Summer TV Reruns: Music from TV Classics of the 1960s

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Saturday, July 20, 2013

Family watching television in 1958. (National Archives)

In ye olden days of television, back when viewing choices were limited to ten or so channels (plus maybe a couple more in the snowy UHF hinterland), the three networks would air repeats during the summer. This allowed TV producers some nice beach time, and gave viewers their second chance to watch their favorite shows on the fleeting, ephemeral medium of television.

During that bygone era, the music composed for TV shows was surprisingly witty and adventurous, and David Garland will rerun some it for you. There are now more soundtracks for 1960s television available than ever, and as original soundtracks become available they reveal the experimentalism and lyricism that characterized that decade. We hear music by John Williams for "Lost in Space" and "Checkmate"; Laurie Johnson and Howard Blake for "The Avengers"; Jerry Goldsmith for "Dr. Kildare"; The BBC Radiophonic Workshop for "Dr. Who"; Pete Rugulo for "The Fugitive"; George Duning for "Then Came Bronson"; and more.

Comments [5]

joe sik from Berkeley, CA

An even more delightful show than usual, David. Like you, I spent many formative hours in front of the tube, often listening to reruns in the background while drawing or doing other things. So the music came even more to the fore. But revisiting these old shows confirms the heavy lifting the composers did on behalf of the drama onscreen. The production values and performances weren't always up to today's standards, but the music surely filled in the gaps!

Jul. 29 2013 05:36 PM
Gregg from Astoria Queens NY

You mentioned Doctor Who in your program notes, David. However which one? Including the new series, there are a total of eleven of them, each with their own original themes.

Jul. 21 2013 10:52 PM
joe salerno from Richmond, TX

David, Howabout Radio on the Radio? I would point out the existence of a CD of the original music from the Lone Ranger radio show. Cinedisc Intersound CDC 1019. Vintage AND modern recordings. Much of this music was also used in the TV show. It's a lot better than what has been heard in the movie theaters recently.

I enjoyed the show last night. Listening on line from Richmond, TX.

Jul. 21 2013 10:47 AM
Robert from Queens, NY

Some very good and unusual music on this program tonight. But where is the playlist, here? Mention was made of a double CD recently released, containing the music that was played at approximately 9:50PM. What was it?

Jul. 20 2013 10:40 PM

"Movies on the radio", TV on the radio all very very boring and should be somewhere else on the dial (if at all). Time to turn my radio OFF.

Jul. 20 2013 09:46 PM

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