Old Radio Signature Themes

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MaestroDJS
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Old Radio Signature Themes

Post by MaestroDJS » Mon May 16, 2005 5:08 am

During the weekend I visited my father, and we had a little trivia game about which classical pieces became old radio signature themes.

Some examples:

The Big Story -- Richard Strauss: Ein Heldenleben
The Count of Monte Cristo -- Leo Delibes: Sylvia
Sergeant Preston of the Yukon -- Emil Nikolaus von Reznicek: Donna Diana Overture

Then my father had a reverse question signature question. As a child in the late 1930s and early 1940s, he heard a radio signature theme which many years later he recognized as the fanfare-like phrases in Pohjola's Daughter by Jean Sibelius. It occured just after the introduction and just before the finale. However my father can't remember which radio program featured it, if any. Might anyone in this forum know?

Dave

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dirkronk
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Post by dirkronk » Mon May 16, 2005 8:58 am

Sorry, Maestro, don't know the Sibelius/radio program connection your father alludes to. The most famous and obvious radio theme (TV too) must surely be the last movement of the William Tell for the Lone Ranger. As with the Sgt. Preston of the Yukon, however, we often forget that there was a lot of scene music not associated with the opening/closing themes, and often these derived from classical works...often harder to pinpoint.

The TV-only theme that wasn't lifted from classical, but whose opening bars I felt MUST have been stylistically copied from Beethoven's Coriolanus O'ture, was the music for Perry Mason.

:D

Dirk

jbuck919
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Post by jbuck919 » Mon May 16, 2005 10:09 am

Well, I know that the show I Love a Mystery used Sibelius' Valse Triste. How do I know that?

http://www.old-time.com/themes.html

Which I'm sure Dave, who leaves no stone unturned, has already discovered. :)

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Wallingford
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Post by Wallingford » Mon May 16, 2005 11:24 am

Wow, I'm glad this thread was started.....I was considering devoting one to a niggling little question regarding a Prokofiev theme:

The THIRD MOVEMENT of the "Classical" Symphony....when my mother overheard it on my first record of the work, she distinctly remembered it as being the theme to some old-time radio show.

Now, I know the same composer's "March" from Love For Three Oranges was used for another radio show (which I can't think of), but not the Gavotte mentioned above.
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Richard
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Post by Richard » Mon May 16, 2005 4:29 pm

I have some old radio recordings of the Lone Ranger, with Brace Beamer. Dirk is correct, they used several classical music works in the episodes other than William Tell. I heard a lot of Mendelssohn's Herbrides Overature and Liszt"s "Les Preludes", as well.
I am old enough to remember listening to radio programs in the early 1950's. I know I heard programs, in their introductions, using music from:
* Grofe's "Grand Canyon Suite".
* Brahms "Double Concerto".
I cannot remember the associated programs for the above. Maybe you can help me out. The Grand Canyon Suite music possibly was from either "Death Valley Days" (on the radio)..or possibly from "Red Ryder"..but my memory does not serve me well. The Brahm's Double Concerto could have been from a soap opera which my sister used to listen to.

Sporkadelic
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Post by Sporkadelic » Mon May 16, 2005 7:54 pm

Wallingford wrote:Now, I know the same composer's "March" from Love For Three Oranges was used for another radio show (which I can't think of), but not the Gavotte mentioned above.
The FBI in Peace and War is the show in question, so I'm told. (I am not quite old enough to remember it myself!)

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Post by Ralph » Mon May 16, 2005 8:26 pm

Quite a few of these old-time radio shows are available on both cassette and CD. I have a small collection and I always take a bunch of them on an infrequent long car trip.
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Post by Corlyss_D » Mon May 16, 2005 8:37 pm

XM Radio has a channel devoted to OTR shows.
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david gideon
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more themes

Post by david gideon » Mon May 16, 2005 9:13 pm

There's an extensive listing of old radio themes here:

http://classicthemes.com/oldTimeRadioTh ... eList.html

The only sibelius though is the Valse Triste.

dg

Coriolan

Post by Coriolan » Tue May 17, 2005 7:34 pm

Richard wrote:I have some old radio recordings of the Lone Ranger, with Brace Beamer. Dirk is correct, they used several classical music works in the episodes other than William Tell. I heard a lot of Mendelssohn's Herbrides Overature and Liszt"s "Les Preludes", as well.
There were two more pieces of music that along with what you named made up most of the music on the Lone Ranger series and they were part of the overture to 'Martha' by Flowtow and part of the overture to Rienzi by Wagner. Gee, tuning into the Lone Ranger was almost like listening to a classical music concert. Maybe that's why the series ran so long, good music.....

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Post by Auntie Lynn » Tue May 17, 2005 9:19 pm

I think Drigo's Serenade from Harlequin's Millions was used for one of the soaps - also In the Gloaming...?? Also, wasn't David Rose the conductor on the Red Skelton Show? He wrote a ton of good stuff - Holiday for Strings, Our Waltz, etc. etc. Some of it was just gawjus...

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Post by Auntie Lynn » Thu May 19, 2005 9:38 pm

I think there was a classical music program on Sunday nights that used the Franck Symphony in d minor - and didn't the Firestone program use a couple of Ms. Firestone's compositions, which actually weren't that bad. That Classic Arts Showcase on cable features a lot of this stuff...

Donald Isler
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Post by Donald Isler » Thu May 19, 2005 11:55 pm

On WQXR (New York):

Horowitz playing Schumann's Arabesque as the theme for Piano Personalities, a show that ran for years and years on weekday mornings. Several times a day's program featured both Robert Goldsand and Bruce Hungeford, and I (quite selfishly) decided it was in my honor since I think I'm the only person who studied with both of them.

Themes for Rosenkavalier were used by Jacques Frey for his afternoon program when I was a child.

Karl Haas playing the slow movement of the Pathetique Sonata on his program.
Donald Isler

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Post by Donald Isler » Fri May 20, 2005 11:14 am

Also, Mendelssohn's Spinning Song, played, I think, by Rachmaninoff, on Joe Patrych and Bruce Posner's old program Concert Grand, a mainstay of WFUV in New York, before that station got rid of classical music (and my listenership!).
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lmpower
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Post by lmpower » Sun Jun 26, 2005 6:54 am

I seem to remember that the Lone Ranger used Liszt's "Les Preludes" at particularly dramatic moments.

Scott Morrison
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Post by Scott Morrison » Sun Jun 26, 2005 7:36 am

Not radio, but early television: Gounod's Funeral March of a Marionette for the Alfred Hitchcock show.

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