Les Baxter: Exotic and Dramatic!

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Composer Les Baxter (1922-1996) had a flair for colorful, dramatic music. He created "exotica" classics like "Quiet Village," arrangements for the extraordinary singer Yma Sumac, and one of the first pop recordings to feature the keening, electronic sound of the theremin. Baxter also wrote inventive film scores, mostly for genre movies such as "House of Usher," "Panic in Year Zero!," "Beach Blanket Bingo" and many, many more.

Recently there's been a renaissance of interest in and enthusiasm for Les Baxter's film music, and a flurry of scores thought lost have been issued on CD. In 1990 David Garland interviewed Baxter extensively, and on this show presents the film score-related highlights from that interview, plus music Baxter composed for the films mentioned above, as well as "Black Sabbath," "Hell's Belles," "The Dunwich Horror" and other genre classics.

The Comedy of Terrors (Full movie)

Pit and the Pendulum

"The Dunwich Horror" music

"Panic in Year Zero!" Trailer