British born LYN MURRAY (1909–1989)
When you think of iconic composers there are a host of names that probably come to mind, from Bernard Herrmann to James Horner, Jerry Goldsmith to Lalo Schiffrin… the list goes on BUT
Because I watch so much vintage mystery television I’ve become acquainted with the genius of Mort Stevens, Pete Rugolo, and Georges Dunning.
But recently while delving into some Alfred Hitchcock Hour I was struck at the core of my heartstrings by a particular man whose themes kept popping up throughout the very powerful first season of The Alfred Hitchcock Hour.
Doing research I found that Lyn Murray worked with Hitchcock on To Catch A Thief 1955 as well as Joseph Losey’s The Prowler 1951 with Van Heflin. Lyn Murray is one of those composers that slip through the cracks, as we pay attention to the very moving pieces of film or dramatic television theatrics.
Emotions are evoked by the scenery or fine acting, but what lies behind the mood is the brilliants of the music that carries the set piece and plot to the level of catharsis. I haven’t been able to stop humming several of Murray’s themes. They’ve been flying around my head like wonderful little moths attracted to the porch lite.
I’ve been so moved by his work that I’ve decided to give him just a little bit of attention here at The Last Drive-In. Hopefully, next time you’re watching episode 35 in all of Alfred Hitchcock you’ll take notice and appreciate this extremely evocative composer. Lyn Murray has also done a tremendous amount of work for motion pictures, and television like Kraft Suspense Theater, and DRAGNET, and made for tv movies.
He has a very unique almost quirky sense of beautiful timing, with arrangements that utilize the most dissonant strings, horn sections, and flute and whose melodies often take a right turn when you think it’s going left. His music tugs at the heart and fits each scenario so well, you couldn’t imagine hearing anything else underscoring the dramatic scene. Quite often bringing a heave to my chest and tears in my eyes.
The Alfred Hitchcock Hour-The Paragon, Final Vow, and What Happened Was all poignant contributions with their moments that were emotionally elevated by the intricate composition and arrangements by Lyn Murray.
For The Twilight Zone Lyn Murray was responsible for Passage for Trumpet with Jack Klugman. The wonderful episode is very close to my heart.
From The Alfred Hitchcock Hour, his evocative, style used in several episodes, (The Paragon starring Joan Fontaine and Annabel starring Susan Oliver) is mesmerizing!
Here’s a smattering of Murray’s style.
THE ALFRED HITCHCOCK HOUR ‘The Paragon’
THE ALFRED HITCHCOCK HOUR ‘What Really Happened’
THE ALFRED HITCHCOCK HOUR “Final Vow’
From ABC Movie of the Week- LOVE HATE LOVE 1971
Trailer TO CATCH A THIEF 1955
Twilight Zone -‘PASSAGE FOR TRUMPET’ (1960)
PROMISE HER ANYTHING 1965
THE PROWLER 1951
THE BIG NIGHT 1951
KRAFT SUSPENSE THEATER ‘JUNGLE OF FEAR’
MORE ABOUT LYN MURRAY AND HIS RENOWNED RADIO CAREER AT THIS LINK BELOW
Coming up… I’ll talk about Alex North, Mort Stevens, Pete Rugolo, Jerry Goldsmith, Dominick Frontier, Francis Lai and Gil Melie
From the heart, your MonsterGirl