You may never have heard of him, but you’ve probably heard him

RIP Jerry Goldsmith.

When I was growing up it seemed like every movie had his name in the credits. Lilies of the Field, Seven Days in May, The Sand Pebbles, Planet of the Apes, Patton, Gremlins, Hoosiers, ….

Along with Elmer Bernstein (The Magnificent Seven, To Kill A Mockingbird) and Bernard Herrmann (Citizen Kane, Psycho, Taxi Driver), he was one of the greats.

Go count how many you’ve seen.

(Added) Reader Stephen writes:

I’ve written to you before, last time was about Bad Religion, as I had worked on their next to last album that came out around 12/01.

I also worked at Capitol Studios in Hollywood for several years, where we did a great deal of film and TV scoring, and while I never worked with Jerry, I have worked with his son, who is very cool.

But you mentioned Elmer Bernstein; what an amazing guy. I don’t know how much you know about the mechanics of scoring, but the conductor these days often isn’t the composer (as in the case of Danny Elfman, and other talented, but un-schooled musicians). Bur Elmer, being the epitome of cool, as well as a serious musician, conducts his own music. The conductor watches a screen or monitor which shows the video for the scene, and which has “streamers” superimposed on it; colored bars that indicate various things: green for start of the cue, red for the end, various other colors for special “hits” within the cue, in other words, visual aids and placemarkers.

No rock and roll session has ever given me as many goose bumps as listening to a 70 piece orchestra play a film cue the first time and make it sound like they have rehearsed it for 3 years. But NOTHING is as cool as watching Elmer conducting a 3 minute cue, never looking at the monitor, and hit the downbeat right on the red streamer. The man is a God, a pro, and legend.


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Yeah. Like I would tell you....