Monday, October 11, 2010

The Things You Remember

Having Sirius XM Radio in my car leads to some interesting coincidences.  Listening to the classical Pops channel (I think it's 80), is kind of like listening to an iPod Shuffle full of classical music:  they play single movements of things, short overtures etc.  The other day, they brought up a lovely, lilting piece, and I thought, I know that music, what is that?  I looked at the dash - the label said, Ovt to Donna Diana, Reznicek.  Never heard of it, I thought, but I know that music.

Then it hit me.  Wait - that's the theme to Sergeant Preston of the Yukon!  I used to watch that show religiously, but I haven't thought about it in (gasp) over 50 years - Wikipedia reminds me it went off the air in 1958!  (I was 12.)  Still according to Wikipedia, the Donna Diana overture is mainly remembered because of the Sergeant Preston show, and its predecessor on radio, Challenge of the Yukon (1947 - 1955).

For the music history buffs, the Wikipedia article on Reznicek has a tidbit that I just love.  Reznicek had a sense of humor, apparently not shared by his friend Richard Strauss.  Reznicek wrote a symphonic poem he called Schlemihl which is apparently a direct parody of Strauss' Ein Heldenleben.  You have to love any composer who can write a piece called Schlemihl!!

1 comment:

  1. There are a number of old TV programs that I can vaguely remember, but can't recall the name of.

    There was one, for instance, which was about a small boy who traveled with a circus through the old West. Then there was a remake series based on Twelve O'Clock High, the theme music for which was quite beautiful. Robert Lansing had the Gregory Peck part.

    There was so much wonderful stuff on early TV. The seasons in those days were 9 months old, and went every week--those production crews and actors really worked their butts off then. These days, the so-called "season" lasts for about four to eight shows, in the Fall, and then goes immediately into repeats.

    The sponsorship money has all evaporated because of CABL. We'll never see the production values of the 1950's and 1960's again, except rarely.

    Commercials occupy so much of the "air"-time these days that the ratio of entertainment to ads has become truncated. On the pro baseball broadcasts now, they often return you to the subsequent inning AFTER the first or second pitch has already been thrown! What's next?--"now we return you to the game a half inning later...picking up the action is John Miller!"