Bonanza (western family adventure)

    (NBC Nighttime, 1959 - 1973)

    [The lead actors sharing the spotlight were Lorne Greene, 
     Pernell Roberts, Dan Blocker and Michael Landon; Producer
     David Dortort said he conceived of the idea as a family drama
     rather than the typical more violent "shoot-em-up" style of
     Western, and this may be the secret of its longevity;

     "Bonanza" was the first prime-time network color series that
     caught on in a big way using NBC's new "Living Color" technology.

     But it was NOT the first prime-time network series filmed in
     color, as is often incorrectly stated, nor even the first show
     televised in color on NBC -- that took place six years before
    "Bonanza". For more information, see the background on the page:
     NBC Living Color]

Opening Color Logo: "The Peacock"

    [aka: ASCAP repertoire title: "Color Logo Signature"]

    [David Rose wrote this special Color Logo to precede
     "Bonanza" for awhile; Soon after, generic NBC "Living Color" 
     music logos preceded all of NBC's color TV programs.
     The first music logo behind the NBC Peacock was a dramatic 
     orchestration which Milton DeLugg identified as having been 
     composed by Lou Garisto, who fought ASCAP for royalties
     but never got it since it was a "work for hire."
     The second NBC Peacock logo was a lighter piece scored for 
     woodwinds, cymbal and harp, written by New York jingle 
     writer Jack Easton.]

     Composer: David D. Rose (ASCAP)

     1978 Publisher: Miller Music Corp. (ASCAP)
     2000 Publisher: EMI Miller Catalog Inc. (ASCAP)
                        c/o EMI Music Publishing Inc.
                        of New York, NY

     Copyright Date: Nov 2, 1961; Eu 693 851.

Theme 1 (1959 - 70; 1972 - 73): "Bonanza"

    [aka: "Theme From Bonanza"]

    [The original pilot included the four lead actors singing the theme
     song. Wiser heads prevailed for the series, and the theme aired
     in a rollicking instrumental arrangement by David Rose, which 
     was used for many years.]

     Composers: Jay Livingston (ASCAP), and
                Raymond B. ("Ray") Evans (ASCAP)

     1978 Publisher:  Livingston & Evans, Inc. (ASCAP)
     2000 Publishers: Jay Livingston Music, Inc. (ASCAP)
                        of Los Angeles, CA; and
                      Universal/MCA Music Publishing (ASCAP),
                        a division of Universal Studios, Inc. 
                        of Los Angeles, CA.

     Copyright Date: June 17, 1959; Eu 581 312.

Chapter Title: "Bonanza Chapter Title"

    [aka: "Ponderosa"]

    [After the opening Theme and credits and the first commercial,
     this fanfare began the series each week. It was such a satisfying
     logo it seemed to signal the real start of the program. It was 
     derived from a theme developed by David Rose for use in episode 
     scores of the series to represent The Ponderosa -- the ranch on
     which the series took place -- which was "home" to the main 
     characters. The melody was included on the Bonanza soundtrack 

     Composer: David D. Rose (ASCAP)

     1978 Publisher: David Rose Publishing Co. (ASCAP)
     2000 Publisher: David Rose Publishing Co. (ASCAP)
                       of Sherman Oaks, CA

    [filed under the title "Ponderosa"]:
     Copyright Date: Sept. 20, 1961; Eu 688 184.

Theme 2 (1970-72): "The Big Bonanza (Sig)"

    [When the original theme -- a catchy but simplistic tune -- had 
     worn out its welcome after 11 seasons, principal composer David 
     Rose who scored most of the episodes over the years, and who
     had written the rollicking arrangement of the first THEME, 
     was invited to compose a fresh new signature THEME for the 
     1970-71 season. (At that point, perhaps the series was starting
     to decline in ratings, and music is one of the first things
     producers change which they think will "freshen up" the series.)

     Unfortunately, after the death of Dan Blocker, many fans 
     pressured the producers to bring back the old Livingston-Evans
     THEME -- a sentimental favorite. So it was re-instated for 
     what turned out to be the series' final 1972 - 73 season.]

     Composer: David D. Rose (ASCAP)

     1978 Publisher: Open-Dor Music Co. Inc. (ASCAP)
     2000 Publisher: Open-Dor Music Company Inc. (ASCAP)
                       of Los Angeles, CA

     Copyright Date: Oct. 13, 1970; Ep 209 245.

Return to the 1950s TV Series Title Page

Copyright 1960 - 2018 by The Media Management Group. All Rights Reserved