Alexander 'Sandy' Mair Courage Jr. was born in Philadelphia on the 10 December 1919 and passed on in Pacific Palisades on the 15 May 2008. After receiving his Degree in Music in 1941 he served in the US Army Air Force whilst continuing to write tunes for the radio. Apart from composing the most famous eight note brass fanfare in the known Universe, he had a long fruitful life in the entertainment industry, composing and orchestrating some of the most iconic music heard on the screen (Little or LARGE), usually with the great Jerry Goldsmith and sometimes with John Williams.
The following are my favourite Baker's Dozen:
(1966 TV Series)
Captain James T. Kirk and the crew of the Starship Enterprise explore the galaxy and defend the United Federation of Planets. (50 mins.)
“ Known all over the world for over forty years this tune is iconic in every sense of the word. - "Little did I know, when I wrote that first A-flat for the flute, that it was going to go down in history, somehow. It's a very strange feeling."
Composer - Theme music and conductor for 25 episodes. ” - brickley220
Lost in Space
(1965 TV Series)
A space colony family struggles to survive when a spy/accidental stowaway throws their ship hopelessly off course. (60 mins.)
“ It was not all his own work but he did compose some of the stock music. - "I have to confess to the world that I am not a science fiction fan. Never have been. I think it's just marvelous malarkey.....So you write some, you hope, marvelous malarkey music that goes with it."
Composer and orchestrator - 1966 to 1968. ” - brickley220
Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea
(1964 TV Series)
The submarine Seaview is commissioned to investigate the mysteries of the seas. Usually it finds more problems than answers... (52 mins.)
“ Again he was one of a team that composed for this excellent adventure series with lots of bridge rocking moments. His composing credits include 'The Cyborg' one of the best episodes in the series.
Composer of six episodes between 1964 to 1968. ” - brickley220
(1959 TV Series)
It is the 1870s in Wyoming Territory. Slim Sherman and his 14-year-old brother Andy try to hang on to... (60 mins.)
“ This popular TV Western featured a popular ensemble of characters running a ranch in Wyoming. The cast included Robert Fuller, John Smith and later on the lovely Spring Byington as Daisy Cooper.
ORIGINAL MUSIC for 'General Delivery' - 1959. ” - brickley220
Weary of the conventions of Parisian society, a rich playboy and a youthful courtesan-in-training enjoy a platonic friendship, but it may not stay platonic for long. (115 mins.)
“ But the music was composed by Frederick Loewe, Andre Previn and Conrad Salinger I hear you gasp! 'Sandy' Courage also worked his magic on this Oscar winning film score.
ADDITIONAL MUSIC - Composed and orchestrated by Alexander Courage. ” - brickley220
The Unsinkable Molly Brown
A poor, uneducated mountain girl leaves her cabin in search of respect, a wealthy husband, and a better life. (128 mins.)
“ One of three composers that brought this jolly tale together, 'Sandy' worked with Leo Arnaud and Calvin Jackson to hone the score to Academy Award Nomination standard, but no credit unfortunately. Still he had lots of friends.
ADDITIONAL MUSIC - Composer (uncredited) - Alexander Courage. ” - brickley220
After the animal communicating veterinarian goes too far for his clientèle, he and his friends escape their hometown to sea in search of the Great Pink Sea Snail. (152 mins.)
“ While the residents of Puddleby-on-the-Marsh were chasing Great Pink Sea Snails and singing about Push Me - Pull Yous to Leslie Bricusse's music it was 'Sandy' and Lionel Newman who were adapting it to Academy Award standard. - "I stay away from deviled ham on principle/I wouldn't eat roast duckling if I could/Willpower has made me invincible!/My word, those sausages look good..."
Arranger, Orchestrator and Conductor - Alexander Courage. ” - brickley220
The Left Handed Gun
After his employer is murdered by rival cattlemen, a troubled and uneducated young cowboy vows revenge on the murderers, (102 mins.)
“ Paul Newman plays the iconic 'Billy the Kid' hunting his employer's killers, but who in real life was actully right handed; I don't know about Pat Garrett though. - "Lord God, this was a quiet man. He lived the way a man ought to live. He did not lie. He did not hurt. He listened to any man who spoke to him."
ORIGINAL MUSIC composed by Alexander Courage. ” - brickley220
The Pleasure Seekers
Three American lovelies room together in Madrid and all manage to get themselves into seemingly unhappy relationships with fellows. (107 mins.)
“ While Ann-Margret, Carol Lynley and Pamela Tiffin are leading the lusty lads of Madrid a merry dance it was 'Sandy' and Lionel composing the Academy Award Nominated music. - "I know I'm dumb! But it's all I have to work with."
ORIGINAL MUSIC composed by Lionel Newman and Alexander Courage. ” - brickley220
Day of the Outlaw
Blaise Starrett is a rancher at odds with homesteaders when outlaws hold up the small town. The outlaws are held in check only by their notorious leader, but he is diagnosed with a fatal wound and the town is a powder keg waiting to blow. (92 mins.)
“ A tense Western where a community has to pull together when Bad Boy Burl and his Brutal Bully Boys arrive in town. Meanwhile it is Mr Courage's music that creates a tense atmosphere. - "There are things worse, ma'am, than dancing with lonely men."
ORIGINAL MUSIC composed by Alexander Courage. ” - brickley220
(1971 TV Series)
The life and trials of a 1930s and 1940s Virginia mountain family through financial depression and World War II. (60 mins.)
“ One of the most popular TV programmes of the 1970s this was John Boy's diary of his family's adventures and activities. - "Good night, everyone."
ORIGINAL MUSIC for 154 Episodes composed by Alexander Courage. ” - brickley220
Billy Rose's Jumbo
A debt-ridden circus is saved by a well-meaning but inept publicity man. (123 mins.)
“ Alexander was one of seven composers who contributed to this colourful tale of Jimmy Durante's attempts to save his lookalike prize pachyderm from a rival Circus owner. - "Jumbo's like a son to me. Why you can even see the resemblance."
ORIGINAL MUSIC composed by Leo Arnaud, Alexander Courage, Roger Edens, Robert Franklyn, Conrad Sallinger, George Stoll and Robert Van Eps. ” - brickley220
During a preview tour, a theme park suffers a major power breakdown that allows its cloned dinosaur exhibits to run amok. (127 mins.)
“ Yes it was the Theme Park to die for but preferably not die at. John Williams composed an excellent film score but it was his collaborator from the Boston Pops that orchestrated that wonderful sound. - "Mr. Hammond, after careful consideration, I've decided NOT to endorse your park."
ORIGINAL MUSIC composed by John Williams.
Orchestrated by Alexander Courage. ” - brickley220