Ford Television Theater (dramatic anthology)

    (CBS Monthly Specials, 1948 - 1949; live from New York;
     CBS Weekly Primetime, 1949 - 1951; live from New York;
     NBC Weekly Primetime, 1952 - 1956; on film from Screen Gems;
     ABC Weekly Primetime, 1956 - 1957; on film from Screen Gems;

    [aka: "Ford Television Theater Hour";
     aka: "Ford Theater";
     aka: "Ford's V-8 Theater"

     also syndicated under the titles:
          "All Star Theatre"; or
          "Your All-Star Theatre"; and
           other titles for local market sponsorship;

     This was the first dramatic anthology series on network
     television. It was an extension of "The Ford Theater" radio 
     series which began on NBC in 1947. A year later, in 1948
     sponsor Ford decided to try producing a prestigious series 
     on the new medium of television; they continued on radio for
     another two years.

     On TV they began sponsoring a series of monthly plays broadcast 
     live on CBS from New York under the direction of Marc Daniel
     who later directed "I Love Lucy"; These monthly broadcasts 
     were scheduled in the time slot normally reserved for another
     pioneering dramatic anthology -- "Studio One", which see.
     In it's second year on television (1949) "Ford Television
     Theater Hour" became a weekly live series; It's run ended in
     1951 on CBS.

     The following year, in 1952, "Ford Theater" returned on NBC 
     as a filmed series produced by Screen Gems in Hollywood.
     (Ford decided to also sponsor live variety shows including 
     "Ford Festival" and "Ford Startime.") The "Ford Theater" 
     remained on NBC for four years.
     In 1956 it switched networks again -- to ABC. Production
     lasted only one more year.

     Reruns of the many filmed episodes produced during the five
     years from 1952 - 1957 were then aired under various other
     network umbrella titles; and also syndicated nationally by
     Screen Gems to local stations under the titles "All Star 
     Theatre" and "Your All-Star Theatre", presumably giving 
     local advertisers the right to customize the title in 
     local markets if desired;

     The titles "Your All-Star Theatre" and "All Star Theatre" are
     listed as separate series produced by Screen Gems in the Catalog 
     of Copyright Entries for Motion Pictures (1950 - 1960 volume); 
     Each of the above titles has a number of episodes following it 
     and there are none listed under the title "Ford Theater";

     But there may not have been any distinction in terms of the
     content and THEMEs; If anything the difference may have been
     simply two different packages offered for syndication by Screen
     Gems at two different years;

     I am grateful to contributor T. Perrone for his research
     into various THEMEs used during the years, and helping sort
     out the various melodies and their years of use, despite the
     fact we have yet to identify all the composers except two.]

Theme 1 (on CBS, 1948): "Ford Theatre Theme"

    [aka: "Ford Theatre Opening Theme" and
     aka: "Ford Theatre Closing Theme";

     Same theme used on NBC radio since 1947; Lyn Murray mentions his
     work on the "Ford Theatre" radio series in his published journal
     entitled "Musician". This THEME was not filed for copyright
     until nearly a decade later, in 1957; it is presumed that it
     was primarily the radio theme but also may have been heard on
     television at some point...]

     Composer: Lyn Murray (ASCAP)
              [pseudonym of Lionel Breeze]

     1978 Publisher: M. Baron Co. (ASCAP)

     1999 Publisher: M. Baron Company, Inc.
                        of Oyster Bay, NY

    [as "Ford Theatre Opening Theme"]:
     Copyright Date: Sep. 30, 1947; Eu 95 722.
     Renewal   Date:

    [as "Ford Theatre Closing Theme"]:
     Copyright Date: Sep. 30, 1947; Eu 95 723.
     Renewal   Date:


Theme 2 (on CBS, 1948 - 1952): "Theme from the Brahms 'Double Concerto', 2nd Mvt."

    [aka: "Concerto for Violin and Cello in A Minor, 2nd Mvt.";
     aka: "2nd Movement Theme, from the "Concerto in A Minor, Opus 102, 
           for Violin, Cello and Orchestra"
     aka: "2nd Movement Theme, from the Brahms 'Double Concerto'";

     In 1948 Lyn Murray left, and Cy Feuer conducted the radio and
     television series; In his book, "The Golden Age of Television", 
     Max Wilk who wrote for the first episode of the "Ford Television 
     Theater Hour" describes the premiere broadcast of the series with 
     Cy Feuer conducting the TV orchestra...

     So it's probable that Feuer adapted this broad, warm melody from 
     the Brahms "Double Concerto" in A minor for Violin and Cello; 
     This was the last concerto (and last orchestral work) Brahms
     ever wrote; it was composed in 1887 and the melody has come
     to signify a sort of "farewell" from the composer.
     Cy Feuer went on to become a Broadway impressario producing hit
     musical shows with his partner Ernest H. Martin.
     An aircheck provided by THEME contributor T. Perrone from the 
     1949 radio broadcast verified that this was the THEME in use 
     at that an full arrangement for studio orchestra,
     perhaps even expanded to a 4/4 meter (the original was in 3/4);

     This same melody was used as the 1970 THEME for the TV soap opera 
    "The Secret Storm" in a more subdued adaptation by Charles Paul]

     Composer: music by Johannes Brahms (predates ASCAP & BMI), and
     Adapter/Arranger: Cy Feuer (ASCAP)
                      [professional name of Seymour Arnold Feuer]

     1978 Publisher: in the Public Domain

     1999 Publisher: in the Public Domain

     Composition Date: 1887

     Copyright Date:
     Renewal Date:


Theme 3 (NBC, 1952 - 1953): "Ford's V-8 Theatre"

    [During the first season on NBC the series was produced on film 
     by the Screen Gems Television division of Columbia Pictures, 
     this rather weak neutral/romantic THEME was used;
     No writer credit is listed in ASCAP yet for this library track;
     indicating it may be a BMI writer or a writer with no known
     affiliation with either ASCAP or BMI.

     This piece is in a 6/8 meter in Eb; with some phrases extended
     by a 9/8 measure -- a rather awkward device which didn't hold
     together very well; it sounds like a library track which was
     ill suited for a Main Title; so it is an "educated guess" that
     this THEME must match the ASCAP credit below which was a track
     from the Movietone/Sam Fox library...

     Of all the composers I have studied it sounds a bit like the
     End Credits THEME for "Westinghouse Playhouse" by John W. Green
     which was also a bit weak...but I cannot blame him for this one
     as yet...:-)]

     Composer: under investigation

     1978 Publisher: Movietone Music Corp. (ASCAP)

     2001 Publisher: Movietone Music Corporation (ASCAP)
                        c/o Sam Fox Publishing Company, Inc.,
                        of Scottsdale, AZ 

     Copyright Date:
     Renewal Date:


Theme 4 (on NBC, 1953 - 55): [under investigation]

    [This is a Latin beguine-style composition that has a melody
     with a resemblance to Jack Shaindlin's "A True Blue Heart";
     but after the first 15 notes, the melody differs; So it may
     be a composition written by someone else... It was used for
     two seasons and was probably the nicest of the THEMEs for
     this series; No composer has yet been discovered.]

     Composer/Adapter: under investigation

     1978 Publisher: [no listing found in ASCAP or BMI]

     1999 Publisher: [no listing found in ASCAP or BMI]

     Copyright Date:
     Renewal Date:


Theme 5 (on NBC, 1955 - 56): [under investigation]

    [The THEME in F Major begins with "French Horns" and was only
     used for one season...I cannot explain why a new THEME was 
     needed for this season (the last on NBC), except since there 
     was a change of networks the following season. Changing the
     THEME was a typical thing that was done when a show starts 
     dropping in the ratings -- to "freshen up the show" before 
     giving up on it completely...]

     Composer: under investigation

     1978 Publisher: [no listing found in ASCAP or BMI]

     1999 Publisher: [no listing found in ASCAP or BMI]

     Copyright Date:
     Renewal Date:


Theme 6 (on ABC, 1956 - 1957): "Ford Theatre Theme (M.T. and End Signature)"

    [aka: "Opening and Closing Theme";

     THEME and Composer information via T. Perrone from producer
     and library music expert P. Mandell who researched ASCAP
     cue sheets, which indicates  this Opening and Closing THEME
     was "...furnished by Sponsor, the Ford Motor Co." This phrase
     on music  cue sheets may indicate the THEME was written under
     a contract which precluded future royalties -- which would have 
     been paid by the Sponsor, who was also the show's producer;

     The THEME is in waltz tempo with a wordless "vocalise" sung
     by a chorus; There is a curious resemblance between this THEME 
     and the Gershwin song "S'Marvelous" which might possibly have
     been licensed for Ford advertising during that season; So
     it's possible Schumann was merely the arranger; that would
     also explain why he never filed it for ASCAP credit...]
     Composer/Arranger: Walter Schumann (ASCAP)

     Original Publisher: Schumman Music, Inc. (ASCAP)
                        [later a div. of The Bourne Co.]

     2001 Publisher: [not found in ASCAP or BMI Databases
                      under the above title]

     Copyright Date:
     Renewal Date:

Theme 7 (for syndication): [under investigation]

    [The THEME is the one T. Perrone remembers most vividly -- 
     it was used when episodes of the Ford Theater were syndicated
     under the titles "Your All-Star Theatre" and "All Star Theatre"
     and other titles referring to local station sponsors;

     It has a distinct effect of editing together two sections -- 
     the first of which has a broad melody, and the second section
     sounds like an introduction...this editing may have been done
     to fit the visual title sequence...]

     Composer: under investigation

     1978 Publisher: [no listing found in ASCAP or BMI]

     1999 Publisher: [no listing found in ASCAP or BMI]

     Copyright Date:
     Renewal Date:


Theme 8(??): "Ford Opening and Closing Billboard" & "Ford Credits" [under investigation]

    [The ASCAP Index of Performed Compositions, 1978 lists both 
     titles as arrangements, indicated by an asterisk (*). So
     it is possible that this melody of this THEME was taken
     from a Ford advertising jingle of the day...

     If so, Ferde Grofé may have orchestrated a Ford
     jingle or other composition into a series THEME, which 
     might be one of the above THEMEs which are under investigation;

     ...or this may have been used for another Ford-sponsored
     series such as the variety show "Ford Startime"...]

     Composer: Ferde Grofé (ASCAP)

     1978 Publisher: [listed without publisher or composer]

     2000 Publisher: [listed without publisher or composer]

     Copyright Date:
     Renewal Date:


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