Discussion in 'Star Trek - Original Series' started by Harvey, Aug 11, 2012.
From Lukas Kendall at FSM:
The thread on the FSM boards:
Hmm, then that leaves me wondering about Huston's claim. I mean, I don't think he was a big Trek fan or trying to impress anyone. I mean, I'm the Trekkie in my family; my father was neutral toward it, and he was the one Huston told, as was the Enquirer.
Maybe Huston misremembered and it was a different series from the '60s that he did it for. Or maybe he just assisted Courage with some of the arrangements for those two episodes? If he was Courage's arranger for those episodes and the Voyage episodes, but not the TOS pilot and first-season scores, that could explain the similarities and differences cited above.
JimZipCode, Scott Huston isn't someone who would've been known as a film/TV composer. He was mainly a composer of orchestral and choral music (and one opera) and a longtime member of the CCM faculty. He did write the music for a locally produced TV documentary series about Cincinnati history back in the '80s -- probably 1988, since that was the city's 200th anniversary -- and that's probably around the time he was interviewed in the Enquirer.
Anyway, thanks to OneBuckFilms and Lukas Kendall for clearing this up for me. I can't say I'm not disappointed; for more than half my life I've believed that I was just a couple of degrees of separation from someone who'd written music for Star Trek, and that as a result I was privy to a little-known secret, albeit one I've wanted to make known for a long time. It's not easy to discover that something like that isn't true. But at least now I have a solid answer about who scored those episodes. Although that leaves the mystery of why Huston believed he'd done them, which is probably unanswerable. (Is there any way to find out whether he might've assisted Courage as an orchestrator?)
Oh, well. My father did interview David Bell once, years before he became a Trek composer. Not as cool as the Huston connection would've been, but it's something...
I still suspect he may have had something to do with it, perhaps helping with arrangement / orchestration, or perhaps even conducting on some cues.
Composers are often "pens for hire" on these projects, and I know that there is a lot of ghost composing going on.
It is also sometimes very difficult to ascertain exactly who did what behind the scenes.
For all we know, he may have actually composed one or two smaller cues using Courage's themes as a basis in order to save time, which happens often.
Fred Steiner composed several cues for Star Trek: The Motion Picture, for example, and Alexander Courage orchestrated and arranged a lot of Jerry's music for that and subsequent scores, including 2 versions of his own Star Trek theme (one used twice) for the "Captain's Log" sequences.
^Thank you, that clarifies things. So it's quite possible he did work on those episodes, just not ghostwriting them entirely as I'd been led to believe. Maybe it was just a misunderstanding.
So instead of a big secret I was privy to through my father, it was more of a footnote.
Was there any relationship between him and Courage? Were they friends?
I think OneBuck's suggestion is very likely. From what I've seen in interviews, it seems that the film & TV guys were all buddies, and they worked together on some things, "bullpen" style. With that term I'm thinking of comic books: someone is on a deadline on an inking assignment, and a bunch of his comics buddies come over to his apartment, they get beer and pizza and together they all ink all the pages. I suspect that the film & TV composers worked together like that occasionally: Goldsmith "writes" something and Courage "arranges" it, then Courage writes another thing and someone else arranges it, etc. It just seems like that kind of working arrangement was common: Steiner chipping in with cues for TMP, etc. One imagines a tough work environment, with very little money being paid, all the control in the hands of the producers, and composers not wanting to risk getting labeled as being difficult to work with, or being late, or anything like that. Sweat shop conditions, with a lot of collegiality among the laborers.
If that kind of working arrangement was usual, and Huston was friends with Courage, then it seems very possible that Huston contributed to some season 3 scores; maybe even a lot of material.
So: not sure you have to completely discard this idea you've held onto for so long. But it would depend their being a friendship between the men.
According to their biographies, they both attended the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY at around the same time, Courage graduating in 1941 and Huston in '42. That's probably how they knew each other.
Okay, so that would suggest that my situation is not unique -- there may be a lot of composers out there who've made uncredited and unsung contributions to Star Trek (and other productions as well). But then, they'd be in the same boat as all the other uncredited orchestrators, musicians, recording engineers, etc. I know the upcoming box set is going to give credit to a lot of those people, but it would be nice if they could identify some of the unsung collaborators, like the way the recent TMP box set finally clarified once and for all what Steiner's contributions to that film were (since he'd downplayed them and claimed he just helped with a few arrangements).
Well, this has been very informative and I'm glad I asked you folks.
Rats. I thought I was rescuing the idea, and instead I made it worse!
No, I don't think you made it worse. You clarified things and suggested new possibilities I hadn't considered before, and that's a good thing. Star Trek is about discovery, after all.
And it's definitely reassuring to know there could be some truth to what I'd believed about Huston, despite the proof that Courage himself did work on those scores. Knowing that it was a widespread practice definitely makes it seem more likely.
Aside from the music, I am really looking forward to reading the 100 page book included with the set. There should be a wealth of uncovered info that will hopefully clarify many of the mysteries and misconceptions surrounding the music.
Just one more reason why it's gonna be a lonnnnng wait until late November (I believe they're shooting for a Black Friday release).
Having heard all of Courage's music for Star Trek now, there is no doubt in my mind that "The Enterprise Incident" and "Plato's Stepchildren" are by him. Anything else is nonsense.
^Well, there's no need to be so harsh about it. Nobody here had any intent to deceive or mislead. Probably what happened is that Huston did some arranging help for Courage, and either he misremembered how much work he'd done when asked about it two decades later, or what he said got distorted/misinterpreted in the course of being conveyed from Huston to my father to me. An honest misunderstanding, nothing more.
I'm curious to know more about your conclusion, though, since to my ear Courage's third-season scores have a distinctly different style from his pilot and first-season scores. I don't dispute that they're all by him, given what was reported about the third-season scores being written in his hand, but they do sound very different to me, so I'd like to hear your thoughts on the stylistic similarities you discern.
I don't see how any of what IndySolo said was "harsh."
Well, "nonsense" isn't exactly a courteous characterization. Given the information I had, it was a sensible deduction. Now I have better information, so I've refined my conclusions, as is the sensible thing to do.
Let's look at it from his perspective. As indicated, IndySolo has listened to all the music. All of it. In his professional assessment, he knows that the two scores you inquired about were composed by Courage. In his assessment, to suggest otherwise is, as he said, "nonsense."
I don't think he meant it as a pejorative against you, Christopher, but rather given his (IndySolo's) wealth of knowledge on the subject, there simply is no way those scores could have been composed by anyone else.
I was just thumbing thru Jeff Bond's book. Do you have this? Page 65 has some of what I was thinking about. That's in the middle of the Alexander Courage interview.
He talks about how 4 or 5 of them were doing music for almost all the shows & movies, and how after Shaft came out they were afraid that all of the work would dry up. There's a bit about him chipping in a march for a score that someone else (Goldsmith?) was doing. Some more in this vein on the next page, too.
You have to read between the lines a little bit, maybe.
I'm gonna wait for the torrent.
You're new here so I will give you the benefit of the doubt, but this board does not condone or encourage stealing copyrighted material.
These artists and producers have worked hard to create a quality product. They deserve their pay for their work.
This will be one of those treasures that I'll certainly have no qualms over paying for it.
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