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This Is Your Life (biography, hosted by Ralph Edwards)

     (NBC Primetime, 1952 - 1961, as "This Is Your Life;
      Syndicated, 1970 - 1972, as "The New This Is Your Life";
      Syndicated, 1983, as "This Is Your Life")

     [originated on NBC radio 1948 - 1949 and 
      then moved to CBS radio 1949 - 1950;

      This popular series lured celebrities into a situation where
      they could be "surprised" by host Edwards, who would suddenly
      appear carrying a scrapbook and announce "This Is Your Life."

      Then the celebrity was led into a studio where a studio audience
      awaited. At various points in the program, a "mystery voice"
      would be heard from backstage, as another person from the
      past would be introduced and led onstage to join the reunion;

      This long-running series was seen in the United States, but 
      it inspired a long-running British series of the same name, 
      which had a memorable THEME composed by Laurie Johnson;

      A revival was attempted on American television in 1970 with
      host Ralph Edwards and a new THEME composed by Nelson Riddle; 
      it was syndicated for two seasons, but some spontaneity was
      missing -- the featured guest was even listed in advance in
      TV guide and so it lacked a certain magic;

      A third attempt at revival was even tried in 1983 but it
      didn't last]


Theme (1952 - 1961): "This Is Your Life"

    [aka: "Life Theme";

     Alexander Laszlo and his Orchestra performed the THEME he
     composed on both NBC and CBS radio versions; When the series
     went on television this same THEME was also used; 

     Related instrumental cues in Alexander Laszlo's score folders
     at the American Heritage Center at the Univ. of Wyoming:

     "Life Intro", folder #124;
     "This is Your Life - Life Theme", folder #100
     "This is Your Life - '16' bar version", folder #102
     "This is Your Life - '32' bar version", folder #107

     Cues for this series included many standards and pop songs;
     The theme and over 120 original cues composed and arranged
     by Alexander Laszlo were recycled in Laszlo's "Structural 
     Music" film and TV production music library, which he began 
     in 1950 and recycled on many other shows.

     By the time "This Is Your Life" moved to television, Laszlo
     was quite busy scoring several low-budget series including
    "My Little Margie", "Waterfront", "Beulah", and others; So
     Von Dexter and his Orchestra performed the music on the TV
     series. 

     Contributor Jim Marshall spoke with Dexter's widow, who 
     verified the only THEME used on TV was written by Laszlo,
     despite a BMI citation for a composition called "This Is 
     Your Life" credited to Von Dexter. She said this referred
     to additional cues for celebrity guests on the TV series,
     which were composed and arranged by Dexter, a Chicago-born
     musician whose birth name was LaVon Hawley Urbanski.]

     Composers: music by Alexander Laszlo (ASCAP)
               [professional name of Sandor Totis],
                with lyric added by L. Wolfe Gilbert (ASCAP)

     Original Publisher: Guild Publications of California (ASCAP),
                            of Hollywood, CA

     1998 Publisher: The Regents of the University of California,
                        of Berkeley, CA
                        on behalf of Alexander Publications, Inc. (ASCAP)

     Published Copyright Date: Nov. 1, 1949; EP 42 427.

     Recordings:
          LP: "This Is Your Life" (1958)
               Von Dexter and his Orchestra
               Imperial LP-9051


Theme 2 (1970 - 1972): "This Is Your Life"

    [THEME composer credit verified by collector Ray Clark]

     Composer: Nelson Smock Riddle (ASCAP/BMI)

     1978 Publisher:

     2002 Publisher: [listed without publisher in the
                      2002 Repertoire database]

     Copyright Date:
     Renewal   Date:

     Recordings:

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