Charles Fox

Composer


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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About
About this interview

In his three-and-a-half hour Archive interview, Charles Fox talks about his musical education, which included studying with Nadia Boulanger in Paris from 1959-61. He speaks about breaking into composing for television, writing transition material for The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson as well as the bold and energetic theme song for ABC's Wide World of Sports. He speaks in great detail about Love American Style, a series for which he wrote the theme song and scored music for the entire series run. He describes other series for which he both scored the theme song and created libraries for track music. He describes his work on Laverne & Shirley, including details about the pilot presentation and the creation of the theme song and main title. Additionally, he talks about his work on the series: Happy Days, Wonder Woman, The Love Boat, and The Paper Chase. He also discusses his work in television movies (including Victory at Entebbe) and feature films (including The Other Side of the Mountain and Foul Play), as well as composing other popular songs. B-roll consists of Fox performing a medley of his television theme songs as well as "Killing Me Softly With His Song." Karen Herman conducted the interview in Encino, CA on June 29, 2004.

"I love the process of writing music. That's where it's really most exciting. I look forward to that first performance, the hearing of the music I've written, whether it be for film or television or in a concert hall. After that it becomes part of the world out there, I don't quite have the same attachment to it that I did when I'm sitting in my room alone and writing it."

Highlights
Charles Fox on composing the theme to ABC's Wide World of Sports
07:30
Charles Fox on scoring the music for the pilot for Happy Days (on Love, American Style) and later composing for the Happy Days series
08:10
Composer Charles Fox on composing the theme for Angie
01:42
Composer Charles Fox on composing the theme for Wonder Woman
03:29
Charles Fox on composing theme songs
03:16
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On his formative years and breaking into television, writing transition music for The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson

Chapter 2

On his energetic theme song for ABC's Wide World of Sports; on his work for  Laverne & Shirley including details about the pilot presentation and the creation of the theme song and main title.

Chapter 3

On his work on the theme songs and music libraries of Love, American Style and Happy Days

Chapter 4

On his work on the series The Bugaloos, Me and the Chimp, Angie, Wonder Woman, The Love Boat, and The Paper Chase

Chapter 5

On his work on George Burns Comedy Week; on his work on The Hogan Family; on his work in game shows for Mark Goodson and Bill Todman, in television movies including Victory at Entebbe, My Father's House, A Rainbow, and feature films including The Other Side of the Mountain

Chapter 6

On working with director Lamont Johnson; on some of the work he did on TV movies; on composing for the television movie Crash Landing: The Rescue of Flight 232
On composing for the feature films Foul Play, 9 to 5, among others; on working with Colin Higgins, on writing the music for Killing Me Softly With His Song, which won him and lyricist Norman Gimbel a Grammy Award; on his then-current projects; on his thoughts about how the business has changed

Chapter 7

On his musical style; on the business of composing for film and television; on his advice to aspiring composers; on his career highlights; on collaborating with lyricist Norman Gimbel; on how he would like to be remembered
B-roll piano medley of some of his compositions (Love American Style, Happy Days, Laverne & Shirley, Angie, Hogan Family, Wonder Woman, The Love Boat); Killing Me Softly with His Song
Shows

ABC's Wide World of Sports

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Charles Fox on composing the theme to ABC's Wide World of Sports
07:30

Angie

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Composer Charles Fox on composing the theme for Angie
01:42

Bugaloos, The

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Composer Charles Fox on working with Sid and Marty Krofft on The Bugaloos
05:05

Conan

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Composer Charles Fox on working on the Conan TV series
01:19

Crash Landing: The Rescue of Flight 232

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Composer Charles Fox on working on the TV movie Crash Landing
01:53

George Burns Comedy Week

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Composer Charles Fox on composing music for George Burns Comedy Week
00:42
Charles Fox on working on George Burns Comedy Week (continued)
01:47

Happy Days

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Charles Fox on scoring the music for the pilot for Happy Days (on Love, American Style) and later composing for the Happy Days series
08:10
Composer Charles Fox on working on Happy Days (continued)
02:10

Hogan Family, The aka Valerie

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Composer Charles Fox on working on The Hogan Family
02:38

Laverne & Shirley

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Charles Fox on composing the theme to Laverne & Shirley
08:10

Love Boat, The

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Composer Charles Fox what a composer does in terms of creating the style of a show; on composing the theme for The Love Boat
08:34

Love, American Style

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Charles Fox on composing the theme and incidental music for Love, American Style
16:00
Charles Fox on scoring the music for the pilot for Happy Days (which was done for Love, American Style)
00:51

Me and the Chimp

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Composer Charles Fox on working on Me and the Chimp
00:54

My Father's House

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Composer Charles Fox on working on the TV movie My Father's House
01:19

Nanny and the Professor

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Composer Charles Fox on working on one episode of Nanny and the Professor
00:41

Paper Chase, The

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Composer Charles Fox on composing music for The Paper Chase
04:51

Rainbow

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Composer Charles Fox on scoring Rainbow, the 1978 TV movie about Judy Garland's youth
04:15

Stranger Within, The (1990)

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Composer Charles Fox on working on The Stranger Within
01:53

Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, The

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Composer Charles Fox on arranging for The Tonight Show early in his career; on Ed Ames' famous tomahawk stunt
06:35

Victory at Entebbe

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Composer Charles Fox on scoring the TV movie Victory at Entebbe
02:48

Wonder Woman

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Composer Charles Fox on composing the theme for Wonder Woman
03:29
Topics

TV Theme Songs

View Topic
Charles Fox on composing the theme to ABC's Wide World of Sports
07:30
Charles Fox on composing the theme to Laverne & Shirley
08:10
Composer Charles Fox on composing the theme for Angie
01:42
Composer Charles Fox on composing the theme for Wonder Woman
03:29
Composer Charles Fox what a composer does in terms of creating the style of a show; on composing the theme for The Love Boat
08:34
Composer Charles Fox plays piano medley of some of his compositions (Love American Style, Happy Days, Laverne & Shirley, Angie, Hogan Family, Wonder Woman, The Love Boat); Killing Me Softly with His Song
08:41

We Laughed

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Composer Charles Fox on Ed Ames' famous tomahawk stunt on The Tonight Show
02:33
Professions

Composer

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Charles Fox on composing theme songs
03:16
Composer Charles Fox what a composer does in terms of creating the style of a show; on composing the theme for The Love Boat
08:34
Genres

Game Shows

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Composer Charles Fox on composing for Goodson-Todman game shows early in his career
05:24
People

Ed Ames

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Composer Charles Fox on arranging for The Tonight Show early in his career; on Ed Ames' famous tomahawk stunt
04:45

Norman Gimbel

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Charles Fox on composing the theme to Laverne & Shirley
08:10

Mark Goodson

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Composer Charles Fox on composing for Goodson-Todman game shows early in his career
05:24

Skitch Henderson

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Composer Charles Fox on arranging for The Tonight Show early in his career; on Ed Ames' famous tomahawk stunt
06:35

Bob Israel

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Composer Charles Fox on music producer Bob Israel
00:40

Sid Krofft

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Composer Charles Fox on working with Sid and Marty Krofft on The Bugaloos
05:05

Marty Krofft

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Composer Charles Fox on working with Sid and Marty Krofft on The Bugaloos
05:05

Garry Marshall

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Charles Fox on scoring the music for the pilot for Happy Days (on Love, American Style) and later composing for the Happy Days series
08:10

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