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Saddle the Wind (1958)
Music by Jeff Alexander, Elmer Bernstein
Saddle the Wind Saddle the Wind
Click to enlarge images.
Price: $19.95
Limited #: 3000
View CD Page at SAE Store
Line: Golden Age
CD Release: October 2004
Catalog #: Vol. 7, No. 15
# of Discs: 1

Released by Special Arrangement with Turner Classic Movies Music

Saddle the Wind (1958) was a psychological western demonstrating the effect of television on the long-established western genre, with a screenplay by no less than Rod Serling (The Twilight Zone). Robert Taylor starred as an ex-gunfighter-turned-rancher whose younger brother (John Cassavetes) threatens the peace with his thirst for violence. Under Serling's thoughtful writing, typical western tropes are subverted as brother must fight brother, with a surprising result.

The score to Saddle the Wind was by Elmer Bernstein—two years away from his most famous western work, The Magnificent Seven. Bernstein's score is in keeping with the film's "anti-western" style, providing a somber and pensive mood, but not without exciting flourishes and "big sky" moments. Bernstein provides his own melodies for the characters, in addition to utilizing the title song, which was composed by the songwriting team of Jay Livingston and Ray Evans ("Bonanza") and sung over the main title by Julie London (who plays the love interest in the film).

Bernstein was not the first composer to score Saddle the Wind—a fact unknown to him until production of this album. M-G-M's Jeff Alexander was the original composer and recorded a score in its entirety; the film was subsequently recut so extensively as to require new music. (This is presumably the reason for the change of composer—the actual fact is lost to time.) Alexander's score is similar to Bernstein's in its emphasis on mood with sudden orchestral violence, with its own set of themes.

This CD features both Bernstein's and Alexander's complete scores in the best-possible monaural sound, as they were recorded. The title song, "Saddle the Wind," is presented in stereo in its original arrangement by Andre Previn, never before heard. (The film utilizes the Liberty Records version which is not included here for licensing reasons, although it has been released on various Julie London albums.) Liner notes by Jeff Bond and Lukas Kendall explain the differences between the scores as much as possible.

Jeff Alexander Scores on FSM
About the Composer

Jeff Alexander (1910–1989) was a staff composer and arranger at M-G-M in the 1950s who wrote a great amount of television music in the 1960s and ‘70s (much of it also at M-G-M). His feature scores encompassed everything from westerns (Escape From Fort Bravo) to Elvis movies (Jailhouse Rock), dramas, comedies, musicals and everything else under the sun. IMDB

Elmer Bernstein Scores on FSM
About the Composer

Elmer Bernstein (1922–2004) had a Hollywood career that lasted over a half a century; invented and reinvented himself as a composer across several genres (jazz, epics, westerns, comedies and adult dramas); and scored more than a few Hollywood classics—The Ten Commandments, The Magnificent Seven, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Great Escape and Airplane! to name but five. FSM has released a dozen of his scores and counting, but the most popular may be Heavy Metal (1981)—don't be fooled by the title, it's Elmer's "Star Wars." In addition to his prolific work as a composer, Bernstein was a tireless champion of film music as an art form, serving on the boards of several professional organizations and in the 1970s recording his own LP series of classic Hollywood scores, Elmer Bernstein's Film Music Collection, released by FSM as a 12-CD box set. IMDB

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Track List
Click on each musician name for more credits

Leader (Conductor):
Jeff Alexander, Elmer Bernstein, Andre Previn

Sam Fiedler, Sam Freed, Jr., Werner L. Gebauer, Mort Herbert, Arnold T. Jurasky, Bernard Kundell, Joy Lyle (Sharp), Arthur Maebe, Sr., Lisa Minghetti, Irving Prager, Lou Raderman, Dorothy M. Wade (Sushel), Byron Williams

Cecil Figelski, Allan Harshman, Virginia Majewski, Reuben Marcus

Alexander Borisoff, Julian Kahn, Raphael "Ray" Kramer, Michel Penha

George F. Boujie, Louis Previati, Arthur Shapiro

Arthur Gleghorn

Arnold Koblentz

George Auld, Gus Bivona, Alex Gershunoff, Don Lodice (Logiudice), Hugo Raimondi

Charles A. Gould

French Horn:
John W. "Jack" Cave, Vincent DeRubertis, Herman Lebow

Uan Rasey, Joe Triscari, James C. Zito

Nick DiMaio, Herb Taylor, Simon Zentner

Max Rabinowitsh, Milton Raskin

Vincent Terri

Catherine Gotthoffer (Johnk)

Frank L. Carlson, Mel Pedesky, D. V. Seber

Orchestra Manager:
James C. Whelan

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