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 Posted:   Jun 18, 2008 - 11:17 AM   
 By:   JAPhillips219   (Member)

While doing some background research, one name kept popping out on many of the Universal television shows during the 1970's: Hal Mooney. He died in 1995 after a long career as an arranger, composer, and music supervisor acoording to the IMDB.

I was curious to find out the role of a music supervisor and looked it up on Wikipedia:

A music supervisor, also sometimes called a music coordinator or musical director, is an individual who combines music and visual media.

The title of music supervisor is used by many media companies including film studios, TV networks, ad agencies, and a wide of range other media producers. The music supervisor is primarily responsible for selecting and licensing music for all film, TV and new media productions. Some music supervisors also work independent of particular media companies, offering their services on a contract basis.

Beginning in the 1950s a landslide of crucial developments in media, both audio and visual, resulted in an inseparable relationship between TV and music. Since then, the title of music supervisor has been given to those responsible for fostering the relationship of music and visual media.

The job is both creative and logistic; music supervisors select music and negotiate usage licenses. Music supervisors play diverse roles in the creative process of films, television shows and other media, helping to emphasize storylines, emotion, time period and cultural location.

In the United States, music supervisors are often responsible for choosing and placing music for broadcast. A major responsibility is to establish communication between the production/distribution entities and the performing rights groups, such as ASCAP, SESAC, and BMI in the United States, to ensure that the proper rights are negotiated and distributed.

The proliferation of video technology has resulted in an increased demand for production companies needing to license music, and the field now accommodates many career professionals. Because of the massive expansion in the field, many colleges and universities offer courses in music supervision.



He's worked on such shows as Columbo, Ironside, The Six Million Dollar Man, Night Gallery, Ellery Queen, and others. Far too often, many collaborators in the film and music industry are often left unsung; we only focus on the composer and not the orchestrators, supervisors, sound engineers, and players who support and make the composer the real star.

I just feel it's time we should mention some of the other people who make this industry what it is today. Any comments or questions?

 
 Posted:   Jun 18, 2008 - 12:43 PM   
 By:   SchiffyM   (Member)

My only comment -- and this has nothing to do with Mr. Mooney, whom I know nothing about -- is that every music supervisor I've ever known is simply a guy with a huge CD collection and decent contacts within the music industry (bands, promoters, labels, and the performing rights groups). They'll send over lists of songs that might be appropriate and which they believe they can clear within the budget. Once a song is picked (possibly from his lists, but often not), the music supervisor then uses his contacts to try to quickly negotiate a price and clear everything legally.

Some music supervisors probably do more, but I wouldn't romanticize the work of these people. Some are very good at what they do, and what they do is necessary, but I doubt very many have really changed what you watch very much.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 18, 2008 - 1:41 PM   
 By:   manderley   (Member)

.....While doing some background research, one name kept popping out on many of the Universal television shows during the 1970's: Joe Mooney. He died in 1995 after a long career as an arranger, composer, and music supervisor acoording to the IMDB.....


At first I was confused about your post. You speak of "Joe Mooney" in the text (who is virtually unknown), and "Hal Mooney" in the topic heading. I see now that it is "Hal" or "Harold" Mooney of whom you are really speaking.

I think, in setting this up for the general readership here, you have seriously glossed over Mooney's early credits.

Harold Mooney was the major arranger/orchestrator for the legendary Hal Kemp and Jimmy Dorsey Bands in the '30s-'40s and, like George Duning with other bands, was very instrumental (!) in the sounds of those groups.

After WWII, as the big bands were starting to break up, Mooney began freelancing with orchestrations/arrangements for the likes of Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, Judy Garland, Kay Starr, Peggy Lee, Sarah Vaughan, and others.

If you bought any single records in the '40s-'50s period you would often see his name as arranger/conductor on them, supervising his own group. By the mid-50s he was the Musical Director for Mercury Records.

With his knowledge of the pop music business from the ground up (since at least 1936), including composing, arranging, orchestrating, and conducting, he is hardly your average little-experienced Music Supervisor.

In those days, the film business always needed, and looked, for executives with in-depth knowledge of the area in which they could supervise efficiently and comprehensively, and Mooney must have been one of the best at it.

Things are, of course, different today.



(....but, thanks for bringing Hal Mooney up. It's good for everyone to hear about the now not-so-famous denizens of the film music business once-upon-a-time and I often wish we could talk here more about others than the top-10 names that are constants every day.)

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 18, 2008 - 2:58 PM   
 By:   JAPhillips219   (Member)

It is Hal Mooney. I did not want to go into details about his early career during the 1940's, because there are only a few, such as yourself, who would know about this. I wanted to discuss his work in the context of the Universal television shows and what, if any, impact he had on the music within those episodes.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 18, 2008 - 3:09 PM   
 By:   manderley   (Member)

.....It is Hal Mooney. I did not want to go into details about his early career during the 1940's, because there are only a few, such as yourself, who would know about this. I wanted to discuss his work in the context of the Universal television shows and what, if any, impact he had on the music within those episodes.....


I doubt if anyone can assess, nearly 40 years later, what impact Mooney might have had on the Universal shows of the 70s without a lot of internal memos and production reports to back up the assessment.

But, considering that there were probably no more than 5-6 studio music supervisors working within the film industry at this executive level by this time, it is a good assumption that his 30+ years as a musician and recording executive, combined with his intimate knowledge of the business and the people within it, certainly impacted his performance to a high degree, and made it possible for him to extract the best for the shows on which he worked---considering, of course, any budgetary, time, and upper-management-level constraints.

 
 Posted:   Jun 18, 2008 - 4:29 PM   
 By:   Stefan Miklos   (Member)

Hal Mooney did compose at Universal TV... I remember a segment of NG: "The Tune in Dan's Café".
I like the way he cuts and organizes the KOLCHAK and SIX MILLION DOLLAR MAN cues on these shows. He creates the famous bionic sound effects before the actual series.
He was, as you know, the replacement of Stanley Wilson.

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 16, 2022 - 11:30 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

He was, as you know, the replacement of Stanley Wilson.


I came across this news item in the 31 August 1970 issue of Boxoffice. It looks like Hal Mooney began his tenure at Universal on 24 August 1970.

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 17, 2022 - 6:35 AM   
 By:   Last Child   (Member)

While it's an old post, I agree it's interesting to know more about the names we saw repeated in the credits for decades. And probably everyone is right (even if they sound abit contentious). If most TV music supervisors didn't make a difference, then Mooney was the exception worth discussing, and his earlier work background informed him.

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 17, 2022 - 7:48 AM   
 By:   CindyLover   (Member)

witness a lot of us -or at least me - got first exposed to a Newman by constantly seeing the credit "Music Supervision: Lionel Newman".

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 17, 2022 - 11:35 AM   
 By:   filmusicnow   (Member)

Hal Mooney started out as the heard of A&R and was a recording artist for Mercury Records before he replaced the late Stanley Wilson as Universal's television music supervisor. He also conducted parts of Alex North's score for the television miniseries "Rich Man, Poor Man" when North underwent treatment for prostate cancer at Stanford University, and he was forced to compose parts of the score in his hospital room. Interestingly, Mooney was credited as Harold Mooney on the back of the soundtrack album.

 
 Posted:   Sep 17, 2022 - 1:21 PM   
 By:   Sir David of Barkeley   (Member)

Mooney did arrangements (and swell ones) and conducting for Sarah Vaughan on more than one recording.

 
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