Mysteries of TV Music

From time to time...issues arise which are in debate...about the origins of TV Themes or the authorship of various pieces which are attributed to one composer, but may have been ghost-written by another, etc.

So we include a few of these topics here, and if there is any futher information which sheds light on these matters...we will update this page.

Mystery #1: Were composers Richard "Ray" Llewellyn and David Rose really the same person?

There is some debate among experts on TV music as to whether Richard "Ray" Llewellyn was a pseudonym of David Rose, as was suggested in the 1996 book TV's Biggest Hits by Jon Burlingame.

I believe Ray Llewellyn was a name David Rose used for doing low-budget or non-union projects, and collecting BMI royalties. Other researchers believe the Llewellyn name was used by other composers who also worked for the ZIV-TV/World Broadcasting System library. (It may have been a joint pseudonym.)

Ray Llewellyn is credited with the following themes (all BMI):

After examining them, it is within reason stylistically, that David Rose may have written these pieces. For example, compare Rose's march theme for Men Into Space with the Highway Patrol march Theme #1 by Llewellyn.

Another odd curiosity which is circumstantial evidence that Rose and Llewellyn might be the same person: On the liner notes to a 1968 LP (The Stripper and other Fun Songs for the Family) by David Rose and his Orchestra, it states that, "A recent survey showed that David Rose music was being used as theme songs for a total of 22 different TV shows!"

Counting all of the TV shows in Rose's ASCAP listings, I count just 14 which would have been in existence prior to the appearance of this album. So this statistic doesn't add up -- UNLESS I ADD IN THE 8 THEMES CREDITED TO RAY LLEWELLYN. Then, I get 22 exactly!

TV Show themes by David Rose (all ASCAP):

-- (at this point, the MGM album appeared which said his music was used as themes for 22 TV shows) --

Mystery #2: Was there a musical "Clark Kent" who ghost-wrote the Superman Theme?

Author and production library authority Paul Mandell of Brooklyn, NY, who also is an expert on the 1951 TV series Superman, has been digging into not only its Main and End Title theme, but a lot of the cues for various episodes. Previously he traced enough music used behind the film "Plan 9 from Outer Space" to issue a CD containing the original library source music used throughout this Ed Wood extravaganza.

Recently he announced his intention to put together a CD to re-issue some of the production library music used in the TV series "Superman."

Also, he has uncovered the possibility that perhaps someone other than the credited composer Leon Klatzkin, was the true author of the Superman TV Theme. He has been told that the theme was recorded in Europe, rather than in New York as Klatzkin said in a 1980s interview with this author.

According to Mandell, Leon Klatzkin was known mostly as a music editor working for various low-budget producers. Mandell's sources, who were contemporaries doubt that Klatzkin was the actual composer, despite copyright records to the contrary. Not only did Klatzkin's name appear on the credits of the Superman Theme, but on episode scores for Gunsmoke, and other shows.

Perhaps Klatzin edited together the sound behind the famous opening montage "Look--It's a Bird, It's a Plane, It's SUPERMAN". The editing involved combining the "flying theme", a backwards sound effect for Superman's landing, a bullet, a speeding locomotive, and the "march theme." But did Klatzkin think this editing job constituted "composing", for which he should fill out an ASCAP cue sheet?

Did someone else (comissioned by David Chudnow of MUTEL) really compose the musical parts of this sound montage, for which Klatzkin took credit? Did Klatzkin take advantage of the ignorance of another (perhaps foreign) composer in collecting royalties on this theme for years?

We would like to wish Paul Mandell well in his valiant effort to get to the bottom of these and other mysteries which originated in the rough-and-tumble early days of TV production.

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