Fred Steiner

Composer


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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About
About this interview

In his four-hour Archive interview, Fred Steiner (1923-2011) talks about breaking into the business as an arranger / orchestrator in network radio in the 1940s and details some of the first radio scores he wrote for legendary producer-director Norman Corwin.  He discusses his work as composer for the radio series This Is Your F.B.I., his move to Los Angeles, and his compositions for the anthology series Playhouse 90.  Steiner speaks on composing the jazzy theme for Perry Mason and describes several of the episode scores he wrote for landmark series The Twilight Zone and Star Trek.  Steiner reminisces about CBS West Coast music director Lud Gluskin, and explains his own studies in musicology -- including receiving a Ph.D. from USC.  B-roll consists of several photos from Steiner's career conducting for radio's This Is Your F.B.I. and a shot of the scoring stage at 20th Century Fox.  Karen Herman conducted the interview in Sante Fe, New Mexico on June 25, 2003.

"(Outstanding scores have) music that you can listen to over and over again and say, 'gee, I think that was a good job…' I was listening to the re-runs of 'Gunsmoke' and some of the old scores I haven't heard for 50 years.  And I'm kind of impressed by that - that was music that sounded different from most of the stuff that you were hearing on TV in those days for western films.  If I like listening to it again, then maybe it had something."

People Talking About ...
Highlights
Fred Steiner on the challenges of writing comedy music
Fred Steiner on composing the theme for Perry Mason
Fred Steiner on composing for The Twilight Zone
Fred Steiner on his long association with Gunsmoke
Fred Steiner on advice to aspiring television composers
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On his childhood and early influences; on his love of music from a young age

Chapter 2

On his radio and early television work; on the Blacklist

Chapter 3

On recording studio set-ups; on his association with Playhouse 90

Chapter 4

On CBS music director Lud Gluskin; on composing for Gunsmoke, Navy Log, and Perry Mason

Chapter 6

On composing for The Twilight Zone and Star Trek

Chapter 7

On specific episodes of Star Trek, Beany and Cecil, and The Andy Griffith Show; on music for television movies; on music for Bonanza, Hec Ramsey , and Hawaii Five-O and his studies in musicology

Chapter 8

On his studies of musicology
On scoring episodes of Dynasty and Star Trek: The Next Generation; on scoring for films including "The Color Purple"

Chapter 9

On his recent projects and research articles on film and television music history
On advice to aspiring television composers; on b-roll pictures and scores
Shows

Andy Griffith Show, The

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Fred Steiner on scoring several episodes of The Andy Griffith Show

Beany and Cecil

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Fred Steiner on scoring the theme of Beany and Cecil

Bonanza

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Fred Steiner on scoring several episodes of Bonanza

Dynasty

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Fred Steiner on scoring episodes of Dynasty

Gunsmoke

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Fred Steiner on his long association with Gunsmoke

Hawaii Five-O

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Fred Steiner on scoring several episodes of Hawaii Five-O

Hec Ramsey

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Fred Steiner on scoring several episodes of Hec Ramsey

My Favorite Husband

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Fred Steiner on writing the music and conducting for My Favorite Husband

Navy Log

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Fred Steiner on composing for Navy Log

Perry Mason

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Fred Steiner on composing the theme for Perry Mason

Playhouse 90

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Fred Steiner on his association with Playhouse 90

Star Trek

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Fred Steiner on composing for Star Trek and on specific episodes
Fred Steiner on scoring specific episodes of Star Trek

Star Trek: The Next Generation

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Fred Steiner on scoring an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation

Twilight Zone, The

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Fred Steiner on composing for The Twilight Zone
Professions

Composer

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Fred Steiner on how scoring has changed over the years
Genres

Classic Anthology Series

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Fred Steiner on his association with Playhouse 90

Sci-Fi/Supernatural Series

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Fred Steiner on composing for The Twilight Zone
Fred Steiner on composing for Star Trek and on specific episodes
Fred Steiner on scoring specific episodes of Star Trek
People

Van Cleave

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Fred Steiner on his mentor, music director Van Cleave

Norman Corwin

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Fred Steiner on working with radio great, Norman Corwin

Lud Gluskin

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Fred Steiner on CBS Music director Lud Gluskin

Heather Locklear

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Fred Steiner on scoring episodes of Dynasty starring Heather Locklear

Rod Serling

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Fred Steiner on composing for The Twilight Zone and working with Rod Serling

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