The Life Of Riley (situation comedy)

    (First  version on NBC, 1949 - 1950 starring Jackie Gleason;
     Second version on NBC, 1953 - 1958 starring William Bendix;

    [in anticipation of color television, the TV episodes were
     filmed on 35mm color film stock beginning in 1949, and is
     thought to be the earliest effort to do so...

     The TV series was an extension of a popular radio comedy
     series which began on NBC in 1943 starring William Bendix; 
     According to a 2001 "Gleason TV-ography" on the Arts and 
     Entertainment (A&E) Cable TV network, William Bendix's
     contract prevented him from working in the rival new
     medium of television at the time the series was first
     produced for TV; so Jackie Gleason, an up-and-coming comic
     actor, was given the job for one season; 

     Unfortunately the tightly-scripted series didn't allow 
     for Gleason's genius for comic improvisation to shine 
     through as it did later on "The Honeymooners", and the
     audience didn't accept him as an alternative to Bendix,
     who was so closely identified with the show on radio...
     so the Gleason version only lasted one season; 

     When Bendix did finally become available in 1953, the
     producers gave it another shot; and this time the series
     went on for five seasons...and into syndication after that]

Theme 1 (1949 - 1950): "Life of Riley [Radio Program] Theme"

    [Theme used for the William Bendix radio series, and 
     for the first TV series which starred Jackie Gleason;

     Chicago-born Lou Kosloff is given composer credit in
     Craig Patillo's "TV Theme Soundtrack Directory" and 
     in a 1950s TV Guide article on THEMEs which also credits
     the THEME title as: "Bits Of Music";

     Although the THEME was heard in its full orchestration on
     radio, for the TV series the THEME melody was whistled without
     any accompanying instruments. That's one way to cut costs 
     and get around AF of M union payments. Perhaps the expense
     of filming in color cut into the music budget :-)]

     Composer: Lou Kosloff (ASCAP)

     1978 Publisher: [title not listed in ASCAP Index 1978]

     2000 Publisher: [listed without publisher in the ASCAP 
                      ACE Repertoire database]

     Copyright Date:
     Renewal   Date:


Theme 2 (1953 - 1958): "Life of Riley Main & End Title"

    [above is title as it appears in the ASCAP database...

     For the second TV series which starred Wm. Bendix (the
     original radio "Riley"); apparently the publisher was
     not affiliated with either ASCAP nor BMI, and may have
     simply been retained by composer Fielding himself...
     however, curiously, the BMI database also contains a
     reference to the composition, so perhaps a BMI publisher
     was involved at some point...

     BMI title variations...
     aka: "Opening Theme Life Of Riley";
     aka: "Closing Theme Life Of Riley"]

     Composer: Jerry Fielding (ASCAP)
              [professional name of Jerry Feldman]

     1978 Publisher: [listed without publisher in the 1978
                      ASCAP Index of Performed Compositions]

     2000 Publisher: [listed without publisher in the BMI Repertoire
                      database and in ASCAP ACE Repertoire database]

     Copyright Date:
     Renewal   Date:

Theme 3 (syndicated): "L. O. R."

    [BMI title: "LOR";

     Tzipine was the conductor of re-recordings of B-picture cues in 
     France, commissioned by David Chudnow for his MUTEL ("Music For 
     Television") music service in the 1950s; So it is not known who 
     the original writer of this THEME was...although it is close
     to the style of Mahlon Merrick and the THEME is definitely
     in the MUTEL style. Both George Tzipine and Mahlon Merrick have
     "Life of Riley Cues" listed in BMI under MUTEL publisher Byron
     Music Co. (Another outside possibility is composer Joseph
     Mullendore who was also a workhorse for MUTEL at the time.)
     But probably it is a work of Mahlon Merrick since it so 
     closely resembles his other TV Themes for Jack Benny written
     under his own name, and the Bob Cummings Themes written under
     his pseudonym "Gene Le Grande".
     It was common practice in the early days of television to use 
     a different music Theme for a syndicated package -- especially
     if the original was still running on the network with current
     episodes. So that would explain why this music was associated
     with "Life of Riley" at the same time the Fielding Themes were
     also used on the network.]

     Composers: credited to Georges Samuel Tzipine (French SACEM/ASCAP/BMI),
                but probably composed by Mahlon Merrick (ASCAP/BMI)
               [professional name of Mahlon Legrand Merrick]

     Orig. Publisher: Byron Music Company (BMI)
                     [a div. of the MUTEL Music Service]

     2001 Publisher: Byron Music Company (BMI)
                        of Los Angeles, CA
     2018 Publisher: Byron Music Company (BMI)
                        c/o David Chudnow, of
                        Soquel, CA

     Copyright Date: 
     Renewal   Date: 


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