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This Jerry Goldsmith CD centers on an eclectic sub-set of the composer's amazing body of work: that of music for children, Americana and comedy all rolled into one, featuring two rare projects from the late 1960s and early 1970s.
Room 222 (1969-1973) is little-seen today but at the time it was a popular high school comedy/drama from the creators of The Mary Tyler Moore Show. Jerry Goldsmith's theme is one of his most memorable for television and it has since become a standard part of his concert repertoire, an infectious piece in 7/4 time with a catchy melody for recorder and trumpet over an amiable pop backing. In addition to the theme Goldsmith scored the first two episodes of the series, mostly with short variations on the title tune. For this premiere release we have assembled all of Goldsmith's recorded material from the show into a five-track, 12:15 suite, in clean mono—a long-overdue treasure trove of nostalgia for those who used to watch the series.
Related to Room 222 in melodic content and in attitude is one of Goldsmith's most obscure feature scores, for Ace Eli and Rodger of the Skies (1973). This troubled film was originally shot in 1971 and was so drastically recut that the film's screenwriter, director and producers all used pseudonyms. (Steven Spielberg aficionados might recognize it as the first Hollywood feature credit for the now-famous director; he provided the story.) The finished picture is a helter-skelter tale of a father-and-son barnstorming team (played by Cliff Robertson and Eric Shea) in 1920s Middle America but Goldsmith came through with flying (no pun intended) colors, writing reams of homespun, melodic material for the pair's troubled relationship and their erratic adventures. The "Ace Eli Theme" in particular is a close cousin to Room 222's melody, while the "Final Flight" captures the freedom of flying in the best tradition of Goldsmith scores like The Blue Max and Explorers.
Due to the film's extensive recutting Goldsmith's stay on the picture saw him rescore several cues (two of them were done by Alexander Courage) and his main and end titles supplanted by a sugary pop song by Jim Grady, "Who's for Complainin'." For this premiere album release we have assembled the best listening presentation of Goldsmith's score (original cues and revisions combined) in a combination of stereo and mono, running 39:02. This is followed by a 20:19 suite of the Grady material, damaged stereo tracks and other curiosities.
Room 222 and Ace Eli and Rodger of the Skies—together again for the first time! All told, a 71:37 program of previously unreleased Jerry Goldsmith rarities with all of the documentation readers have come to expect from FSM.