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Kung Fu/Man in the Wilderness (1973/1971)
Music by Johnny Harris, Jim Helms
Kung Fu/Man in the Wilderness Kung Fu/Man in the Wilderness Kung Fu/Man in the Wilderness
Click to enlarge images.
Price: $14.95
Limited #: N/A
View CD Page at SAE Store
Line: Silver Age
CD Release: November 2010
Catalog #: Vol. 13, No. 15
# of Discs: 1

FSM debuts on CD two LPs released on Warner Bros. Records in the early 1970s: Kung Fu (1973) and Man in the Wilderness (1971).

Kung Fu was a highly successful ABC-TV series starring David Carradine as a Chinese-American Shaolin priest who, having accidently killed the Chinese emperor’s nephew, finds himself a fugitive in the American West. Flashbacks to Carradine’s early training with his Chinese mentors, Master Po and Master Kan, were a unique feature of each show.
One of the series’ most evocative elements was its music—composed, arranged and conducted by Jim Helms. Using a modest, string-based ensemble augmented by “exotic” colors like recorder and harpsichord and rare percussion instruments such as Chinese temple bells and waterphone, Helms created a unique but subdued background for the show’s unusual blend of Western action and Eastern philosophy. Each episode also featured the series’ evocative signature tune, which the producer called “one of the prettiest themes in the history of television.”
After the success of the first season, Warner Bros. Records issued a “concept album” LP with music and dialogue from the show. Helms re-recorded his score with a larger (45-piece) orchestra for the music-only selections and an 8-piece ensemble for the dialogue tracks. This FSM re-release features authoritative notes by Jon Burlingame, including excerpts from interviews with Helms and several of his colleagues.
Man in the Wilderness was a gritty and violent survival movie starring Richard Harris as a grievously wounded fur trapper who fights his way back from near-death only to find a new peace with himself and his foes. To score the film, Harris chose his friend Johnny Harris (no relation), who had worked as an arranger and conductor on some of the actor’s pop vocal albums. The music is often spare, always moody and evocative, and occasionally muscular—the robust march which opens the film is balanced by a gentle and reflective theme (introduced on a music box) for the principal character. There is also a pioneering use of synthesizer in the music for the Arikara Indians. Liner notes by Jeff Bond and Alexander Kaplan include new interview comments by the composer.
Both scores have been newly remastered from the original 1/4" stereo album tapes. The 28-page booklet designed by Joe Sikoryak includes original album art and liner notes, plus the usual informative track-by-track commentary. FSM is proud to make these rare soundtracks available once again, in the best possible sound and at an affordable (not collectors’) price.


Johnny Harris Scores on FSM
About the Composer

Johnny Harris was born in Scotland and graduated from the Guildhall School of Music in London. Beginning as a professional trumpeter, he soon transitioned into a celebrated career as arranger/conductor/composer/musical director for such performers as Tom Jones, Dame Shirley Bassey, Paul Anka, Diana Ross and many others. Apart from a few features early in his career (Fragment of Fear, 1970; Man In the Wilderness, 1971), he has focused primarily on composing for television (The New Adventures of Wonder Woman, 1978-79; The Powers of Matthew Star, 1982-83). IMDB

Jim Helms Scores on FSM
About the Composer

Jim Helms (1933-1991) was a professional studio guitarist, recording albums in the 1960s both under his own name and working as a guitarist/arranger with such pop and country artists as Rick Nelson, Randy Sparks and Rod McKuen. In partnership with singer-producer-songwriter Gary LeMel, he scored television commercials and low-budget films beginning in the late ‘60s, but his most notable and memorable work was his music for the ABC television series Kung Fu (1972-73). IMDB

Comments (42):Log in or register to post your own comments
Kung Fu (Jim Helms) / Man in the Wilderness (Johnny Harris) Classics on one CD!!
Film Score Monthly debuts these two 1970s lp releases.

Terrific cover! I love the FSM artwork team.

Can't believe it. So happy. MITW finally.

Wonderful, what a superb start to the week.

Two of my all time favorite albums, on ONE cd and at a very reasonable price.

Thanks folks, this is another "Dream come true".

"As quickly as you can, snatch the pennies from my hand"

Wow, Great release. After Jeremiah Johnson we get Man in the wildernes and added to that the music from Kung fu !!! Thanks for this wonderfull gem and yes the covers are great. Looking forward to this...

somebody wake Dave Coscina from hibernation

Can't believe it. So happy. MITW finally.[/endquote]

I believe that the LP was only issued in Great Britain.

GREATS RELEASES AGAIN from FSM and a beautifull picture COVER of late DAVID CARRADINE magnificent Kwai Chang Caine.

Wow! I've been wanting a quality CD issue of Kung Fu. Maybe someday we'll get a release of the original tracks from the series.

Great price, too. :)

Greg Espinoza

This is a very nice release, my order will be going in, thanks FSM!

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Track List
Click on each musician name for more credits

Leader (Conductor):
James H. Helms

Murray Adler, Harry Bluestone, Bette Byers (La Magna) (Marks), Bonnie J. Douglas (Shure), Baldassare Ferlazzo, Ronald P. Folsom, James Getzoff, Nathan Kaproff, William Kurasch, Robert C. Lipsett, Joseph Livoti, Sam Ross, Ralph Schaeffer, Polly Sweeney, Gerald Vinci, Tibor Zelig

Samuel Boghossian, Phillip Goldberg, Myra Kestenbaum, Alex Neiman, Gareth D. Nuttycombe, David Schwartz

Jesse Ehrlich, Raymond J. Kelley, Jerome Kessler, Raphael "Ray" Kramer

Mort Klanfer, Stephens LaFever

Richard H. Anderson, Bernard Fleischer, Robert Hardaway, Arthur C. Smith, Sheridon W. Stokes

French Horn:
David A. Duke, Alan I. Robinson

William B. Peterson, Uan Rasey

Michael A. Lang

Denzil (Gail) Laughton

Larry Bunker, Frank J. Flynn, Emil Radocchia (Richards), Kenneth E. Watson, Jerry D. Williams, Robert J. Zimmitti

James H. Helms

Orchestra Manager:
Kurt E. Wolff

J. Gus Donahue, Dan Franklin, Arthur W. Grier, Bill Williams (aka George Davenport)

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