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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 was
      first shown 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";

     The "Old Trail" was a theme was 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...

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

     Later it "Old Trail" was called "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";

     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 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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