"He said, 'we want a song called 'Bonanza.'' It had to be short and it had to sound like strong men were riding into somewhere and maybe have a western flavor, and it couldn't be too long, sixteen bars. And that's it. 'Go and see what you can do.'"
About This Interview
In their nearly hour-and-a-half Archive interview, Ray Evans (1915-2007) and Jay Livingston (1915-2001) discuss the genesis of their 60-year musical partnership. They recall their arrival in Hollywood to write songs for movies and talk of signing a contract at Paramount Pictures. They outline the origins of their Oscar-nominated and winning tunes, including "Buttons and Bows," "Mona Lisa," "Que Sera, Sera" and "Tammy." They share the story behind the now classic Christmas song, "Silver Bells," for the Bob Hope film "The Lemon Drop Kid" and describe the theme songs they wrote for television shows Bonanza, Mister Ed and The Doris Day Show. Evans and Livingston also mention their collaboration with composer Henry Mancini and speak about the entertainers they have written for throughout the years, including Bob Hope, Betty Hutton, Dinah Shore, Rosemary Clooney and Debbie Reynolds. Jon Burlingame conducted the interview on February 8, 2000 in Bel Air, CA.