"(Outstanding scores have) music that you can listen to over and over again and say, 'gee, I think that was a good job…' I was listening to the re-runs of 'Gunsmoke' and some of the old scores I haven't heard for 50 years. And I'm kind of impressed by that - that was music that sounded different from most of the stuff that you were hearing on TV in those days for western films. If I like listening to it again, then maybe it had something."
About This Interview
In his four-hour Archive interview, Fred Steiner (1923-2011) talks about breaking into the business as an arranger / orchestrator in network radio in the 1940s and details some of the first radio scores he wrote for legendary producer-director Norman Corwin. He discusses his work as composer for the radio series This Is Your F.B.I., his move to Los Angeles, and his compositions for the anthology series Playhouse 90. Steiner speaks on composing the jazzy theme for Perry Mason and describes several of the episode scores he wrote for landmark series The Twilight Zone and Star Trek. Steiner reminisces about CBS West Coast music director Lud Gluskin, and explains his own studies in musicology -- including receiving a Ph.D. from USC. B-roll consists of several photos from Steiner's career conducting for radio's This Is Your F.B.I. and a shot of the scoring stage at 20th Century Fox. Karen Herman conducted the interview in Sante Fe, New Mexico on June 25, 2003.