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ScoreKeeper Says Goodbye To STAR TREK Composer Alexander Courage...

ScoreKeeper here with news regarding the silencing of yet another monster musical talent in the film and television world. The man who penned the original theme from STAR TREK (1965) is no longer with us. Alexander Courage will be remembered for a large body of great film and television music. However, none can rival the iconic fanfare associated with the cultural phenomenon known as STAR TREK. Buried deep in a legacy of great film and television music spanning four decades lies Courage’s original theme that started it all.
Alexander Courage passed away on May 15, 2008, in Pacific Palisades, California. Courage has composed scores for such films as THE LEFT HANDED GUN (1958), THE PLEASURE SEEKERS (1964), and SUPERMAN IV: THE QUEST FOR PEACE (1987) as well as volumes of episodic television scores for a variety of series including VOYAGE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA (1964-1966), LOST IN SPACE (1966-1968), STAR TREK (1966-1969), LAND OF THE GIANTS (1969), and THE WALTONS (1972-1981). In addition to a successful composing career, Courage was also a highly prized orchestrator and arranger who worked for many great composers including Jerome Moross, Johnny Green, Alex North, John Williams, and most notably Jerry Goldsmith. He served as Goldsmith’s principal orchestrator throughout the 1980’s and 90’s for many of his classic scores including STAR TREK: THE MOTION PICTURE (1979), BABY: SECRET OF THE LOST LEGEND (1985), LEGEND (1985), BASIC INSTINCT (1992), RUDY (1993), FIRST KNIGHT (1995), L.A. CONFIDENTIAL (1997), AIR FORCE ONE (1997), and HOLLOW MAN (2000), just to name a few. There are few composers who can claim to have written a theme so iconic it transcends its film and engrains itself in our culture. John Williams’ shark theme from JAWS (1975) and Bernard Herrmann’s macabre shower sequence from PSYCHO (1960) are two such examples. I think Alexander Courage’s theme from the original STAR TREK is a member of that exclusive club. On behalf of Ain’t It Cool News I’d like to express our deepest condolences to the Courage family. He may no longer be with us in person but his spirit will endure forever through the wonderful music he left behind. For more information on the Alexander Courage’s legacy click HERE.

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