The Jerome Moross Centennial.
My colleague Toby of 50 Westerns From The 50s highlight today that this would have been the 100th birthday for famed American-born composer and noted film scorer, Jerome Moross. And he used the one of his most magnificent works (on vinyl) as the lead image. Doesn’t get any better than that.
Today would be composer Jerome Moross’ 100th birthday. 50s Western fans know him for his terrific score for The Big Country (1958), William Wyler’s epic Western starring Gregory Peck. It’s easily one of the best to be found in any Western — and it’s got some stiff competition.
Moross’ daughter (who has been a huge help with my research) has organized a number of showcases for her dad’s work. You can follow the festivities at moross.com.
4 Responses to “The Jerome Moross Centennial.”
Thanks for the reminder Mike – a magnificent score, one among many by Moross who also wrote wonderful music for THE CARDINAL, VALLEY OF GWANGI, FIVE FINGERS and many more.
Oh, yes. Wonderful composer. Some fine examples, Sergio. Thanks, my friend.
In the cinema, anyway. As proof, check this out: For my money, that’s one of the five greatest movie themes ever. I thought of Jerome Moross today, because Thursday was his 100th birthday, and his score for that 1958 western epic justly earned an Oscar nomination. This is a big year for musical anniversaries: Richard Wagner and Giuseppe Verdi were born 200 years ago, Benjamin Britten 100 years ago. (Britten also wrote film scores in the 1930s.) But Moross, who died at 69 and spent his life alternating between soundtracks and classical compositions, has been overlooked. Listening to “The Big Country” got me thinking about my all-time favorite film theme: That one comes from Elmer Bernstein, who was nominated for 14 Oscars. Bernstein, like Moross, was Jewish. So was Dimitri Tiomkin, who wrote the immortal theme and score for “High Noon.” So was Victor Young, who earned an amazing 24 Oscar nominations before he died at 57 and made a name for himself with the Joel McCrea western “Wells Fargo.” And Aaron Copland, the quintessential New York-based Jewish composer of the 20th century, was nominated for an Oscar for his score for “Of Mice and Men” (set among migrant workers in California) and wrote a plaintive score for “The Red Pony,” another adaptation of a western novella by John Steinbeck. Why should this be? Did these urban composers, settled among the canyons of steel in New York or Los Angeles, long for the sprawl of open country? Did these descendants of a long-migratory people sympathize with characters who were trying to make a living in an untamed land where they weren’t always welcome? That’s a question I can’t answer. But it popped into my head today.
Great info, Melanie. Such wonderful scores. Welcome and thank you for that.