In this episode, I am focusing on the music of the most famous and beloved film composer in the world, John Williams. His richly melodic and developed scores have thrilled and stirred audiences for decades, whether accompanying sharks, space ships, wizards or bullwhips. In charting his career and listening for the hallmarks of his style, I wanted to primarily spotlight music before he achieved the superstardom, as well as other movies concurrent to the popular blockbusters that are perhaps less notable or less well-known to general audiences. My aim is to focus a bit more on the John Williams you might not have heard.  

 

Here in part one, I talk about his early career in the 1960's including TV series such as LOST IN SPACE and THE TIME TUNNEL and wacky adult comedies like NOT WITH MY WIFE, YOU DON'T. I continue on to his scores from the 1970's, when the variety of projects expanded along with his musical vernacular. This runs the gamut from THE COWBOYS to THE MAN WHO LOVED CAT DANCING, THE TOWERING INFERNO and THE FURY, all of which showcase Williams's immense compositional range, something often undervalued, along with his ability to perfectly accompany any cinematic story. 

 

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Welcome to the next new episode of the podcast! In this episode, my topic is the unmistakable and always resonant music of the unrivaled, brilliant, often imitated but never duplicated John Barry. His unique and indelible film scores have elevated every project for which he composed, from the James Bond series to DANCES WITH WOLVES and so much wonderful music in between. My focus here is mainly on his music outside of James Bond, since I feel that 007 would deserve his own episode, and how Barry's style evolved from the jazz & pop trends of his day to the lush, sonorous orchestral works that garnered him awards and notoriety, heard in scores such as SOMEWHERE IN TIME and OUT OF AFRICA. 

 

John Barry was born in York, England in 1933 and became steeped in the craft of movie-making thanks to the fact this his father owned several local cinemas, allowing the young Barry to watch, observe and absorb films of all types. His formal music studies led to him to the trumpet, then diving into the world of jazz and pop, expressing all of this during the late 1950's and early 1960's primarily through his own band, The John Barry Seven. In a way, he could be considered one of the first film composers who came from the world of pop music, an early example for current composers such as Danny Elfman and Hans Zimmer, themselves formerly from the pop/rock genre.

 

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