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Gunsmoke (western, starring James Arness)

     (CBS Primetime, 1955 - 1975)

     [Syndicated title for 1/2 hr episodes: "Marshal Dillon";
     
      The British title was originally "Gun Law" when it first
      aired there in 1956;

      The series began on CBS Radio in 1952, with ubiquitous 
      radio voice actor William Conrad in the role of Marshall 
      Matt Dillon of Dodge City, Kansas;

      From its radio beginnings, the writing on this series was
      noted for its more realistic approach to western drama;
      it included characterization and atmospheric details to
      simulate the Frontier West which may or may not have ever 
      existed, but which was a romantic ideal in the minds of
      men and boys who read Western dime novels;

      Other memorable regulars of this ensemble TV cast included 
      Amanda Blake as "Miss Kitty", Milburn Stone as "Doc",
      Ken Curtis as "Festus", Dennis Weaver as Deputy "Chester"
      who walked with a limp, and later the cast included 
      Burt Reynolds as burly blacksmith "Quint" Asper]


Main & End Theme 1: "Old Trail"

    [aka: "Boot Hill" and "Boothill";
     aka: "Theme from Gunsmoke";

     This THEME was originally composed for the radio series
     by Rex Koury who said he was so busy scoring the first radio
     episode he almost forgot to write a Main Title, so was forced
     to jot down the tune hastily -- legend had it was composed in
     Koury's bathroom, but that has not been verified. He gave it
     the name "Old Trail" when lyrics were added.

     The radio orchestra was a small ensemble which included a
     harmonium (pump organ) which sounded like an accordian;

     Later the "Old Trail" was named "Theme from Gunsmoke" with 
     a second set of lyrics by Glenn Spencer....and it was also 
     recorded as a song under the title "Boot Hill";
     
     "Boothill" by Koury (misspelled "Khoury") was verified as the 
     THEME for this series in the TV Guide article "It Seems To Me
     I've Heard That Theme Before", July 28, 1956, pp. 12-13;

     The title "Boot Hill" was, by coincidence, also the name of
     an opening main title cue for the sequence looking between the
     legs of Matt Dillon during a shoot-out on the streets of Dodge,
     composed by Fred Steiner for the TV series...

     It is thought that the first TV season slow Main & End Title 
     arrangements for TV were by "Superman" THEME composer Leon 
     Klatzkin who scored several episodes for the series;

     Later more exciting TV Main Title arrangements followed 
     by Fred Steiner and Morton Stevens -- see following credits
     which add new material surrounding the original theme;

     Songwriter Glenn Spencer wrote both versions of the Lyric
     when it was called "Old Trail" for radio, and "Gunsmoke"
     on television.]

     Composers: music by Rex Koury (ASCAP), with
                lyrics by Glenn J. Spencer (ASCAP)

     Original Publisher: Herman Music, Inc. (ASCAP); and
                         sole selling agent Fiesta Music, Inc. (ASCAP)
                            of Hollywood, CA

     1997 Publisher:  Herman Music, Inc. (ASCAP)

    [info courtesy contributor T. Perrone,
     as "Old Trail", the radio THEME]:
     Published Copyright Date: Oct. 1, 1953; Ep 74 576.
     Published Renewal   Date:

    [as "Theme from 'Gunsmoke'", coincident with the TV series debut]: 
     Published Copyright Date: Sep. 22, 1955; Ep 92 973.
     Published Renewal   Date:

     Recordings:


Alternate Theme 2: "Boothill (Sig)"

    [ASCAP title variation:
     aka: "Gunsmoke Main Title";
     BMI title variation: 
     aka: "Opening Theme - Gunsmoke";

     Although listed separately in the ASCAP ACE database,
     this is probably the same as Theme #3 below...Correspondence
     with Fred Steiner in 1999 indicates he believed this cue 
     might have been used as the Main Title (see below) which
     was a dramatic build-up featuring low trombones and Timpani,
     which scored a visual sequence seen from between the legs 
     of Marshall Dillon during a "shoot-out" on the streets of 
     Dodge City, Kansas...]

     Composers: Rex Koury (ASCAP), and
                Frederick ("Fred") Steiner (ASCAP)

     1978 Publisher: La Paz Music Co. (ASCAP)

     1998 Publisher: Aspenfair Music, Inc./Special Acct. (ASCAP),
                        c/o CBS, Inc.
                        of New York, NY
     Copyright Date:
     Renewal   Date:

     Recordings:


Alternate Theme 3: "Gunsmoke Main Title"

    [although listed separately in the ASCAP ACE database, this
     is probably the same as "Boothill (Sig)" Theme #2 above]

     Composer: Frederick ("Fred") Steiner (ASCAP)

     1978 Publisher: La Paz Music Company (ASCAP)

     1999 Publisher: La Paz Music Company (ASCAP)
                        of Santa Fe, NM

     Copyright Date:
     Renewal   Date:

     Recordings:


End Title Theme 4 [addtl. material/arrangement]: "Gunsmoke Theme"

    [this is an arrangement of the Main Theme composed by
     Rex Koury]

     Composer: music by Rex Koury (ASCAP),
               arrangement by Frederick ("Fred") Steiner (ASCAP)

     1978 Publisher: La Paz Music Company (ASCAP)

     1999 Publisher: La Paz Music Company (ASCAP)
                        of Santa Fe, NM

     2000 Publisher:

     Copyright Date:
     Renewal   Date:

     Recordings:


Alternate Theme 5 [addtl. material/arrangement]: "Gunsmoke Main Title"

    [this is an arrangement of the Main Theme composed by
     Rex Koury]

     Composer: music by Rex Koury (ASCAP),
               arranged by Morton ("Mort") Stevens (ASCAP)

     1978 Publisher: April Music, Inc. (ASCAP)

     1998 Publisher: Aspenfair Music, Inc. (ASCAP)
                        c/o CBS, Inc. of
                        New York, NY

     Copyright Date:
     Renewal   Date:

     Recordings:


















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