September marks the 50th anniversary of the first airing of Star Trek (The Original Series). We have enjoyed fifty years of the iconic series with all its subsequent spin-offs, movies, novels, animated series, fan-films and conventions.
A week ago, a Facebook friend of mine, musician Jeff Greenberg mentioned that the classic Star Trek theme composed by Alexander Courage in 1966 had an interesting back story. The theme played during the pilot episode “The Cage” featured a wordless vocalization by soprano, Loulie Jean Norman. (From Alabama, I might add) Most Star Trek fans would be aware of Norman; but what most would not be aware of is that the inspiration for the melody has its roots in 1930s Jazz.
Alexander Courage states that his original inspiration comes from the Richard Whiting song, “Beyond The Blue Horizon”, recorded in 1930. The song was recorded by Jeanette MacDonald and was the opening song for the film, “Monte Carlo”. You can hear how he might have based his vocalization by Loulie Jean Norman on MacDonald’s soprano voice, but I don’t think I have the “musical ear” to appreciate the song, even if it is connected to Star Trek.
Other accounts say that Courage also used the musical progression of the 1941 song, “Out Of Nowhere”for other inspiration. On that song, I can hear slightly what might become the fanfare of The Theme from Star Trek.
I’ll let you decide. These are your “Saturday Diversions”
And, as an extra added Diversion, and for inspiring this Saturday’s blog entry; take a look at Jeff Greenberg’s band, “Snake and the Charmers” version of an “On The Road With Dave” favorite, and get your kicks.