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post Q&A

August 7th, 2008

Filed under: Question & Answer — admin @ 7:06 pm

Q&A

Question from Eileen:

Did Harry Sukman write Annalee’s theme? It’s such a pretty piece and it evokes the wind chimes. I never hear anyone mention it. Thanks!

Answer:

As Susan Sukman McCray reminded me when I asked, “My father always wrote a theme for a character – Manolito, Blue, the Montoyas, Buck, and even a love theme for Sam Butler. All those were written after the pilot.”

The answer about Analee’s theme is somewhat confusing, as Analee appears in the pilot, not in subsequent episodes. The music we so closely identify with all the characters doesn’t exist in the pilot and this includes Analee’s theme. Was the beautiful Analee’s Theme written by Harry Sukman? If it isn’t in the pilot, but is in the later episodes, then it must’ve been. Listen to the music from the pilot that accompanies Analee, and you’ll hear that it’s not the familiar theme we hear throughout the series, especially in the early episodes when the wind chime is used as a symbol of her memory.

The U.S. Copyright catalog lists Analee Cannon, dated 1/16/1966 as a Sukman composition. This is the same time frame as the rest of the Chaparral character themes, so it’s safe to say it was indeed written by Harry Sukman.

This scene from the first half of the pilot episode, Destination Tucson, shows Analee, and the music that accompanies her:

In this scene from Ghost of Chaparral, as Victoria finds and reads Analee’s diary, we hear the beautiful Analee’s Theme that evokes her memory thoughout the series. Notice when Victoria says, “High Chaparral”, the music changes to the opening notes of The High Chaparral theme.

(can’t see or play the video clip? Open the Newsletter in a web browser.)


Question from several folks:

Is The High Chaparral theme music different in season four? It sounds somehow jazzier. Can anyone tell us why?

Listen to the answer from Susan McCray:

(can’t see or play the audio clip? Open the Newsletter in a web browser.)

“In answer to your question about the 4th season of Chaparral’s theme music, all I can tell you is that every new season the theme of a show, especially back then, not now, had to be re-recorded. Sometimes because of that David Rose felt he needed to do something different with it arrangement-wise. He did Little House on the Prairie trying to make it sound more contemporary with a beat the last season. On Bonanza the theme was even changed and on Highway to Heaven it was always sounding differently. So even though we can’t remember exactly how it sounded the fourth year, it is very possible it would’ve sounded differently than the year before and the year before that. By the way that was a musician’s union law that had to be followed back then, that every season, every new year, the theme of a show had to be re-recorded, a new recording of the theme and the end credit. Which now of course we all know that you can’t even hear that any more. So I hope that helps you. He didn’t have to re-arrange it. It could’ve been recorded exactly the same way. But because they were re-doing a whole new recording of it again, he decided to change the arrangement and sometimes other composers did the same. Hope that answers it a little bit.”

Listen to the original, first season theme:

and compare it to the fourth season theme:

(can’t see or play the audio clips? Open the Newsletter in a web browser)


Question from Eileen:

I was watching Ghost of Chaparral last night and, in the scene where Blue and Sam are watching the Mexicans who tied up the Indian, I SWEAR that’s Henry’s voice. The Mexicans are around a fire and talking and Sam and Blue are listening in. Anyway, sure sounds like Henry’s voice. Can’t tell if he’s among the men sitting around the fire–they all have wide-brimmed sombreros on and they are pulled down in front.

Listen to the answer from Susan McCray:

(can’t see or play the audio clip? Open the Newsletter in a web browser.)

“If you hear people speaking Spanish in a crowd scene and you think you’re hearing Henry’s voice, or Rudy Acosta’s voice, they very well may have joined in with the camaraderie of all the people around them. But specifically not as their parts, usually just as being part of crowd noise. As Kent said, ‘walla-walla’.”

Can you hear Henry Darrow or Rudolfo Acosta in the Spanish dialog in this scene from Ghost of Chaparral?


(Can’t see or play the video? Open the newsletter in a web browser.)


Question from Eileen:

I was watching Forge of Hate last week and I wondered if the Apache woman who tends to Dull Knife and frees Two Pony is the same woman who plays Violeta? This only occured to me because I had just recently watched Ten Little Indians. Who IS the woman who plays Violeta? She’s never credited (and neither was the actress who played the Apache woman in Forge of Hate).

Listen to the answer from Susan McCray:


(can’t see or play the audio clip? Open the Newsletter in a web browser.)

“Let me preface my answers to some of these questions by saying many times in Tucson, when we were on location, we hired many, many extras, and gave some of them character names. Some of them were used as voice over in crowd, (walla-walla) and some were used when we would throw a line to someone if necessary. Those kind of people never received screen credit, otherwise we would have had a list a mile long of extras and people that we hired locally that we certainly didn’t take from L.A.”


Question from Eileen:

I was SHOCKED to discover that John was singing La Gallina with Mano in a recent episode (North to Tucson) They were out riding together) and there was that rich baritone of Leif’s right along with Henry.

Listen to the answer from Susan McCray:

(can’t see or play the audio clip? Open the Newsletter in a web browser.)

Leif Erickson did sing Old Man River at our home, at my parent’s home, when they had a big New Year’s Eve party. He was an incredible singer, had a beautiful voice, as you can tell because he had such a gorgeous speaking voice. But, my father was sitting at the piano, my mother was sitting at the organ playing some of her favorite songs, everyone was singing. All of a sudden Leif got up and said, “Harry, would you please accompany me? I want to sing a song.” And he got up and started singing Old Man River. My father, of course, accompanied him beautifully, and there was just something so dramatic, being the great actor he was, especially at the end of the song – but Old Man River, he just keeps rolling along. It just seemed to me…it just put goose bumps on your arms, legs, just to hear him sing it. I wish there was a recording of it, because I certainly would love to hear it again. But there isn’t. I have it in my memory.”

You can hear Leif Erickson singing La Gallina in this short clip from North to Tucson:



(can’t see or play the video clip? Open the Newsletter in a web browser.)

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