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Saturday, September 2, 2017

Musical Interlude

This Labor Day Weekend, enjoy this classic of Retro easy listening composed by Max Steiner (1888-1971), "the father of film music," and conducted by Percy Faith (1908-1976):

The above recording of "Theme from A Summer Place" won the Grammy Award for record of the year in 1961 and was the first movie theme and the first instrumental to win a Record of the Year Grammy.


  1. Percy Faith and Roger Williams were staple music fare when we were kids. A nice memory.

    1. Bunkerville,
      Roger Williams! I still have a couple of his vinyls.

  2. Constance Ford's performance as The Wife and Mother from Hell was magnificent. Arthur Kennedy's as a drunken, bitter, aristocrat manqué was almost as good. Dorothy McGuire was always agreeable on screen if ever compelling, and Richard Egan, I guess, could best be described as adequate in his role as the frustrated full-blooded, life-loving husband of a hostile, frigid wife.

    I have always detested Sandra Dee from the day she arroved in the screen, and my respect for Troy Donohue as an actor was –– and has remained – nil.

    Nevertheless, this soap opera set on a romantic, once-exclusive, now decaying island resort off the coast of Maine, is still fun to watch, if you've nothing better to do on a rainy aftternoon or humdrum weekday night.

    I think the original orchestration used in them movie is better than this rather shrill arrangement by Percy Faith.

    1. FT,
      I think the original orchestration used in them movie is better than this rather shrill arrangement by Percy Faith.

      Perhaps. But this version won the Grammy.

      I haven't watched the film in ages. It's a raining Saturday here, so maybe the film will appear on one of the cable channels.

  3. Something Important that I omitted and have now added to the body of the blog post:

    composed by Max Steiner (1888-1971), "the father of film music".

    Check out this list of films for which Steiner composed!

    From this source:

    Steiner came to Hollywood in 1929 and remained there for 42 years, during which he worked, sometimes as conductor or arranger, sometimes as both, but principally as composer. His record is unparalleled; it includes music for: KING KONG, OF HUMAN BONDAGE, THE INFORMER, THE GARDEN OF ALLAH, THE LETTER, DARK VICTORY, SINCE YOU WENT AWAY, THE BIG SLEEP, THE FOUNTAINHEAD, SERGEANT YORK, THE CHARGE OF THE LIGHT BRIGADE, A STAR IS BORN, THE LIFE OF EMILE ZOLA, GONE WITH THE WIND, A SUMMER PLACE, NOW VOYAGER, THE GLASS MENAGERIE, CASABLANCA, THE CAINE MUTINY.


  4. Percy Faith is someone whose music I very much enjoy and listen to him frequently. I think he is best-known for this 1960 song, which charted as a number-one single. Percy Faith was identified with the easy-listening music of the 1950s and 1960s even though his career spanned five decades in radio, television, movies, Broadway, and live concerts. As the musical director of Columbia Records in the 1950s, Faith also arranged and conducted hit records by Tony Bennett, Doris Day, Johnny Mathis, and Sarah Vaughan.

    As a young man, Faith’s future as a concert pianist seemed promising until an accident derailed his plans at the age of eighteen. When his younger sister’s clothing caught on fire, Faith put out the flames with his hands. This saved his sister’s life but damaged his hands so badly that he couldn’t play the piano for nine months. So, although the accident spurred his interests in arranging and composing, Faith eventually dropped out of the Toronto Conservatory of Music without finishing his degree. Yet, he has brought me much in the way of listening pleasure.

    1. Mustang,
      Thank you, my friend, for pointing out those details about Percy Faith's career. Few today have a clue as to how much good influence the man had!

      When his younger sister’s clothing caught on fire, Faith put out the flames with his hands.

      A hero -- in my book. And he "made lemonade out of lemons." For the benefit and enjoyment of many.

    2. Yes, Mustang! The Big Bands, Glenn Miller, Benny Goodman, Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey, Paul Whitman, Percy Faith. André Kostelanetz, Nelson Riddle, Mantovani, The Melachrino Strings, 101 Strings, Tony Mottloa, Spike Jines, tLes Briwn and His band of Renown, he myriad Jukebox singers from The Andrews Sisters, through Kagte Smith, Helen O'Connell, Margaret Whiting, Judy Garland, Bea Wain, Patti Paige, Dinah Shore, Betty Hutton, Theresa Brewer, Rosemary Clooney, Doris Day, Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, Hoagie Carmichael, Tony Bennett, Frankie Laine, Vaughan Monroe, The Modernaires, and many others made driving a great pleasure as we listened to our car radios, and housework a breeze for homemakers.

      I loved them all, and remember them well.


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