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Star Trek - Original Series The one that started it all...

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Old June 11 2013, 06:21 AM   #16
Harvey
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Re: Fact-Checking Inside Star Trek: The Real Story

Here's one that's easy, since Grace Lee Whitney addresses the Solow/Justman book directly in her own memoir:

When casting was discussed with Gene, the only performers he would stand up for were the actresses with whom he'd had a previous personal relationship: Majel Barrett Nichelle Nichols and Grace Lee Whitney.

--Herb Solow, Inside Star Trek: The Real Story (1996), p.75
Barrett's relationship with Roddenberry is, of course, well known; Nichols' relationship with him is described extensively in the Solow/Justman book, as well as her own memoir. But Whitney flat out denies having any kind of relationship with Roddenberry:

...I never had a romantic relationship with Gene Roddenberry before Star Trek, during Star Trek, or after Star Trek. In fact, before I started working with him on Star Trek, I scarcely knew him in any way that could even be remotely defined as 'personal.'

--Grace Lee Whitney (with Jim Denney), The Longest Trek: My Tour of the Galaxy (1998), p.73
...

I'm slowly listening through the tremendous La-La Land set of the show's original scores, but perhaps someone who is more familiar with the music can tell me if this anecdote lines up with the music on the set:

Business Affairs had prepared a rerun cost schedule indicating who must be paid additional money every time an episode was repeated. It was pointed out that while no musicians would receive rerun fees under the agreement with the American Federation of Musicians, the soprano singer, Loulie Jean Norman, having been hired under a Screen Actors Guild agreement, had to be treated as an actress. She would receive rerun fees.

The money was small, but the issue was huge. If money could be saved for the rest of Star Trek's life by replacing a human sound with an electronic sound, why shouldn't a reasonable management make the change? It was a good argument.

I called [Robert Justman] and told him not to hire the soprano again for the new [second] season. He wasn't happy, but the change was made. Since Sandy Courage never watched the series after the first season, he was totally unaware of the change until we informed him twenty-seven years later.

--Herb Solow, Inside Star Trek: The Real Story (1996), p.351-352
I have the feeling that this is another story that is the result of a hazy memory. The La-La Land set definitely indicates that Norman recorded the main title with Alexander Courage for the second season, during the sessions in which he recorded 30 minutes of library music (although I suppose that doesn't mean it was used, although a wasted recording seems unlikely given how cost-conscious the series was). I know an electric violin version was recorded and used -- but during the early part of the first season, not later as a cost-saving measure.

Could someone with more comprehensive knowledge of the music shed some light on this?
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Old June 11 2013, 03:44 PM   #17
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Re: Fact-Checking Inside Star Trek: The Real Story

Maurice wrote: View Post
We should also be aware this is a memoir, so virtually every dialog in it is a best a paraphrase, because who can really remember exactly what was said in a conversation 30 years hence.
And a lot of them are obviously embellished for humor. Going by this book, these two were the funniest guys in showbiz....
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Old June 12 2013, 01:45 AM   #18
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Re: Fact-Checking Inside Star Trek: The Real Story

Harvey wrote: View Post
Maurice wrote: View Post
Hmmm. Ellison disputes some of their recollections about City, especially about him being drunk, since he doesn't drink.
...
Ellison goes into more detail, but the long and short of it is that he doesn't drink
Verified by Grace Lee Whitney who dated him for a bit. She talks about it in her book (I think that's where I read it) - that she would drink, and he would say "how can you stand that stuff."
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Old June 13 2013, 01:52 AM   #19
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Re: Fact-Checking Inside Star Trek: The Real Story

ssosmcin wrote: View Post
Maurice wrote: View Post
We should also be aware this is a memoir, so virtually every dialog in it is a best a paraphrase, because who can really remember exactly what was said in a conversation 30 years hence.
And a lot of them are obviously embellished for humor. Going by this book, these two were the funniest guys in showbiz....
Of course, while the actual "quotes" might be paraphrased for the sake of fun, I don't doubt Bob Justman's sense of humor. Enough of his internal memos have been published to indicate that even during production he had a dry wit which was legendary. The one which begins with "I am in receipt of a memo from some character using the pseudonym D.C. Fontana" (and then subsequently refering to the name D.C. Fontanta in quotation marks all the way through the rest of the memo) is one that always raises a chuckle from me.

I don't doubt that those guys had a genuine sense of fun and interplay between them. But I agree, the discussions in the book have obviously been embelished for the benefit of making the book entertaining. Nothing wrong with that.
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Old June 13 2013, 02:40 AM   #20
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Re: Fact-Checking Inside Star Trek: The Real Story

Anyone have any further knowledge pertaining to the main title music being changed to eliminate the soprano?
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Old June 13 2013, 03:25 AM   #21
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Re: Fact-Checking Inside Star Trek: The Real Story

Lance wrote: View Post
The one which begins with "I am in receipt of a memo from some character using the pseudonym D.C. Fontana" (and then subsequently refering to the name D.C. Fontanta in quotation marks all the way through the rest of the memo) is one that always raises a chuckle from me.
There aren't any quotation marks around Fontana's name in that memo (see The Making of Star Trek, p. 165). You may be conflating it with a memo referring to first-season story editor John D.F. Black, whom he referred to as John "D.F." Black and jokingly accused of ripping off Dorothy Fontana's initials. I can't seem to find the page that one's on, though.


Harvey wrote: View Post
Anyone have any further knowledge pertaining to the main title music being changed to eliminate the soprano?
All I know is what's on the CD set, which I believe is correct: the first season used the electric-violin version arranged by Courage followed by the cello version arranged by Steiner, and the soprano version arr. Courage was used in season 2 and again (in a new performance conducted by Wilbur Hatch) in season 3. So this seems to be a case where Justman & Solow simply got it wrong.
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Old June 13 2013, 03:40 AM   #22
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Re: Fact-Checking Inside Star Trek: The Real Story

Is it possible they confused a decision about the end title arrangement with the main title? There seems to be several variations on that as well.

I'd check the episodes themselves, but my Blu-Ray sets are in storage (and their soundtracks are not quite the same as the original broadcasts; as far as I know those are only available on Laser Disc, which I don't have access to) and on Netflix the main title is the one newly recorded for the remastered versions in 2006.*

*I think that's the right date.

Solow repeats this story about dropping the soprano version in his Archive of American Television interview (from 2008).
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Old June 13 2013, 03:51 AM   #23
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Re: Fact-Checking Inside Star Trek: The Real Story

Harvey wrote: View Post
Is it possible they confused a decision about the end title arrangement with the main title? There seems to be several variations on that as well.
No, the end title variations correspond to the main title ones -- after all, it would've made sense to record them in the same sessions.


Solow repeats this story about dropping the soprano version in his Archive of American Television interview (from 2008).
Sometimes people forget the order in which two things happened. A while back I saw an interview with Leonard Nimoy from a few years ago in which he talked about his time on Mission: Impossible, and one of the numerous factual errors in his recollections was his claim that Lesley Ann Warren was his co-star in the first of the two seasons he did, when in fact it was the second. Given the choice between an oral account decades after the fact and documentation from the time, you go for the documentation. The people who put together the soundtrack box set had access to the original master tapes, sheet music, documentation, and written records -- that's about as primary a source as it's possible to get. Solow just seems to have been going from memory. There were other claims in the book that he backed up with documents and records from the time, but this doesn't seem to have been one of them. The box set's ordering of the title cues is based on primary documents, so it's the more reliable source.
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Old June 13 2013, 07:13 AM   #24
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Re: Fact-Checking Inside Star Trek: The Real Story

One thing I do like about Inside Star Trek is the almost casually conversational tone of the whole book. While you're reading it, you really do feel like you're at a table with Solow and Justman, just listening to their recollections of events.
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Old June 14 2013, 12:31 PM   #25
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Re: Fact-Checking Inside Star Trek: The Real Story

Harvey wrote: View Post
Anyone have any further knowledge pertaining to the main title music being changed to eliminate the soprano?

The soprano was heard in the main title for the first pilot, but dropped until season 2. They probably just misremembered the timing.
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Old June 14 2013, 02:38 PM   #26
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Re: Fact-Checking Inside Star Trek: The Real Story

Christopher wrote: View Post
Harvey wrote: View Post
Is it possible they confused a decision about the end title arrangement with the main title? There seems to be several variations on that as well.
No, the end title variations correspond to the main title ones -- after all, it would've made sense to record them in the same sessions.
You're right, but for some reason, they switched back to the 2nd season end titles for the last few episodes of the 3rd season.

Sadly none of the video releases restored the electric violin end titles to the episodes that had the e.v. main theme. When the DVDs stuck the first orchestration on the earlier episodes, they left the end credits as the cello version. Not counting Where No Man Has Gone Before, of course, which always carried it before TOS-R. I understand the DVD electric violin version placement isn't correct anyway.

Green Shirt wrote: View Post
The soprano was heard in the main title for the first pilot, but dropped until season 2. They probably just misremembered the timing.
Strange they didn't have documentation for that. Or they were just so certain of their recollections, they didn't bother to check. However, it does seem they misremembered a few things about the music, specifically. Even though we have the CDs now, it was always easy to just pop in an episode to see what music went where and who composed it (i.e. Sandy Courage and the third season).
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Old June 15 2013, 03:12 AM   #27
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Re: Fact-Checking Inside Star Trek: The Real Story

Christopher wrote: View Post
Lance wrote: View Post
The one which begins with "I am in receipt of a memo from some character using the pseudonym D.C. Fontana" (and then subsequently refering to the name D.C. Fontanta in quotation marks all the way through the rest of the memo) is one that always raises a chuckle from me.
There aren't any quotation marks around Fontana's name in that memo (see The Making of Star Trek, p. 165). You may be conflating it with a memo referring to first-season story editor John D.F. Black, whom he referred to as John "D.F." Black and jokingly accused of ripping off Dorothy Fontana's initials. I can't seem to find the page that one's on, though.
You are quite correct Christopher, I definitely appear to have got those two instances mixed up in my mind. It shows how easily it can happen though, I suppose.
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Old June 21 2013, 06:34 PM   #28
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Re: Fact-Checking Inside Star Trek: The Real Story

I case anyone is interested, I've spun off the idea of this thread into a blog. My current plan is to post a new topic once a week, work (and ideas) permitting.

http://startrekfactcheck.blogspot.com/

I've written a handful of things for blogs run by other people, but I've never run a blog myself, so input is always welcome.

I currently have posts on "The Great Phaser Caper," "The Roddenberry-Courage Feud?," and "The Origins of the Stardate System" in the works.
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Old June 21 2013, 06:43 PM   #29
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Re: Fact-Checking Inside Star Trek: The Real Story

Excellent stuff. One thing I wasn't expecting when I started my blog was how interactive it's become, not just with people commenting but also sending informations, scans of material I didn't have and even art inspired by a tounge in cheek attempt to create a rubbish meme. I've found it a good way of restoring my faith in people on the internet and hope you get you get to experience similar support with yours.
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Old June 22 2013, 12:14 AM   #30
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Re: Fact-Checking Inside Star Trek: The Real Story

Harvey wrote: View Post
I case anyone is interested, I've spun off the idea of this thread into a blog. My current plan is to post a new topic once a week, work (and ideas) permitting.

http://startrekfactcheck.blogspot.com/

I've written a handful of things for blogs run by other people, but I've never run a blog myself, so input is always welcome.

I currently have posts on "The Great Phaser Caper," "The Roddenberry-Courage Feud?," and "The Origins of the Stardate System" in the works.
Very cool
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