Monday, May 31, 2010

Kraft Suspense Theatre theme music; John Williams

Click here for my introductory remarks regarding Kraft Suspense Theatre.

Here is the opening theme from Season 1 of Suspense Theatre.

video

I apologize that the music is cut off with a few seconds left to go, but that is the best I could find on youtube. What follows is the title of this evening's episode and the name of 2 or 3 of the stars.

The theme music was composed by John Williams (listed as "Johnny Williams" in the credits), who was famous for many TV themes during the 1960's (and, of course, the music from Star Wars).

The youtube posting featured many comments that reveal how strong Suspense Theatre's following is - even 45 years after the show's run ended. Here are a few samples:

OMG!! this music used to scare me to death as a child! OMG talk about nostalgia!!! Thx for the post!
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I absolutely loved this series ! Thanks SO much for posting the opening theme... positively my all time favorite!
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I was entranced by this sequence when I was a kid. It was so expressionistic... and, of course, the unforgettable John Williams music... I recall telling my 4th grade teacher about it. Her response: "Your parents let you stay up that late at night?!?"
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I remember the theme very well. Done by the great composer, John Williams. I used to watch these on WABC on Sunday afternoons. I wish I could find the original on CD! Great music!
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This has to be one of the most recognizable and unique TV themes in history. The show was on past my bedtime, but my parents watched it. I'd lay awake and listen to the opening theme, wondering what was being shown on the screen. It wasn't until the 70's (when I finally saw a repeat) that I found out.
Great posting!
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LOVED the opening credits for this show as a kid! I'd tune in to this show just to see the credits (then usually get hooked on the story!). These credits are TOTAL Sixties! I only feel sorry for those too young to have lived thru the Sixties -- they were GREAT!

The theme changed in season two.

"Johnny Williams" credit





John Williams

8 comments:

  1. David: I"m so happy you found my blog. I shall certainly stay in touch with yours. It is very gratifying at this late date to have the classic television of the sixties, seventies and some of the eighties to still be around. A lot of us worked very hard, for very little money, but we loved what we were doing. It's people like you and Steven Bowie with his Classic Tv website who are immensely responsible for steering public attention to this period. Thank you!

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  2. I REMEMBER WHEN JOHN WILLIAMS WAS COMPOSING MUSIC FOR TELEVISION SHOWS OF THE LATE 1950S AND EARLY TO MID 1960S. HE WAS THEN KNOWN AS JOHNNY WILLIAMS AND COMPOSED MUSIC FOR SUCH TELEVISION SHOWS AS PETER GUNN (1958-1961), JOHNNY STACCATO (1959), MR. LUCKY (1959-1960), CHECKMATE (1960-1962), ALCOA PREMIERE (1961-1963), KRAFT SUSPENSE THEATRE (1963-1965), BOB HOPE PRESENTS THE CHRYSLER THEATRE (1963-1967).

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  3. KRAFT SUSPENSE THEATRE AKA CRISIS IS SHOWN ON ANTENNA CABLE TELEVISION NETWORK. MY ONLY COMPLAINT WITH ANTENNA TV IS THAT THEY SHOW TWO EPISODES OF KRAFT SUSPENSE THEATRE ON SUNDAY MORNING AT 3:00 A.M. AND 4:00 A.M. IN MY OPINION, ANTENNA TV NEEDS TO AIR KRAFT SUSPENSE THEATRE MORE OFTEN AND STOP SHOWING SO MANY GOD AWFUL SITUATION COMEDIES.

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  4. I AM SO HAPPY THAT I DISCOVERED RALPH SENENSKY'S BLOG ON KRAFT SUSPENSE THEATRE.

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  5. THRILLER (A.K.A. BORIS KARLOFF'S THRILLER) IS ANOTHER ANTHOLOGY TELEVISION SERIES THAT AIRED DURING THE 1960-1961 AND 1961-1962 SEASONS ON NBC. THE SHOW FEATURED HOST BORIS KARLOFF INTRODUCING A MIX OF MACABRE HORROR TALES AND SUSPENSE THRILLERS. THIS WAS A MOST RESPECTED ANTHOLOGY SERIES AND SADLY, IT WAS ALFRED HITCHCOCK WHO WAS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE DEMISE OF THRILLER AFTER HE CAME ABOARD ON NBC WITH AN EXPANDED ONE-HOUR VERSION OF HIS PREVIOUS ALFRED HITCHCOCK PRESENTS. I WAS HOPING THAT ANTENNA CABLE TELEVISION COULD SHOW THRILLER EPISODES ON ITS NETWORK.

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  6. John Towner Williams was originally represented by MCA- as such, he created themes and scores for many of their Revue/Universal dramatic TV shows in the late '50s and early '60s (as well as occasionally appearing on camera and playing jazz piano at "Waldo's", on "JOHNNY STACCATO"). Producers wanted him because he was THAT GOOD at creating moods and the right touch of mystery, suspense and horror in his scores.

    Irwin Allen paid him the ultimate compliment [and residuals] by using his themes, and initial scores and cues for "LOST IN SPACE" again and again, throughout the life of the series!

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  7. IT WOULD BE NICE IF ANTENNA CABLE TELEVISION NETWORK COULD ALSO BRING THRILLER (1960-1961 & 1961-1962) ANTHOLOGY TELEVISION SERIES WITH HOST BORIS KARLOFF AND RUN THE SHOW IN TANDEM WITH KRAFT SUSPENSE THEATRE A.K.A. CRISIS WHICH ALSO IS SHOWN ON ANTENNA.

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