The McCullochs/Ernest Gold

April 5, 2012


When Monstrous Movie Music known as the source for 50’s science fiction music released the music for The McCulloghs, a story inspired by The Quiet Man and Giant, this reviewer had to ask the question why the departure from the name of your company? David Schecter, founder of the company, quickly pointed out to me that The Intruder, a Herman Stein score, really had nothing to do with science fiction but anti-racism, and other material from Tarzan really had nothing to do with monster music. He further went on to explain that Ernest Gold taught his wife privately and he knew and advised other family members. Having the tapes in his possession, being good friends with Julie Adams, co-star of the picture, and finding Max Baer Jr. producer accessible sealed the deal.


Distributed by American International sealed the fate of the picture as their marketing strategy turned a melodrama dealing with family relationships into an attraction for young people. Renamed The Wild McCullochs and emphasizing cute chicks, hot rods, and other teenage topics the film didn’t fare well at the box office. Max Baer Jr., Jethro from The Beverly Hillbillies, shortened an already brief attempt at producing, directing, and writing. He was typecast. The film co-starred a who’s who of television stars such as Forrest Tucker, Julie Adams, Harold Stone, William Demarest, Don Grady, and Mike Mazurki. The excellent liner notes go into great detail explaining the film.


Ernest Gold approached this assignment like any other and offers the standard Big Country main title which offers a great Americana melody, repeated selectively throughout the soundtrack. The 62 piece orchestra conveyed a bigness of life in Texas complete with romance, patriotism, and an intimate feeling with a banjo and sax offering solos in “The McCullochs Main Title Theme.” The theme is repeated in “Keep on Truckin’which further expands on the main title. This theme stands right beside many of the western themes you’ve heard such as Bonanza, Magnificent Seven, Big Valley, and others. You can also hear the theme in “Montage I” as it is mixed with clever underscore. “’40’s Plus 1-Radio Source” is a swing band arrangement of original Gold material with the brass offering the melody with fine harmony from the woodwinds. “Blues 1” offers a similar sound with a sax starting the music with a solo followed by a trumpet getting his licks. It switches back to the sax getting center stage, a trombone getting his solo time, and ending with true stereo as you hear the wailing sax left channel and the trumpet and trombone contributing solos in the right channel. “Blues 2” has modern sound with electric guitar being featured along with the big band. Since the film takes place in 1949 it is a bridge between the older swing and on the horizon rock and roll. “One Last Beer” gives you a standard sounding country western crying time cue, “Holy Communion” a religious track from the organ, and “Mendelssohn’s Wedding March” needs no explanation. The soundtrack offers intimacy with banjo and harmonica along with expansive sound from the main title, a little something for everyone.


Look for more Gold unreleased material from MMM in the future. This release is limited to 1000 units so I’d purchase sooner rather than later or you might be disappointed.



Track Listing:


1… The McCullochs Main Title Theme (2:20)

2… ’40’s Plus 1-Radio Source (1:53)

3… Keep On Truckin’ (1:49)

4… Get Out (0:35)

5… Goodbye R.J. (0:54)

6… Montage 1 (3:05)

7… Drag Race (1:31)

8… Hay Ride (0:27)

9… I Love You (1:12)

10.. Organ Postlude (0:20)

11.. Holy Communion (0:37)

12.. It’s Your Life (2:10)

13.. Arrest (1:07)

14.. Sentencing (0:50)

15.. Montage 2 (2:07)

16.. Culver & Ali (0:20)

17.. R.J.’s Dead (0:45)

18.. Goodnight Hannah (1:26)

19.. One Last Beer (1:35)

20.. They’re Fighting (0:09)

21.. See A Good One (0:25)

22.. Becky-Becky (0:15)

23.. Let’s Go (0:12)

24.. Beer Break (0:28)

25.. Mendelssohn’s Wedding March (1:52)

Bonus Tracks

26.. Blues 1 (4:31)

27.. Blues 2 (4:29)

28.. The Eyes of Texas (1:30)

29.. Taps (0:38)

Total Time is 39:47



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