It was wonderful of Gary Gerani (author of one of my favorite books, Fantastic Television) to call and ask me to contribute to his long-in-the-making documentary on composer Billy Goldenberg. Billy wrote some of TV’s greatest themes and TV-movie scores, including the Night Gallery pilot, Steven Spielberg’s Duel, Ransom for a Dead Man, Harry O, Kojak, Queen of the Stardust Ballroom, and so many more. (Here is my 2020 obituary, written for Variety.) I am on screen as well as such luminaries as directors Spielberg and John Badham, actors Robert Wagner and Susan Clark, among others, discussing Goldenberg’s music and his impact on (especially) 1970s television. You can find this on Kino Lorber’s Blu-Ray of The UFO Incident.
This was another favorite assignment. Most of this 5-CD set consists of TV-movie scores composed by some of the greats of the ’60s and ’70s: Lalo Schifrin (Earth II), Dave Grusin (Assignment: Vienna), Leonard Rosenman (The Phantom of Hollywood), Don Ellis (The Deadly Tower), Billy Goldenberg (High Risk), Jerry Fielding (Shirts / Skins) and George Duning (…Then Came Bronson). Throw in a TV-episode score by Johnny Williams (for The Eleventh Hour), George Romanis’ theme for Assignment: Munich and Richard Chamberlain’s vocal from Dr. Kildare and you really do have a potpourri of great TV music from 1962 to 1976. It was especially exciting to revisit Grusin’s three jazzy scores for the short-lived Robert Conrad spy series Assignment: Vienna (part of The Men trilogy on ABC, 1972-73) and Schifrin’s wonderful score for the Earth II pilot of 1971.