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 Post subject: Billy Goldenberg: the 1970's Scores
PostPosted: Sun Apr 25, 2010 1:01 pm 

Joined: Sun Feb 26, 2006 3:45 am
Posts: 251
I will be nice if Intrada could let the public know about the work of composer Billy Goldenberg which used to be the top composer at Universal television during the 1970's.

Film Scores:
"Change of Habit"
"The Grasshopper"
"Red Sky at Morning"
"Play it Again, Sam"
"Up the Sandbox"
"The Last of Sheila"
"The Domino Principle"

Television Scores:

ABC Movie of the Week
"Alias Smith and Jones"
"Suddenly Single"
"The Crooked Hearts"
"All My Darling Daughters"
"A Brand New Life"
"Don't Be Afraid of the Dark"
"Double Indemnity"

Movies Made for Television
"Silent Night, Lonely Night"
"Fear No Evil"
"Ritual of Evil"
"A Clear and Present Danger"
"The Neon Ceiling"
"The City"
"The Harness"
"Truman Capote's The Glass House"
"The Marcus-Nelson Murders" (KOJAK pilot)
"Terror on the Beach"
"Smile, Jenny, You're Dead" (HARRY-O pilot)
"The Migrants"
"I Love you Goodbye"
"Dr. Max"
"Thursday's Game"
"Reflections of Murder"
"The Legend of Lizzie Borden"
"The UFO Incident"
"Gemini Man" (pilot)

NBC Mystery Movie

Columbo theme
(second pilot)
"Ransom for a Dead Man"
(season 1)
"Murder by the Book"
"Suitable for Framing"
"Lady in Waiting"
(season 2)
"A Stitch in Crime"
(season 3)
"Publish or Perish"

Banacek theme
"Detour to Nowhere"
(season 2)
"No Stone Unturned"


Last edited by Stefan Miklos on Sun May 02, 2010 2:43 am, edited 1 time in total.

 Post subject: Re: Billy Goldenberg: the 1970's Scores
PostPosted: Sun Apr 25, 2010 2:22 pm 

Joined: Wed Mar 15, 2006 8:16 pm
Posts: 694
Stefan Miklos wrote:
I will be nice if Intrada could let the public know about the work of composer Billy Goldenberg which used to be the top composer at Universal television during the 1970's.

Film Scores:
"Change of Habit"
"The Grasshopper"
"Red Sky at Morning"

"Up the Sandbox"

"The Domino Principle"


Movies Made for Television
"The Harness"

"Ransom for a Dead Man"

all that great music and this is all i have on cd (thanks to friends)

Film Score Monthly Articles & reviews

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Apr 25, 2010 2:36 pm 

Joined: Tue Dec 27, 2005 4:38 pm
Posts: 1567
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Hell yes! Busting is actually coming out on Kritzerland soon -- see the FSM board. Here's hoping Intrada does multi-volume Columbo complete score sets, a la Amazing Stories. Here's the work I've done on the first season, figuring out the exact timings of the music as heard in the episode (I wouldn't know about any alternates or unused music; I just spent hours at my computer watching the episodes and getting the timings/track names down). I'm just cutting and pasting this from my computer file which I mainly just made for my own reference (that's why there are little notes on the episodes with poor grammar and all). I made it as far as the first episode of season 2 before I stopped having as much free time to finish the rest of the series (ie. I got married):


(Total time does not include unimportant source music or logos. Pre-episode teasers have been removed from the total episode time.)

PRESCRIPTION: MURDER (1:38:55, PILOT, 1, ****+, 2/20/68-1967)
music by Dave Grusin

main title 1:31
(piano party source music)
(pool source music)
unwanted thanks :11
you’re tense :23
plan in motion :59
strangulation 2:36
murder ain’t cheap 2:27
get ready 4:45
(airplane source)
laundry bag / acapulco 1:45
nice haircut :51
lucky 1:05
loose ends :26
a confession :24
what are friends for? :31
light out :30
popsicle :32
a promise :13
a pest 1:47
accident 2:54
the end 1:42
(universal end logo :04)

Excellent episode, excellent score, though it differs very greatly from what follows. Grusin is very heavy on jazz, but also uses symphonic strings at times. The suspense/tention music is excellent and there’s a very recognizable jazz theme for Columbo himself (first heard in the main titles). Columbo himself does not appear until over 32 minutes into the program. When he does show up he has neatly combed, short hair and a very unrumpled suit, but he’s Columbo. The only slightly out of character moment is when he gets upset and raises his voice towards the end while interrogating the accessory to murder (also unusual to have an accomplice in Columbo). There are later episodes however where Columbo acts kinda weird the whole time, and I think in this case it can be attributed to the fact that he’s a younger man and probably has mellowed out a bit by the time he gets to the next pilot.

no other police, just reference to an intelligent superior who keeps him on the case despite pressure
I like how Columbo is bashful with the doctor’s praise


RANSOM FOR A DEAD MAN (1:34:58, PILOT, 2, ***, 3/1/71)
music by Billy Goldenberg

making the note 2:05
murderous headache / main title 3:45
tall building :15
bleep :03
you’ll be the first to know 1:40
a unique person :09
switch :43
ransom flight 1:45
heights :16
manufacturing contact :40
completing the drop 1:08
a little walk 2:16
tomorrow may be a long day 1:02
my department :20
strange widow 1:40
new friend :41
spoiled :17
murder reconstruction :31
not one of my favorite pastimes :33
a cozy flight :45
return to earth :27
(restaurant source #1 1:49)
(restaurant source #2 2:34)
(restaurant source #3 2:14)
a clever ruse 1:04
can’t have you accused of murder on the wrong evidence :18
goodbye and welcome home 2:58
(airport source 1:31)
(airport restaurant source 2:35)
main theme source / end credits 2:56
(universal end logo :04)

very brief murder setup Columbo enters 12.5 minutes into program
superiors in the kidnapping cops
Colubmo very compassionate to the daughter -- touching scene after funeral
hilarious Columbo in the airplane...he even takes the stick!
somewhat obnoxious spoiled (but still strangely sympathetic) daughter helps colubmo out with a ruse, columbo a bit strange and out of character, stages yelling match with girl and she fake strikes him
interesting focus in/out effect rather than fading in and out
“almost likeable in a shabby sort of way”
final conversation over a drink
ace lawyer


MURDER BY THE BOOK (1:15:39, ONE, 3, ***+, 9/15/71)
music by Billy Goldenberg

left my lighter in the office 2:05
deja vu 1:20
practical joke 1:43
mr. franklin’s ego :36
a professional killing :12
calling columbo 1:24
good night :09
(restaurant source 4:20 -- from Ransom for a Dead Man)
careful drive :42
(seduction source 4:10)
second murder :27
darned evidence 1:35
no night life :45
love story 1:01
my idea 1:20
end credits :27
(universal end logo :04)

columbo enters 18 minutes in
super nice Columbo, making omelette & talking to widow
obnoxious Mr. Franklin with his “helping” Columbo as “Mrs. Melville”
obnoxious Mrs. LeSanka who tries to blackmail him
heavy typewriter in the score since the victim was a writer and killer at least supposedly
no supeiors or other cops except country bumpkins for second murder


DEATH LENDS A HAND (1:15:40, ONE, 4, ****+, 10/6/71)
music by Gil Mellé

proposition :59
a choice 2:55
body dump 1:56
pulled over :29
coffee :38
followed 1:20
swing :20
blank check :44
i’ll keep you posted :23
finding the contact lens 2:46
a terrible thing to do :49
end credits :28
(universal end logo :04)

columbo in at just under 16 min in
older captain and other cops (one pulls columbo over)
he has to work with brimmer & assoc security -- the murderer
recurring columbo theme towards the end?


DEAD WEIGHT (1:15:37, ONE, 5, **+, 10/27/71)
music by Gil Mellé

war hero (main titles) 3:00
getting rid of risk :11
witness :37
someone from homicide :17
check it out :13
a drink :26
paperwork 1:03
thank you :04
(pool party source :21)
a mass of therapeutic studies (semi-source) 4:47
do you believe me? :35
miscast as a murderer :48
the iron horseman :25
one of the youngest generals :22
the body 2:18
fishing :15
(restaurant source 3:20)
pretty picture :28
another doubt :08
dinner dancing (semi-source) 1:49
body found :18
come along :59
columbo’s niece :29
end credits :28
(universal end logo :04)
Total time without semi-source: 13:24

annoying girl; annoying mom; annoying old guy hitting on her
columbo appears 11 minutes in, has help in uniform cop sanchez
columbo has a theme again, jazzy but more mellow than Grusin’s...Mystery Movie theme?
columbo is skeptical at first, then it’s the girl who’s skeptical
retired war hero with a contracting company


SUITABLE FOR FRAMING (1:15:45, ONE, 6, ****+, 11/17/71)
music by Billy Goldenberg

(piano source :55)
witnesses on canvas 2:05
manufacturing a break-in 2:07
an ugly accomplice helps 1:12
(pop mussorgsky? 1:52)
interlude with the accomplice :34
(more mussorgsky :26)
stopped by a gunshot and a theremin 1:46
(and still more pictures at the exhibition :13)
is there a rattlesnake in the studio? :07
(ha ha ha what a clever musical joke :14)
drive off :18
wire tap :55
stop moving :03
dale kingston’s world of art :09
see ya :20
love is fleeting 1:10
get some rest :09
find the real killer :14
murder weapon found :22
gotcha :10
framing 1:41
naughty nephew :36
columbo arrives :58
entrapment :25
end credits :27
(universal end logo :04)

columbo appears just under 14 minutes in, gets on the murderer’s case really early
captain at the beginning, hot policewoman “sally” in feminine gear...
columbo is really embarrassed by nude model, “chris”...funny back and forth between her and gruff artist “in his commercial phase right now”
funny landlady with her long photo album
ditzy but nice aunt the uncle is trying to frame
weird score with harpsichord, theremin
arrogant art critic, great finale with the police around, columbo pulls out his hands in gloves


LADY IN WAITING (1:15:24, ONE, 7, ***+, 12/15/71)
music by Billy Goldenberg

main title 2:33
key :40
murder made mistaken manslaughter 7:21
things are so much harder in reality 2:04
still shot :14
big place 1:07
the best thing that ever happened to her :42
an experiment 1:10
(beauty source 1 & 2 3:34)
leave me alone :24
(spending money source 1:53)
at the office :14
(dead man’s ransom source 3:28)
deja’d her last vu 1:56
too classy a woman 1:42
end credits :27
(universal end logo :04)

you hear columbo’s voice in the murderess’s weird dream sequence just over 13 minutes in, but you don’t actually see him until just under 21 minutes in, milling police in background
lady’s little dog keep barking at columbo
“hey! you forgot the tray!”
cigar fragrance is not compatible
owner of a large advertising agency, wealthy family
leslie nielsen does a good straight performance as the nice fiancee
an experiment and the previous track have that recurring theme again - for Mystery Movie?
“too classy a woman -- you don’t want to do that”
theremin in the score gets kinda grating


SHORT FUSE (1:15:15, ONE, 8, ***+, 1/19/72)
music by Gil Mellé

cigar surgery 1:51
better than a borgia (main title) 1:20
junior :11
nickel tip 1:19
cigar smoking may be hazardous to your health (semi-source) 2:10
slink away 2:32
inconvenient message :12
watching the watch 1:18
get along :17
retrieving the bodies :45
in the dark room :50
hop in :15
i knew you’d be a help :30
all over soon :12
to coin a phrase 1:33
a staged chase 1:25
such a fool :57
the cigar box 3:32
end credits :27
(universal end logo :04)

I find Roddy McDowall a mite obnoxious and his relationship seems fake, on the other hand Columbo is at his best in this episode
columbo enters just under 20 minutes in
the focus in/out effect from the second pilot is used in some areas
Columbo’s really scared of heights / tour from helpful and smart local sheriff, conducts search
the honorable vice president in this is the same actor who played the lawyer in the pilot
also commodore matt decker on star trek -- william windom; mansion is from second pilot
recurring slinking theme in the score, also the maybe-mystery movie theme; one other
and the propulsive rising jazz motif -- some of these cues are def. tracked from earlier eps


BLUEPRINT FOR MURDER (1:14:56, ONE, 9, *****, 2/9/72)
music by Gil Mellé

forget it :46
(radio hoe-down source 1:02)
(classical source 2:53)
(more hoe-down :26)
(a different tape :40)
(the classical clue :29)
cut to commercial :08
(nice sound system :22)
enjoy your meal :10
bo’s bloody hat :40
a drink :19
(bad mood classical 1:40)
something concrete :09
i owe you one :25
(concerto for a dead man :40)
caught :43
no cigar :48
end credits :27
(universal end logo :04)

excellent Columbo, excellent murderer played by Patrick O’Neal, murder is not shown
columbo enters 12.5 minutes in
episode only one of originals where Peter Falk himself is credited with direction -- good job!
love the ex-wife Goldie (Janis Paige)! she likes Columbo and has a very healthy attitude
Columbo loves classical music and it helps him catch the murderer
funny interlude with Dr. Fiedler (Piglet guy) -- trying isn’t good enough (stop smoking)
shortest Columbo score of all, and it’s all tracked music from previous scores by Mellé
perhaps it is short because Falk wanted to avoid using music not written for the episode
second to last cue is from “Death Lends a Hand”


 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Apr 27, 2010 2:26 am 

Joined: Sun Feb 26, 2006 3:45 am
Posts: 251
Yavar Moradi wrote:
Hell yes! Busting is actually coming out on Kritzerland soon -- see the FSM board.

Any release date yet? Thanks.
If that CD release could trigger the DVD release of the film.

PS: kudos for the COLUMBO job.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Apr 27, 2010 3:02 pm 

Joined: Thu Dec 15, 2005 9:25 pm
Posts: 270
Location: Bayside, Wisconsin
Stefan, your missing one really nice 1976 made-for-tv score--JAMES DEAN, starring a very young and quite effective Stephen McHattie as Dean, Michael Brandon as his friend William Bast (the screenwriter who wrote this film), Brooke Adams, Meg Forster, Candy Clark, Amy Irving, and a luminous supporting role by Leland Palmer (the Gwen Verdon character in ALL THAT JAZZ) as an amputee that Dean takes home to prove to his friend Bast that one must be open to all life's possibilities.

Goldenberg's sensitive score lends fine support throughout.

Unfortunately, this almost forgotten little film is available only on truly awful DVD boots.

REALLY looking forward to a BUSTING release.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 28, 2010 2:22 pm 

Joined: Sun Feb 26, 2006 3:45 am
Posts: 251

Any release date yet? Thanks.
If that CD release could trigger the DVD release of the film.


 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Apr 29, 2010 8:51 am 

Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2006 4:07 am
Posts: 433
I'm really looking forward to the release of Busting!

And, Yavar, great work with your cue lists. Hope these see somewhere the light of the day on CD.
If I remember correctly some of the piano source pieces listed above are from Goldenberg's motion picture score "Red Sky at Morning" which was also an Universal production.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Apr 30, 2010 8:32 am 

Joined: Tue Dec 27, 2005 4:38 pm
Posts: 1567
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Know what I just realized from looking at my Columbo cue lists? Assuming that there aren't many unused cues, and assuming the most of the source music isn't really necessary, and since the score to the final episode of season one is tracked music, THEN...

...all of the original scoring for the pilot episodes and first season of Columbo can fit on one two-disc set, neatly dovetailing with the DVD release! How about it, Intrada? I'd sure as hell would buy a Columbo: Season 1 complete scores set with Grusin, Goldenberg, and Mellé, wouldn't you? I'll bet this would sell a lot better than most feature film scores by those three composers.

And I suspect this would even have some appeal beyond regular film score fans (unlike, say, Amazing Stories). Columbo is a long-running show of great stature and critical acclaim, and it would be a great tribute to Peter Falk (while he's still around and *might* understand).

Here's how I would do it:

Disc 1:

Prescription: Murder (Grusin) - 25:32
Ransom for a Dead Man (Goldenberg) - 28:17
Murder by the Book (Goldenberg) - 13:46 (this is the Spielberg episode)
Death Lends a Hand (Mellé) - 13:47

Total Time - 81:22

Now, I'm pretty sure that even with complete scores this will still fit on one CD, because Intrada would tastefully combine shorter cues into each other, and probably with some crossfading (and taking into account that I erred on the side of caution when listing cue lengths, not wanting to cut any off, so I probably included more silence than was necessary). I would estimate the total time would actually end up around 79:40.

Disc 2:

Dead Weight (Mellé) - 20:00 (this is including the most important "semi" source music which I am almost positive was written for the episode by Mellé)
Suitable for Framing (Goldenberg) - 16:48
Lady in Waiting (Goldenberg) - 20:34
Short Fuse (Mellé) - 21:36

Total Time - 78:58

Again, that total time does not take into account editing/crossfading/combining of shorter cues which I am sure would take place. Additionally, as noted I'm almost positive that several cues in Short Fuse are actually tracked from earlier episodes' scores (like was done for the entirety of the short score to Blueprint for Murder, the final episode of season 1 which Falk himself directed). This would leave more space on Disc 2 for some original source music (possibly include original source from Ransom for a Dead Man here, as it was used in many subsequent Columbo episodes).

As you can see, it's uncanny how well all of these complete scores would fit on two CDs, in chronological airing order and without having to be broken up!

By the way, my star ratings in my post above refer to the episodes themselves, not the music (which is more consistently excellent).


 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat May 01, 2010 1:56 am 

Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2006 4:07 am
Posts: 433
Yavar Moradi wrote:
and assuming the most of the source music isn't really necessary

I think the source music is often an integral part of the scoring in the 70s, Columbo was no exception. I would like to hear Goldenberg's version of the Mussorgsky from "Suitable for Framing" without all those dialogue. It was a clever idea to adapt that piece for this score.

Especially the first three seasons of Columbo would make a great listen on CD. Simply love that great Avantgarde-esque scoring. But there were also later some nice more "traditional" scores. I think Pat Williams quasi baroque approach for "Make Me a Perfect Murder" was a standout.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 03, 2010 8:48 am 

Joined: Tue Dec 27, 2005 4:38 pm
Posts: 1567
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Well, I'd rather have all the underscore and miss out on the source music if necessary. A lot of the source music in Columbo was not original stuff written for the episode (some was). As you can see though things look pretty tight for a complete first season Columbo set -- don't think any label would do more than 2 discs for it.

And personally, I think the music was excellent even after the first three seasons. New composers showed up, sure, but I thought they succeeded very well.


 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat May 15, 2010 11:32 am 
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Joined: Wed Jan 14, 2009 1:45 am
Posts: 36
I would love to see both 'Play it Again, Sam' and 'The Last of Sheila' released! Great scores.

 Post subject: ...
PostPosted: Sat May 15, 2010 11:42 am 
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Joined: Thu Dec 15, 2005 8:19 pm
Posts: 2022
Location: Panama City, FL (U.S.A.)
He also had a rejected score for the 1974 "Fun With Dick and Jane" (I am also looking into two other films where he was replaced -- as I recall both falling in that "golden" '70's period everybody likes from him).

"Questions are a burden to others; answers a prison for oneself"
"Unlike me, many of you have accepted the situation of your imprisonment and will die here like rotten cabbages."
"Everyone votes for a dictator."

 Post subject: Re: Billy Goldenberg: the 1970's Scores
PostPosted: Wed Jun 09, 2010 11:53 am 
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Joined: Wed May 10, 2006 3:39 pm
Posts: 331
Location: The Health & Beauty aisle
Not to be missed is Goldenberg's score for "Haywire" (1981), done for CBS. Some beautiful saxophone writing there.


"Ask [the director] where the camera comes from and I'll tell him where the music comes from" (David Raksin)

 Post subject: Re: Billy Goldenberg: the 1970's Scores
PostPosted: Thu Jul 17, 2014 8:41 am 

Joined: Tue Dec 27, 2005 4:38 pm
Posts: 1567
Location: Los Angeles, CA
I just thought I'd bump this for my work on Columbo and ask Intrada: might we get that two-disc set of Season 1 any time soon?


 Post subject: Re: Billy Goldenberg: the 1970's Scores
PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2014 4:08 am 

Joined: Sat Jan 29, 2011 8:38 pm
Posts: 3143
This is my first time seeing this thread. Excellent suggestions, Yavar.

I honestly just want to know the possibility of any Columbo set being released. High quality music is definitely there in great abundance, but this series is probably far from having much appeal among collectors these days.

Columbo is one of many staples in the rich musical world of Universal Television.

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