CD premiere of superb Elmer Bernstein score for landmark CBS television anthology series sponsored by General Electric, hosted by Ronald Reagan.

The General Electric Theater presented adaptations of popular plays, short stories, novels and films in a half-hour anthology series starring top Hollywood and Broadway talent. The format accommodated live telecasts originating from both coasts and telefilms, with Ronald Reagan hosting the show from its third season to its last and provided a voice for General Electric‒s public relations campaign.

Starting in 1958, the show made the switch from library music to original scores, with composer Elmer Bernstein spearheading the changeover. Each week Bernstein came up with an entirely new score (save for the main theme), usually using an orchestra of 25 players.  To Bernstein, the challenge and fun came from the different kinds of stories and the musical challenges each presented.

General Electric Theater left behind a dramatic legacy of 200 half-hour programs representing some of the best that Golden Age television had to offer. Fortunately for music lovers, Columbia Records €”in a rare move for 1959 €”issued this album of score highlights recorded by Bernstein with an orchestra of 45-50 players (nearly double the size used on the series itself), never before available on CD and presented from the original master tapes preserved in the Sony vaults.

Series ran from 1953 to 1962. Countless great stars appeared: John Cassavetes, Tony Curtis, James Dean, Bette Davis, Alan Ladd, Lee Marvin, Natalie Wood, Fred Astaire, Dennis Hopper, Joan Crawford, Ray Bolger, Joan Fontaine, many others. While initial five seasons utilized stock music, musical director Stanley Wilson engaged original scores for each subsequent episode starting in fall of 1958. Roster of composers included Morton Stevens, Jerry Goldsmith, Lyn Murray, Johnny Williams… and subject of this entire album, Elmer Bernstein, who scored some thirty episodes in new season. In rare move for 1959, Columbia Records issued complete album of rich, stirring music from selected scores composed and conducted by Bernstein in full stereo sound, including powerful main opening “Emblem”, closing “Progress” themes. Highlights abound: passionate, powerful music for separated lovers bound for the Train To Tecumseh (Silent Lovers), haunting musical support as David prepares to face Goliath in The Stone (Star Of David, David’s Love Song), compelling music for murder in Malaysian jungle via And One Was Loyal (Passionelle), wistful journey into terror, imagination courtesy At Miss Minner’s (Lavender Waltz), many others. Complete original album presented in vibrant stereo from original two-track masters vaulted in pristine condition at Sony Music. Original LP liner notes accompany new details from Frank DeWald plus numerous episode stills, reproduction of handsome original cover featuring host & program supervisor Reagan. Magnificent album of music from legendary Elmer Bernstein written just before he embarked on famed score for The Magnificent Seven! Elmer Bernstein conducts. 



01. Emblem (Opening Theme) (0:29)
02. Enchanté (From “Man On A Bicycle”) (3:04)
03. Passionelle (From “And One Was Loyal”) (3:25)
04. Star Of David (From “The Stone”) (2:26)
05. David’s Love Song (From “The Stone”) (2:56)
06. Lavender Waltz (From “At Miss Minner’s”) (2:28)
07. Mannequin (From “The Girl With The Flaxen Hair”) (3:21)

08. Sentimental (From “The World’s Greatest Quarterback”) (3:02)
09. The Highland Lovers (From “Robbie And His Mary”) (2:37)
10. Silent Love (From “Train To Tecumseh”) (3:21)
11. Mariachi (From “Shoes For A Small Sinner”) (2:40)
12. L’Amour Triste (From “Nobody’s Child”) (2:58)
13. Progress (Closing Theme) (2:08)