The Music of Forgotten Horrors/Chudnow

January 4, 2013


Do the names Abe Meyer (1901-1969) and David Chudnow (1902-2002) mean anything to you? When was the last time you saw a PRC picture? Chudnow was the musical director for PRC writing many scores as well as using Abe Meyer Synchronizing Service, a company that provided pre-recorded material to fit whatever kind of music your film needed. Meyer tried to break in on his own as a musical director for one of the smaller studios without success, thus the starting up of his company. This is what this CD from Michael Price is all about. Price has written volumes about many of these films and is now offering some of the cues on CD for the very first time. If you’re a fan of these ‘B’ films, serials, and early television you’ll recognize some of them on your very first listen. As Price says the cues are prefilm and thus are “unindexed to any specific film.

Highlights of the CD include “Men of Steel” which might lead one into believing that it could be a superhero cue? Wrong. It sounds like it is the background for a street scene that takes place in the Orient. The strings begin with a pentatonic style as the brass offer a somewhat complex melody. “Eerie Night” is a cue where I do recognize the theme from episodes of the Lone Ranger radio program. The cue is divided into a prelude and theme consisting of mostly strings. I’ve included an audio clip of this track. eerie night “Parade of the Tumblers” is not really a horror cue but more in the category of cartoon style music. It offers a prelude, main theme, and then a return to the prelude again. The middle section offers a melody from the brass. “Crime Doesn’t Pay” certainly fits the name as it is certainly in the classification of being melodramatic. “Dark of the Moon” is a brief cue in the category of a tension builder that could fit a variety of melodramatic situations. “Beguine” is a number that could fit any number of dance, night club, or bar situations. It is played sweet band style.

While all of the cues are listenable there is nothing memorable enough for you to remember with the possible exception of “Eerie Night.” The sound quality is definitely put into the category of archival, what you might expect from a recording of these cues, but then you probably knew that going in. There is surface noise, pops, and considerable warbling on some of the tracks. Price says there will be further volumes in the future as he is in the process of editing cues at the time of this writing. I can only recommend this CD to the ardent lover of the ‘B’ films. You can’t consider this as a standard compilation purchase.

Track Listing:

1… Crime Does Not Pay (2:44)

2… Parade of the Tumblers (2:50)

3… P.O. Prune (2:21)

4… Pillars of Hercules (3:00)

5… Beguine (2:26)

6… Dismal Swamp (2:42)

7… Confusion (1:15)

8… Rebellion and General Havoc (1:30)

9… Disorder (1:18)

10. Tell Tale Heart (2:23)

11. Eerie Night (3:00) (included as an audio clip)

12. The Ghost Walks (1:33)

13. Dramatique (1:00)

14. Stealthy Footsteps (1:44)

15. Tumult and Commotion (1:18)

16. Men of Steel (1:29)

17. Condemned (2:54)

18. Dark of the Moon (:42)

19. Repose (:54)

20. Vigil (:42)

21. Hypertension (:43)

22. Bridge #1 (:18)

23. Bridge #2 (:30)

24. Bridge #3 (:12)

25. Bridge #4 (:25)

26. Bridge #5 (:15)

Total Time is 41:31




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