The Night Beat— Jazz Goes to the Movies
The long wait is over!
“Jazz Goes to the Movies” is set to begin its return engagement in 2022!
Join Doug Crane every Wednesday evening in March beginning at 8 pm on The Night Beat as he explores the very best in film music performed by the very best jazz musicians.
On Week One, Doug will feature music composed by Nacio Herb Brown and Dimitri Tiomkin. Neither are household names today but no doubt you’re familiar with their music.
Mr. Brown wrote songs as a hobby, continuing to do so after he opened a menswear shop in Los Angeles around 1920. A couple of his songs appeared in “Hollywood Stage Review of 1926”. As Brown’s reputation as a songwriter grew and as the sound was being introduced in films (“talkies” as they were known at the time), he was approached by the now-legendary M-G-M producer Irving Thalberg to write music for the studio’s films. At the time Brown didn’t want to give up his lucrative menswear store. But when The Great Depression hit, Brown reconsidered, asked for and accepted a position at M-G-M. He, along with his long-time friend and lyricist Arthur Freed, wrote a number of songs that are now an important part of the Great American Songbook including “You Stepped Out of a Dream”, “Temptation”, “All I Do Is Dream of You”, “You Are My Lucky Star” and of course “Singin’ in the Rain”.
In a last-minute programming change due to the recent invasion of Ukraine by Russia, Doug will feature movie music written by Dimitri Tiomkin. He was born in the town of Kremenchuk which is part of present-day Ukraine on May 10, 1894. He studied at the Saint Petersburg Conservatory under the tutelage of the same piano teacher as Vladimir Horowitz and music theory with Alexander Glazunov who was a mentor to Sergei Prokofiev and Dmitri Shostakovich.
While we’re leaving out a vast amount of his biography, eventually Tiomkin moved to Hollywood with his wife who as a dancer was hired to choreograph M-G-M musicals.
Tiomkin was still intent on a career as a concert pianist but after breaking an arm in 1937 he abandoned that pursuit. Around the same time he received his first big break scoring a number of films directed by Frank Capra including “Lost Horizon”, “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington”, “Meet John Doe” and “It’s a Wonderful Life”.
Between 1940 and 1972, Tiomkin was nominated for 22 Academy Awards and received four including Best Score for “High Noon” in 1952 and once again in 1955 for “The High and the Mighty”.
Tiomkin might be best known today for composing the theme song for the late 1950s CBS-TV western “Rawhide” which featured a very young Clint Eastwood. The theme was sung by Frankie Laine who also recorded the theme song for “High Noon” a few years earlier and about 25 years later the sang the theme song for Mel Brooks’ “Blazing Saddles” (which was not composed by Dimitri Tiomkin).
Be sure to mark your calendars as a reminder to listen to “Jazz Goes to the Movies” every Wednesday evening beginning at 8 pm throughout March. Only on KUVO JAZZ!
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