Victor Young at Paramount

April 23, 2014

victor young at paramount





I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Victor Young is the most unappreciated composer that Hollywood has ever had. He was an assembly line producing score after score with songs that have become standards. Bill Evans, a favorite of mine in the jazz world, recorded Young compositions and turned them into jazz standards. Henry Mancini, who Victor Young helped get a start in Hollywood, wrote an incredible suite of his hits and reintroduced many to his talents.
APPOINTMENT WITH DANGER (1950) starred Alan Ladd, Phyllis Thaxter, Harry Morgan, and Jack Webb. Ladd was a postal agent attempting to break up a million dollar robbery. Thaxter was a nun who saw more than she should have and Webb and Morgan played thugs. The movie which is free to watch on the internet will really help you understand the score. The “Prelude” which is included as an audio clip sets the tone for the picture with train motion a military theme and a sentimental theme for the relationship between Ladd and Thaxter. Source material music is prevalent which includes “ Tantum Ergo,” a child choir, “Symphony No. 1,” a Young arrangement of Brahms 1st Symphony, a scene where the radio is turned up, and “Lonely Am I/Slow Bus to Memphis” a bop number and a slow dance tune which are played on records. All of this shows the versatility of Young and his attention to details. The underscore material is well written and certainly of interest.
THE ACCUSED (1949) had a controversial story for its day dealing with a student who sexually attacks his teacher is killed in self defense but the teacher not only tries to cover it up but falls in love with his best friend. May I say it is a typical Loretta Young melodrama? Robert Cummings, Wendell Corey, and Sam Jaffe also star. The theme is a pretty one with a style that will make you recognize his compositions Golden Earrings and Stella By Starlight.
SEPTEMBER AFFAIR (1950) had a bit of a twist in the plot where a plane crash allows two lovers in there autumn years to disappear into the sunset. It starred Joseph Cotton, Joan Fontaine, and Jessica Tandy. Part of the score was the famous song September Song (Weill/Anderson) which Young nicely incorporates into six of the cues. This is a beautiful song lushly done with his singing strings, Young’s trademark when he recorded for Decca records. Other tracks feature a travel log of European sounds from Italy and other countries.
Fans of Victor Young will welcome these new soundtracks as a welcome addition to their collections. The average soundtrack collector will likely pass on this release as we can’t have everything. This release is limited to 1000 copies. Sound quality is fine for films made in the late forties and fifties.

Track listing:

1. Prelude (1:13)
2. Ferrar Enters the Act (1:18)
3. Tantum Ergo (Traditional)/Organ (2:14)
4. Soderquist’s Swan Song/Ferrar’s Bad Manners (1:16)
5. Goddard Plays Guinea Pig (1:54)
6. Symphony No. 1 (excerpt) (Brahms) (1:54)
7. Lonely Am I (Lilley)/Slow Bus to Memphis (1:35)
8. The Ferrar Chase/Bridge to Hotel (2:23)
9. The Clever Defense/The Boner (2:08
10. Regas Follows Nun (Bridge) (1:07)
11. The Mail Robbery (2:57)
12. The Short Straw (1:06)
13. Cops and Robbers (3:48)
14. Finale and End Cast (0:39)
15. Prelude (1:08)
16. Shimmer/Bill’s Guardian (1:32)
17. The Convalescent (1:30)
18. The Vacant Chair (2:15)
19. Cocktail Lounge–Radio Music (2:00)
20. Cyclothymiac Cutie/Hall of Justice (2:18)
21. Gypsy Violins (1:35)
22. Heart to Heart Talk (4:45)
23. End Title (0:35)
Tracks 15-23 from THE ACCUSED
24. Rome 1948 (1:43)
25. The Naples Tour (2:17)
26. Pompeii Tour* (2:08)
27. Capri Tour* (5:42)
28. The Letter** (1:47)
29. Avenue of Obscurity** (2:11)
30. The Telegram**/The New Love and the Old* (3:24)
31. Maria**/Return Home and Finale* (3:15)

*includes “September Song” by Kurt Weill and Maxwell Anderson
**based on “September Song” by Kurt Weill and Maxwell Anderson
Tracks 24-31 from SEPTEMBER AFFAIR





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