The Adventures of Superman (adventure, starring George Reeves)

     (Syndicated, 1952;
      reruns on ABC Daytime, 1957 - 1958)

     [aka: "Superman";

      104 episodes produced 1951 - 1957; a popular TV series which 
      was derived from characters originally created for "Action 
      Comics" by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster; 

      These comic books which began in the thirties inspired
      a transcribed 1940 radio series heard on WOR New York, 
      and the Mutual radio network (later on ABC) which starred a 
      very young Clayton ("Bud") Collyer in the lead role as the 
      voice of Superman (as well as his alter ego Clark Kent, a 
      mild-mannered newspaper reporter.) Since the face of Bud 
      Collyer wasn't known to audiences (just his voice) Collyer
      wasn't typecast, so he went on to be a successful game show
      host on television later;

      A couple of different theatrical film serials and longer
      low-budget B-pictures were made based upon "Superman" during 
      the late 1940s including one starring an up-and-coming actor
      named George Reeves" called "Superman and the Mole Men" (1951);

      As the result of his performance in the film, Reeves was offered
      the TV role which made him famous -- one he would come to think
      of as a decidedly mixed blessing later;

      The supporting cast on the "Superman" TV series included 
      Phyllis Coates as Lois Lane, Jack Larson as Jimmy Olsen,
      and John Hamilton in the role of newpaper editor Perry White;
      Initially the series was syndicated, sponsored by Kellogg's
      Cereals, In fact, the series was initially syndicated; it 
      first aired on WENR-TV, Chicago on September 19, 1952. It was
      to become a very popular syndicated show all across the U.S.
      And then in 1957 ABC reran it on their daytime schedule for
      one season. But it had a long life in syndicated re-runs.

      Unfortunately George Reeves was typecast as Superman and had
      trouble finding work after the series ended although some say
      he was being offered other parts before his tragic death in 1959;
      Reeves died as the result of a gunshot wound that was ruled a 
      suicide; the gunshot happened upstairs following a party at his 
      house -- and suspicious circumstances involved a spurned lover
      who was an wealthy older married woman; in addition Reeves had
      been involved in a serious auto accident weeks before which 
      caused him to heavily use alcohol and pain killers;
      Speculation exists that Reeves might have even been playing with 
      the loaded luger handgun in his altered state from alcohol or
      painkillers, and died the way TV actor Jon-Erik Hexum did in
      1984 as the result of a silly impulsive mock-Russian Roulette 
      gesture. Dying because of a fleeting impulse is unthinkable;
      it seems so pointless -- but it could have happened.

      Debate over factors in his untimely death kept circling around 
      for almost as long as the series remained in re-runs; 

      Despite all the controvery, for many who grew up watching
      the series and hearing its music stirring the imagination,
      "The Adventures of Superman" is still an object of fond memories;

      In 1966 a cartoon version of "Superman" aired on Saturday
      mornings; and a sequel series called "Lois & Clark: The New
      Adventures of Superman" was produced in 1993 starring Dean
      Cain in the title role with music by Jay Gruska]

Main Theme: "Superman MS"

    [above is title as filed for copyright; ASCAP title variations...
     aka: "Superman M & E";
     aka: "Superman Main & End";
     aka: "Superman Theme";
     aka: "Superman";

     In a phone interview with Leon Klatzkin during the 1980s, he
     said this theme was recorded on a soundstage in New York City,
     but episode scores were tracked with library material which
     was recorded overseas.

     For the first couple of seasons, episode scores were tracked
     using interior cues from the MUTEL Music Service of David
     Chudnow, a Hollywood music editor who became a packager of
     music for low-budget TV and film series. Chudnow commissioned 
     a few original cues now and again for his library. For TV, 
     he mostly recycled old B-picture cues and re-recorded them 
     all in France under the baton of George Tzipine, according to
     Paul Mandell, a researcher who has spent years tracing the
     origins of music for this series, and who recently co-produced
     a CD of Superman TV music on the Varèse Sarabande label (see

     In comparing the original B-picture cues with what showed
     up in MUTEL and its subsequent sub-license to the Capitol
     "Q" library, it is obvious that the melody or arrangement 
     of the cues were modified slightly from their original 
     versions in the film, but not by very much. Apparently this
     was a feeble attempt to create a variation that would serve
     as being "different" from the original for copyright purposes,
     since the cues were now being listed under new names (and
     even new fictitious composer names) for collecting ASCAP and
     BMI royalties.

     Apparently the early music suppliers thought this was what
     one did -- just "change a few notes" -- and you could call
     it a new composition, for this same technique was used for
     the "Lone Ranger" TV series which was re-orchestrated and
     changed from earlier B-picture cues used verbatim on radio.
     When the MUTEL interior cues had become over-used in episodes
     of "Superman", the producers tracked later episodes of the
     series using several British Mood Music libraries.

     Subsequent theories were postulated that perhaps the THEME for
     "Superman" itself was recycled from an old film, perhaps even a
     foreign film that would not be recognizable to U.S. audiences,
     or ghost-written by someone hired by MUTEL owner David Chudnow.

     One theory which has been put forward involves assistants to
     composer Jack Shaindlin who may have supplied a score to
     MUTEL, but no connection can be made positively...and it is
     all highly speculative at this point in time;
     So many of these theories were postulated by colleagues who 
     disliked Leon Klatzkin for one reason or another, or latter-day 
     researchers who can only speculate by trying to prove a negative.
     As everyone knows it is more difficult if not impossible to
     prove a negative;

     No factual substantiation of any possibility has been made yet
     that would support who in fact DID compose this THEME if it was
     not Klatzkin.
     Over the phone, Klatzkin spoke in 1983 of two parts of the THEME
     he called "the Main Flying Theme" and the "Superman March", although 
     the official title of the THEME in copyright records is "Superman MS"
     (which is an abbreviation for manuscript); and ASCAP lists it as 
     "Superman M & E" (which is an abbreviation for a Main Title and
     End Credits, or End Title THEME)
     Contributor David Schecter writes that Irving Gertz, who wrote
     the original Main Title for "The Millionaire" and scored many
     episodes of "Ramar of the Jungle" was music supervisor of the
     "Superman" TV series "beginning with the second season, and
     continued on in this capacity up through at least 1956."
     Schecter wrote that Gertz "used music from libraries such as 
     FDH (Francis, Day, and Hunter,) Paxton, Impress, Video Moods 
     Records, and other sources."

     When "Superman, The Movie" appeared, composer John Williams
     score had a similar Main Title. Although both THEMEs have
     a triadic motif (which outlines a major triad), many pieces
     do -- including the Superman radio theme called "Superman
     March", by Sammy Timberg and several cues in the MUTEL library;
     So attempting to trace origins of the TV series main title 
     using crude analyses of triads are of no more valid help
     than trying to link the film to the TV series which was
     not related;

     One regretable detail is that the music manuscript for the
     Superman TV THEME was not filed for copyright by publisher
     The Bourne Company until 26 years after its composition -- 
     in 1977;

     The lead sheet actually filed for copyright was of a very odd
     arrangement, attempting to cast the tune in a fledgling
     rock-a-billy style. It has incorrect chords and a ludicrous 
     attempt to fit the tune with the words "...a bird, a plane,
     Superman..." which don't fit at all...

     Unfortunately, this terribly botched manuscript found its
     way into print as the basis for a piano arrangement in a 
     folio book of TV themes. Too bad that both the original
     publishers and the folio book publishers are too young
     to remember the "Main Flying Theme" and this great "March"
     tune with any accuracy.]

     Credited Composer: Leon Klatzkin (ASCAP)

     Original Publisher: Marlen Music Co. (ASCAP)
     	 [one of David M. Gordon's music publishing companies]

     1978 Publisher: Bourne Co. (ASCAP)

     1997 Publisher: Bourne Co. (ASCAP)
                        of New York, NY

     Composition Date: 1951

    [filed under the title "Superman - MS"]:
     Unpublished Copyright Date: Nov. 14, 1977; Eu 843 714.
     Unpublished Renewal   Date: 

          45 single: by "Chase" [a bad Disco dance group]
                     Churchill CR-7730 (1978)

          LP: "Super Disco"
               Studio '79
               Springboard SPB-4114 (1979)
          LP: "Greatest Science Fiction Hits, vol. 2"
               Neil Norman [orchestration, rather weak]
               GNP Cresecendo Records GNPS-2133 (1986)

          CD Reissue: "Greatest Science Fiction Hits, vol. 2"
               Neil Norman [orchestration, rather weak]
               GNP Cresecendo Records GNPD-2133
          CD: "Television's Greatest Hits" [Volume 1]
               TeeVee Toons Records TVT - 1100 CD (1986)

          CD: "Adventures of Superman - the Original 1950s
                  Television Series"
               Varèse Sarabande 302 066 093 2 (2000)

              [This CD produced by P. Mandell and B. Kimmel
               with Music Restoration by G. Newton, includes
               a number of episode cues from the MUTEL library 
               heard in the first couple of seasons of the 
               "Superman" TV series. Some of the cues reproduced 
               from the MUTEL were also used as TV THEMEs for other
               classic series including "Boston Blackie" and 
              "Terry and the Pirates", etc.]

Act Closer: "World Of Tomorrow"

    [aka: "Hollywood Epic";

     Library music expert and CD producer P. Mandell writes that
     this was a frequent Act Closer -- used at the end of the
     final act but before the End Credits THEME; Although it was
     not used this way in all of the episodes, it comes as close to 
    "format music" as any other cue; the fans of TV production music
     have their favorite cues to score episodes which are much
     too numerous to mention; but it is generally considered that
     the music editors of "Superman" including Leon Klatzkin did
     make copious use of some of the best sources of library music
     available at the time from British and U.S. sources; and this
     was one of them]

     Composer: Jack Beaver (British PRS/ASCAP)

     Original Publisher: Francis, Day & Hunter Ltd. (British PRS)

     1978 Publishers: Francis, Day & Hunter Ltd. (British PRS) and
                      Emil Ascher, Inc. (ASCAP)

     2002 Publisher: KPM Music Div. (ASCAP)
                       div. of Associated Production Music 
                       of Los Angeles, CA

     Composition Date: 1946

     U.S. Copyright Date: Dec. 23, 1953; EFO-26 440.
     U.S. Renewal   Date: Oct.  5, 1981; RE-102-403.

           78-rpm single: FDH-002
               in the Francis, Day & Hunter Ltd.
               British Mood Music (production music) Library
           CD: "Archives 6 - 1940s and 1950s"
                  KPM Production Music
                  KPM 224 CD

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