You may not know his name or recognize his face but you surely know his music. Jerry Goldsmith is the composer of The Walton's theme.

Born in Los Angeles, California, on February 10, 1929, Jerrald Goldsmith would become one of Hollywood's best-known and prolific film composers. He studied piano with Jacob Gimpel and theory and counterpoint with Mario Castelnuovo-tedesco. He also attended classes in film composition given by Miklos Roza at the University of Southern California. In 1950, he was employed as a clerk typist in the music department at CBS. Here he was given his first assignments as a composer for radio shows such as "Romance" and "CBS Radio Workshop." He wrote one score a week for these shows that were performed live. He stayed with CBS until 1960, having already scored "The Twilight Zone." He was hired by Revue Studios to score their Thriller Series. It was here that Jerry met the influential film composer Alfred Newman who hired him to score the film "Lonely Are The Brave" (1963). This was his first major film.

He has scored over 150 films including:"A Patch of Blue," "The Sand Pebbles," "Planet of the Apes," "Papillon," "Alien," "Patton," "Poltergeist," "Total Recall," "The Russia House" "The River Wild," "Dennis The Menace," "City Hall," "Congo," "First Knight," "Chain Reaction" and "Executive Decision."

His TV credits include the themes for "Star Trek: Voyager," "Star Trek: The Next Generation," "Medical Story," "Barnaby Jones," "Police Story" and, of course, "The Waltons."

Mr. Goldsmith is constantly pushing forward the bounds of music. In "Planet of the Apes" he included horns blown without mouthpieces and a bass clarinetist fingering the notes but not blowing. He is not afraid to use the wide variety of electronic sounds available to modern composers. His music spans five decades. In 1976, he won an Academy Award for "The Omen" and he has received 15 additional Academy Award nominations, five Emmy Awards, seven Golden Globe Nominations and seven Grammy nominations. Jerry Goldsmith died on July 23, 2004


A composer, conductor, arranger and orchestrator. Born in Philadelphia, in 1919, he attended the Eastman School of Music, in Rochester, NY. From 1946 to 1953, Courage composed and conducted for CBS Radio. It was there that he met and became friends with Jerry Goldsmith. In 1948, he began a twelve year stint arranging and orchestrating at MGM with Adolph Deutsch and Andre Previn. That same year he also appeared in a studio revue at 20th Century Fox playing opposite Marilyn Monroe.

From 1957 until the present, Courage has been composing background music for over 300 television episodes in over 50 separate series including "The Waltons." He is probably best known for the title theme to "Star Trek."

Alexander Courage has also arranged for many Academy Award programs and performances of the Cincinatti Pops and the Boston Pops Orchestras, and has been Jerry Goldsmith's principle orchestrator for many years.

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2003 Blue Ridge Publications.