Fred Steiner

Composer


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

Tab

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."

Highlights
Fred Steiner on the challenges of writing comedy music
00:15
Fred Steiner on composing the theme for Perry Mason
07:33
Fred Steiner on composing for The Twilight Zone
10:45
Fred Steiner on his long association with Gunsmoke
05:20
Fred Steiner on advice to aspiring television composers
01:27
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On his childhood and early influences; on his love of music from a young age
28:00

Chapter 2

On his radio and early television work; on the Blacklist
28:24

Chapter 3

On recording studio set-ups; on his association with Playhouse 90
28:41

Chapter 4

On CBS music director Lud Gluskin; on composing for Gunsmoke, Navy Log, and Perry Mason
29:48

Chapter 6

On composing for The Twilight Zone and Star Trek
28:08

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
15:12
On scoring episodes of Dynasty and Star Trek: The Next Generation; on scoring for films including "The Color Purple"
14:16

Chapter 9

On his recent projects and research articles on film and television music history
04:19
On advice to aspiring television composers; on b-roll pictures and scores
07:57
Shows

Andy Griffith Show, The

View Show Page
Fred Steiner on scoring several episodes of The Andy Griffith Show
02:09

Beany and Cecil

View Show Page
Fred Steiner on scoring the theme of Beany and Cecil
00:30

Bonanza

View Show Page
Fred Steiner on scoring several episodes of Bonanza
00:43

Dynasty

View Show Page
Fred Steiner on scoring episodes of Dynasty
01:03

Gunsmoke

View Show Page
Fred Steiner on his long association with Gunsmoke
05:20

Hawaii Five-O

View Show Page
Fred Steiner on scoring several episodes of Hawaii Five-O
00:21

Hec Ramsey

View Show Page
Fred Steiner on scoring several episodes of Hec Ramsey
03:20

My Favorite Husband

View Show Page
Fred Steiner on writing the music and conducting for My Favorite Husband
02:14

Navy Log

View Show Page
Fred Steiner on composing for Navy Log
02:30

Perry Mason

View Show Page
Fred Steiner on composing the theme for Perry Mason
07:33

Playhouse 90

View Show Page
Fred Steiner on his association with Playhouse 90
19:02

Star Trek

View Show Page
Fred Steiner on composing for Star Trek and on specific episodes
17:23
Fred Steiner on scoring specific episodes of Star Trek
13:45

Star Trek: The Next Generation

View Show Page
Fred Steiner on scoring an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation
01:02

Twilight Zone, The

View Show Page
Fred Steiner on composing for The Twilight Zone
10:45
Professions

Composer

View Profession
Fred Steiner on how scoring has changed over the years
02:17
Genres

Classic Anthology Series

View Genre
Fred Steiner on his association with Playhouse 90
19:02

Sci-Fi/Supernatural Series

View Genre
Fred Steiner on composing for The Twilight Zone
10:45
Fred Steiner on composing for Star Trek and on specific episodes
17:23
Fred Steiner on scoring specific episodes of Star Trek
13:45
People

Van Cleave

View Person Page
Fred Steiner on his mentor, music director Van Cleave
00:41

Norman Corwin

View Person Page
Fred Steiner on working with radio great, Norman Corwin
00:46

Lud Gluskin

View Person Page
Fred Steiner on CBS Music director Lud Gluskin
14:25

Heather Locklear

View Person Page
Fred Steiner on scoring episodes of Dynasty starring Heather Locklear
01:03

Rod Serling

View Person Page
Fred Steiner on composing for The Twilight Zone and working with Rod Serling
00:37

All Interviews

Q
S