis-remembering (the interview was conducted in 1990, thirty-seven years after the show ended)...am hoping some Goldsmith experts will be able to shed light on this, one way or the other.

Here's a link to the article:

https://www.sandiegoreader.com/news/2020/apr/25/tales-tomorrow-inside-story-tvs-1st-sci-fi-antholo/

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 8, 2020 - 7:06 PM   
 By:   ZardozSpeaks   (Member)

Where is zooba when we need him?

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 8, 2020 - 8:07 PM   
 By:   zooba   (Member)

Where is zooba when we need him?

I personally never heard of this and of Goldsmith's involvement. Interesting that many years later Mort Abrahams and Goldsmith would re-unite on PLANET OF THE APES.

Looks like a question for our top Goldsmith man Yavar and the wonderful Goldsmith Odyssey Team.

 
 Posted:   Jun 9, 2020 - 1:03 AM   
 By:   Gold Digger   (Member)

Wow! Great find. Not heard of that before. Me thinks those instruments and whistling means it’s a western episode smile

 
 Posted:   Jun 9, 2020 - 7:27 AM   
 By:   W. David Lichty [Lorien]   (Member)

Looks like a question for our top Goldsmith man Yavar and the wonderful Goldsmith Odyssey Team.

I saw that excellent piece too, and tried to look into it last month, but I could only find fewer than half the episodes, between YouTube and an already defunct streaming service via the Roku, a Tales of Tomorrow channel. The credits don't all list composers, and the available, uploaded episodes don't all have their credits.

Even though Goldsmith started composing with some consistency for radio in 1954, despite the early timing of this series it's not impossible, given the existence his November 12, 1951 episode of Columbia Workshop, "We Gather Together," but that raises another detection problem. If we go by our Goldsmith Antennae, the super-early scores are also the most standard sounding for him, less distinctively his musical voice. When I sampled the 20-ish episodes I could get to, nothing jumped out at me as likely him, but I certainly could have missed something that lacked his signature.

I definitely did not hear "a score with a guitar and a harmonica, and somebody whistled," but I also have over half the episodes yet to find.

. . . (and as I write this) . . .

I've just ordered a well-reviewed set of possibly disreputable DVDs from a well-reviewed, yet possibly disreputable, source, and hope to solve this mystery soon.

 
 Posted:   Jun 9, 2020 - 8:33 PM   
 By:   L. Decima Vittima   (Member)

I wonder if the episode "Lonesome Village" (telecast live on Feb. 27, 1953) might be a likely candidate. Newspaper listings stated that the story, about a small town that survives a devastating global plague, was to be scored with a folk ballad sung by Tom Glazer. The "guitar+harmonica+somebody whistling" approach described by Abrahams seems like it might have fit that show pretty well, and it came near the end of the series' two-year run (Abrahams: “Jerry kept after me for two years, saying ‘Please let me write an original score...’"). Unfortunately, the episode doesn't seem to be one that survived - I can't find any evidence that it's been seen anywhere since its original broadcast.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 9, 2020 - 10:35 PM   
 By:   Niall from Ireland   (Member)

I wonder if the episode "Lonesome Village" (telecast live on Feb. 27, 1953) might be a likely candidate. Newspaper listings stated that the story, about a small town that survives a devastating global plague, was to be scored with a folk ballad sung by Tom Glazer. The "guitar+harmonica+somebody whistling" approach described by Abrahams seems like it might have fit that show pretty well, and it came near the end of the series' two-year run (Abrahams: “Jerry kept after me for two years, saying ‘Please let me write an original score...’"). Unfortunately, the episode doesn't seem to be one that survived - I can't find any evidence that it's been seen anywhere since its original broadcast.

Most interesting. Thank you for bringing this to our attention.

 
 Posted:   Jun 10, 2020 - 6:24 AM   
 By:   W. David Lichty [Lorien]   (Member)

I wonder if the episode "Lonesome Village" (telecast live on Feb. 27, 1953) might be a likely candidate. Newspaper listings stated that the story, about a small town that survives a devastating global plague, was to be scored with a folk ballad sung by Tom Glazer. The "guitar+harmonica+somebody whistling" approach described by Abrahams seems like it might have fit that show pretty well, and it came near the end of the series' two-year run (Abrahams: “Jerry kept after me for two years, saying ‘Please let me write an original score...’"). Unfortunately, the episode doesn't seem to be one that survived - I can't find any evidence that it's been seen anywhere since its original broadcast.


Thanks, L. Decima Vittima. I'll see if it's on the set I ordered, and if so, I'll start there. That claims to have 36 episodes, of the 85 that were made. Not great odds, to be sure.

 
 Posted:   Jun 16, 2020 - 12:18 PM   
 By:   W. David Lichty [Lorien]   (Member)

I wonder if the episode "Lonesome Village" (telecast live on Feb. 27, 1953) ... Unfortunately, the episode doesn't seem to be one that survived - I can't find any evidence that it's been seen anywhere since its original broadcast.


Thanks, L. Decima Vittima. I'll see if it's on the set I ordered, and if so, I'll start there. That claims to have 36 episodes, of the 85 that were made. Not great odds, to be sure.


And alas that it was not to be. The set did not include that well guessed episode, nor any credits for Goldsmith (a couple did have score credits), nor music anything like what was described.

 
 Posted:   Sep 25, 2020 - 8:55 AM   
 By:   Yavar Moradi   (Member)

I wonder if the episode "Lonesome Village" (telecast live on Feb. 27, 1953) might be a likely candidate. Newspaper listings stated that the story, about a small town that survives a devastating global plague, was to be scored with a folk ballad sung by Tom Glazer. The "guitar+harmonica+somebody whistling" approach described by Abrahams seems like it might have fit that show pretty well, and it came near the end of the series' two-year run (Abrahams: “Jerry kept after me for two years, saying ‘Please let me write an original score...’"). Unfortunately, the episode doesn't seem to be one that survived - I can't find any evidence that it's been seen anywhere since its original broadcast.

There is little doubt in my mind now about which Tales of Tomorrow episode had Jerry’s first paid music for the screen... it *must* be “The Lonesome Village” IMO. Aside from the reasons you lay out very well, I can add a couple new details through my research:

1. The episode in question was described specifically as a “western”, in the unedited original interview audio, which the author of the Tales of Tomorrow article was kind enough to share with me when I got in touch with him. “Lonesome Village” really seems like the only thing that could possibly be a western in that time period (albeit a post-apocalyptic sci-fi-ish western as befits the show).

2. Yesterday I watched the ending of every surviving episode which I could find online (apparently 46 episodes of the 84 episode series are confirmed to exist today, and a handful of those never made it to commercial disc), just to check for music credits...there was only one with a composer credited and it wasn’t Jerry or anyone well known. As already noted (alas!) “Lonesome Village” is among those which are MIA — see the post at the bottom of this thread page:
https://www.tapatalk.com/groups/monsterkidclassichorrorforum/tales-of-tomorrow-t5951.html

But guess what? The episode which aired *before* it DOES exist! And if you skip to the announcer talking about next week’s episode at the end, pay very close attention to what he says. I think it makes the identity of Jerry’s first paid assignment on the small screen a definite:
https://youtu.be/GczjPbHc_j8

“with a most unusual musical background” — why would that be so unusually highlighted if it was just another tracked score? This MUST be that one referred to, where Jerry was finally allowed to write original music. Gotta be — I’d stake my reputation on it. Alas that the episode appears to be lost! But Jerry’s first time being paid to score to image was both a science fiction *and* a western — how cool is that?

Yavar

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 26, 2020 - 5:22 AM   
 By:   Graham Watt   (Member)

I wonder if the episode "Lonesome Village" (telecast live on Feb. 27, 1953) might be a likely candidate. Newspaper listings stated that the story, about a small town that survives a devastating global plague, was to be scored with a folk ballad sung by Tom Glazer. The "guitar+harmonica+somebody whistling" approach described by Abrahams seems like it might have fit that show pretty well, and it came near the end of the series' two-year run (Abrahams: “Jerry kept after me for two years, saying ‘Please let me write an original score...’"). Unfortunately, the episode doesn't seem to be one that survived - I can't find any evidence that it's been seen anywhere since its original broadcast.

There is little doubt in my mind now about which Tales of Tomorrow episode had Jerry’s first paid music for the screen... it *must* be “The Lonesome Village” IMO. Aside from the reasons you lay out very well, I can add a couple new details through my research:

1. The episode in question was described specifically as a “western”, in the unedited original interview audio, which the author of the Tales of Tomorrow article was kind enough to share with me when I got in touch with him. “Lonesome Village” really seems like the only thing that could possibly be a western in that time period (albeit a post-apocalyptic sci-fi-ish western as befits the show).

2. Yesterday I watched the ending of every surviving episode which I could find online (apparently 46 episodes of the 84 episode series are confirmed to exist today, and a handful of those never made it to commercial disc), just to check for music credits...there was only one with a composer credited and it wasn’t Jerry or anyone well known. As already noted (alas!) “Lonesome Village” is among those which are MIA — see the post at the bottom of this thread page:
https://www.tapatalk.com/groups/monsterkidclassichorrorforum/tales-of-tomorrow-t5951.html

But guess what? The episode which aired *before* it DOES exist! And if you skip to the announcer talking about next week’s episode at the end, pay very close attention to what he says. I think it makes the identity of Jerry’s first paid assignment on the small screen a definite:
https://youtu.be/GczjPbHc_j8

“with a most unusual musical background” — why would that be so unusually highlighted if it was just another tracked score? This MUST be that one referred to, where Jerry was finally allowed to write original music. Gotta be — I’d stake my reputation on it. Alas that the episode appears to be lost! But Jerry’s first time being paid to score to image was both a science fiction *and* a western — how cool is that?

Yavar

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I'm kind of out of my depth here, dropping into the middle of things at a late date, but I did watch that YouTube link - the host speaking about the following week's show having "a most unusual musical background". Now, that could be taken two ways. I actually feel that the reference to the musical background is less likely to refer to "background music" (as some people still refer to scores) than it is to the show's setting having a musical background, along the lines of the original Tom Glazer folk ballad idea. So if that idea of the wandering minstrel in the post-apocalypse Western town carried on over to the show's score - be it by Jerry Goldsmith or not - the announcer may well have been referring to the approach rather than to the score itself.

Forgive me if my post holds no water - I'm just catching up on things and posting hastily.

 
 Posted:   Jun 2, 2021 - 9:33 AM   
 By:   Yavar Moradi   (Member)

An update: I heard from Jon Burlingame this past week, and he is pretty certain Mort Abrahams is misremembering, because Tales of Tomorrow was apparently a show with production based in New York, and Jerry never left LA for New York in the early 50s, as far as we know.

It's very strange though, because in the original audio version of the interview (conducted in 1990) I heard, Abrahams seems very sharp in his recollection about Jerry in particular, and I don't think their paths crossed again until General Electric Theater. This is what Jon thinks Abrahams confused Tales of Tomorrow with, but it was later in the 50s and I think it's strange that he would think it was Jerry's first original work for TV at that point. In any case, I felt 100% sure before that I had figured out Jerry's first original work for TV, but that has now been cast into doubt. We may never know, unless that lost Tales of Tomorrow episode "The Lonesome Village" can be unearthed (it's the only thing that remotely fits Abraham's description and timeline). Then our ears would tell us for certain, whether or not Jerry got a screen credit...

Yavar

 
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