July 31, 2012
David Raksin Centennial Broadcast
KUSC-FM salutes revered film composer on August 4
David Raksin, the Oscar-nominated composer of Laura, The Bad and the Beautiful and dozens of other film and television scores, would have turned 100 years old on Saturday, August 4.
Los Angeles classical-music station KUSC-FM will commemorate the Raksin centennial with a two-hour special, A Song After Sundown: A 100th Birthday Tribute to David Raksin, airing at 4 p.m. Pacific time Saturday (91.5 in the Los Angeles area, streaming live at www.kusc.org), with a repeat broadcast scheduled for 12 noon on Saturday, August 11.
Raksin – who, as the last surviving composer of the Hollywood's Golden Age, was widely considered the dean of American film music during the 1980s and 1990s – died on August 9, 2004 at the age of 92.
His theme for the detective mystery Laura (1944) is among the most famous, and most-recorded, ever written for films, with more than 400 popular releases. Raksin himself recorded a 5-minute suite (part of RCA's Classic Film Scores series of the 1970s) that will be featured on the show, along with his extended suites from the backstage-Hollywood classic The Bad and the Beautiful (1952) and his Oscar-nominated music from the costume drama Forever Amber (1947).
Also featured will be rarely heard selections from other Raksin scores including Force of Evil (1948), Carrie (1952), The Big Combo (1954), the Oscar-nominated music from Separate Tables (1958), Will Penny (1968) and his television themes from Ben Casey (1961) and Breaking Point (1963). A seven-minute, never-before-heard suite from the controversial television film The Day After (1983) will also be part of the broadcast, as will excerpts from several of the composer's concert works including his 1986 oratorio "Oedipus Memnetai."
Raksin, who was writer and host of his own KUSC program, The Subject Is Film Music, in the 1970s, will be heard in numerous excerpts from his broadcast commentaries.
Writer, producer and host for A Song After Sundown: A 100th Birthday Tribute to David Raksin is Jon Burlingame. Gail Eichenthal serves as executive producer.