Prolific Composer/Songwriter Billy Goldenberg dies at 84 years old–August 3rd, 2020

Emmy Winning Billy Goldenberg, we say goodbye…

One of the last great composers has left the stage. There are over 192 credits listed for composer, Billy Goldenberg, the songwriter, music director and conductor. Goldenberg added his dramatic, evocative, dreamy and groovy style to so many popular films, tv movies and television themes, you might not have known, was his.

He is an Emmy Award winning composer who garnered over 25 Emmy nominations, and created some of the most haunting melodies, trippy electronics, and catchy themes than are unequaled. 

From Steven Spielberg’s 1971 “Duel”; his combination of electronic and orchestral music for Rod Serling’s 1969 “Night Gallery” pilot; and his grandly romantic 1971,  “Ransom for a Dead Man,” the second “Columbo” pilot that sold the famous Peter Falk series. -Variety

I had the incredible opportunity to see Billy Goldenberg live in New York, while he went on the road with Bea Arthur, playing piano for her one-woman show “…And Then There’s Bea” in the early 2000s.

It was a an incredibly memorable experience to be right up front, near the stage, with two of my most beloved talents. Bea Arthur crooned sentimental tunes, accompanied on piano by the marvelously intuitive Billy Goldenberg. Their synchronicity, their chemistry created a magical evening of music, nostalgia and a deep friendship between these two geniuses.

Billy Goldenberg will be honored in a documentary that is close to completion by writer, director, film producer and friend, Gary Gerani, who has been putting together the tribute, with tireless effort, respect, awe and love for his friend and one, who is one of the greatest composers/musician and mensch.

2020 has seen many, many losses, Olivia de Havilland, Shirley Knight and now Billy Goldenberg. It’s a piece of sweet memories starting to fade away from this side of the veil, but we have to hold on to their presence, because remembering them and their legacy is vital to keeping them with us, and keeping their legacy alive.

Billy Goldenberg scored many popular feature films, for instance: Play it Again, Sam and Up the Sandbox 1972, The Last of Sheila 1973, Busting 1974, Queen of the Stardust Ballroom 1975, and The Domino Principle 1977.

The Domino Principle 1977

The Last of Sheila 1973

Just a few television creditsSteven Spielberg’s directorial debut with -Duel 1971 tv movie, Alias Smith and Jones tv series 1971-73, Reflections of Murder 1974 tv movie, Smile, Jenny You’re Dead 1974 pilot for Harry O, The Legend of Lizzie Borden 1975 tv movie, One of my Wives is Missing 1976 tv movie, Helter Skelter 1976 mini-series

He was responsible for 7 episodes of Columbo with Peter Falk including some of my favorites, Ransom for a Dead Man, Murder by the Book, Suitable for Framing, Lady in Waiting, A Stitch in Crime and A Friend in Deed.

Billy Goldenberg set the trend of staging musical scores that were bathed in supernatural, intriguing  and enigmatic atmosphere. He was a weaver of spellbinding dreams!

Here’s just a snippet of his work in television-

Ransom for a Dead Man

Prescription Murder

Murder by the Book

A Stitch in Time

The Name of the Game 1968-71

Fear No Evil 1969 tv movie

Night Gallery 1969 tv pilot

The Neon Ceiling tv movie with Lee Grant

The Sixth Sense 1972 tv series

Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark 1973 tv movie

Circle of Fear tv series 1972-73

Ghost Story/Circle of Fear 1972

Harry O tv series 1974-76

Kojak tv series 1973-77

Your EverLovin’ Joey, with music in my heart says, Farewell Billy…


The Film Score Freak recognizes: Paul Williams ‘Old Souls’ from Phantom of The Paradise sung by the sublimely sexy Jessica Harper

Phantom of the Paradise (1974)

Director Brian de Palma’s phantasmagorical phantom of the opera rock opera in the vein of Mephistopheles featuring the music from sensational songwriter Paul Williams who also plays Swan and the fantastic Jessica Harper (actress, composer, singer & writer)as Pheonix. William Finley plays Winslow/The Phantom and Gerrit Graham is Beef.



The Phantom of the Paradise

I’d never sell my soul to the devil-just your ordinary little soulful MonsterGirl for sure!

The Film Score Freak recognizes Lyn Murray composer of the heart obscurely

British born  LYN MURRAY  (1909–1989)


Musical director for NBC Radio’s “The Ford Theater” (1947-1948) Died May 2oth 1989 in California.

 LYN MURRAY’S Filmography List IMDb Profile here-

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.

William Walton, Lyn Murray, (an unknown man), Bernard Herrmann, Andre Previn (an unknown woman)

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.




From ABC Movie of the Week- LOVE HATE LOVE 1971

Trailer TO CATCH A THIEF 1955

Twilight Zone -‘PASSAGE FOR TRUMPET’ (1960)






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

A Thousand Faces: Musical Tribute to Lon Chaney Sr & Lon Chaney Jr


Chaney in the unknown


The Phantom of the Opera & ‘Bulldozer’ song by Jo Gabriel from the album Fools & Orphans

Montage of The Unknown, The Penalty, West of Zanzibar & HE Who Gets Slapped with Jo Gabriel’s  song Passing/Arriving off The Amber Sessions. lo-fi neo-classical album….

Birthday Tribute Lon Chaney

A Thousand Faces Tribute- Montage of Chaney Sr with Jo Gabriel’s song ‘A Thousand Faces’

Annex - Chaney Jr., Lon_01

Annex - Chaney Jr., Lon (Wolf Man, The)_06

Son of A Thousand Faces- Montage of Chaney Jr with Jo Gabriel’s song Flicker off my album The Amber Sessions

XOXO to the Chaneys- Joey

The Film Score Freak Recognizes: ☆ ‘The Man of a Thousand Faces’ It’s Lon Chaney’s Birthday April 1st

Lon Chaney
Lon Chaney Sr. (Leonidas Chaney) April 1 1883- August 26 1930

The Film Score Freak wants to pay tribute to The Man of a Thousand Faces, the inimitable Lon Chaney Sr. who’s evocative style of physical performance, volatile and poignant, effusive, penetrating and always sublime characterizations created some of the most memorable roles in cinematic history.

Happy Birthday Lon Chaney, we here at The Last Drive In wish you never get slapped, never to be unknown, never to be in the shadows or swing from a bell unless you’re ringing it for joy, to keep your wonderful face unmasked and the music playing til the ends of time, no matter how many thumbs or arms or legs you have, or whatever unholy mischief you might be up to, we adore you forever from here to Zanzibar….

My song ‘Passing/Arriving’ appears on my lo-fi album The Amber Session, you can visit my official site at Ephemera 

as Paul Beamont or HE in He Who Gets Slapped 1924
Laugh, Clown, Laugh with Loretta Young
as Tito in Laugh, Clown, Laugh (1928) with Loretta Young
Lon Chaney andnJoan Crawford The Unknown
Alonzo in The Unknown 1927 with Joan Crawford
Lon Chaney as The Phantom
Lon Chaney as The Phantom of the Opera 1925
Lon Chaney as Chinese Immigrant Yen Sin in Shadows (1922)
London after Midnight
as Professor Edward C. Burke in London After Midnight 1927
The Hunchback of Notre Dame
as Quasimodo in The Hunchback of Notre Dame 1923
The Miracle Man in and out of costume
Chaney in and out of his costume as The Frog for The Miracle Man 1919
The Penalty with Ethel_Grey_Terry_and_Lon_Chaney
as Blizzard in The Penalty 1920 with Ethel Terry
The Shock
as Wilse Dilling in The Shock 1923
The Unholy 3 (1930)
Echo – The Ventriloquist in The Unholy Three 1930
West of Zanzibar
Phroso in West of Zanzibar 1928
The Unknown with Joan Crawford
Alfonso in The Unknown with Joan Crawford

Happy Birthday Lon Chaney-With love to a man of many monsters from a MonsterGirl

The Film Score Freak Recognizes: Petula Clark: “You and I” Goodbye Mr. Chips (1969)

“Growing older, growing closer… making memories that light the sky”




A shy, withdrawn English schoolteacher falls for a flashy showgirl.

‘You and I’ written by the great Leslie Bricusse and conducted by John Williams, from the soundtrack for Goodbye Mr. Chips, starring Peter O’Toole, as Arthur Chipping and Petula Clark as Katherine Bridges also co-starring Michael Redgrave, and directed by Herbert Ross.




The Film Score Freak Recognizes: Mark Hellinger and Jules Dassin’s Prison Noir Masterpiece Brute Force (1947) & Jo Gabriel’s ‘The Simple Truth’

“HUMAN DYNAMITE! Told the Raw, Ruthless “KILLERS” Way!”



Produced by Mark Hellinger and directed by Jules Dassin, the film is a strikingly potent Prison Noir Masterpiece. Brute Force (1947) is one of my all time favorite films that transcends genre labeling. The entire cast performs the piece like a well oiled Tanker filled with nitro glycerine speeding out of control. With a collection of characters pushed to the brink of fury, dominated by a sadist who reigns over the social institution and the beautiful women who wait for the men who are never coming home.

Richard Brooks wrote the screenplay and William H Daniel’s was responsible for the explosive cinematography that grips you by the throat. With an equally compelling score by the master composer Miklós Rózsa.

Brute Force

Brute Force 2

Brute Force_3

Starring Burt Lancaster is Joe Collins, Hume Cronyn is the savage and psychopathic Captain Munsey, Charles Bickford is Gallagher, Yvonne De Carlo is Gina Ferrara, Ann Blyth plays Ruth, Ella Raines is Cora Lister, Anita Colby is Flossie, Sam Levene is Louie Miller #7033, Jeff Corey plays the rat ‘Freshman’ Stack, John Hoyt plays Spencer, Jack Overman is Kid Coy, Sir Lancelot is Calypso and Jay C Flippen is Hodges the guard.

I couldn’t resist mashing up in the mixing bowl, this brutal bit of noir with my tough as satin nails ‘The Simple Truth’ somehow the confluence of visual collective upheaval and raw honesty of my song… a track off my debut album ‘Island’


for the international label Kalinkaland Records, just seemed to feel right to me… I hope you enjoy this little homage. Here’s MonsterGirl as Jo Gabriel lending her music to a fire storming montage of images from Brute Force

Always brutally truthful -Your MonsterGirl

The Film Score Freak Recognizes iconic 70s songwriter-Paul Williams


Paul Williams

Paul Williams sings

Paul and Kermit

Growing up in the 7os, a lot of what inspired me to follow my journey as a singer/songwriter had much to do with the brilliant, evocatively poignant and memorable compositions by artists like the great Paul Williams. I still can’t listen or sing one of his iconic songs without becoming a fountain of tears, melting into an emotional puddle of ‘feelings.’ His contribution to the world as a singer/songwriter has been so immense, that I feel inadequate just showing a little love here, instead of doing one of my long winded posts.

But I am too agitated with excitement about the documentary Paul Williams Still Alive, and to have found him  alive and well on Twitter. I love you, We love you Paul Williams.

You have given us a magical, alchemical concoction of music that will forever flare up like molten gold in our hearts. It’s so good to see you again.

So here’s a just a little reminder of SOME of the things this beautiful, brilliant man has brought us from his heavenly throne where he sits with the other musical angels.

From the new documentary, here’s the official trailer for Paul Williams Still Alive

Karen Carpenter sings Rainy Days and Mondays

Kermit the Frog sings The Rainbow Connection from The Muppet Movie

Karen Carpenter sings We’ve Only Just Begun

Barbra Streisand sings Evergreen from A Star is Born

Jessica Harper sings Old Souls from Phantom of The Paradise

Here’s to the immortal genius! – With love Jo Gabriel the little singer/songwriting MonsterGirl

The FilmScore Freak Recognizes:Jerry Goldsmith’s Hauntingly Poignant Score: The Other (1972)

“When does the game stop and the terror begin?”

THE OTHER (1972)


Directed by Robert Mulligan

Robert Mulligan
Director Robert Mulligan
To Kill A Mockingbird Robert Mulligan
Director Robert Mulligan’s masterpiece based on Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird


Based on actor/author Thomas Tryon’s best-selling novel, about the duplicity of innocence and evil in the incarnation of twin boys. Set in the Depression era during a hot and dusty summer of 1935. The atmosphere of rural quaintness is painted beautifully by cinematographer Robert Surtees.

Niles and Holland Perry (Chris and Martin Udvanoky) live with their extended family on a rural farm. The boys are looked after by their old world and arcane, loving Russian Grandmother Ada (the extraordinary icon Uda Hagen.)

The Other Uta Hagen

The sagely mysterious and angelic Ada has taught the boys a special and esoteric gift from the old country she calls ‘the game.’

When several inextricably grotesque accidents beset the town, the clues start to point toward Niles’ wicked brother Holland who may be responsible for the gruesome deaths.


Also starring Diana Muldaur as the boy’s hapless mother Alexandra.

Diana Muldaur

Norma Connolly plays Aunt Vee, Victor French co-stars as the drunken swarthy handyman Angelini, Lou Frizzell is Uncle George, Portia Nelson as the uptight Mrs. Rowe, Jennie Sullivan as Torrie, and a young John Ritter as Rider.


Tryon’s story is a most hauntingly mysterious journey through the eyes of a child, a macabre and provocative psychological thriller from the 70s that has remained indelible in triggering my childhood fears, filled with wonder and the impenetrable world of the supernatural. I plan on doing a broader overview of this film as I am prone to be long-winded. But for now, The Film Score Freak would like to focus on the film’s hauntingly poignant score contributed by one of my favorite and in my opinion one of THE BEST composers of all time, Jerry Goldsmith.


In Dreams-MonsterGirl

The Film Score Freak recognizes: Vincente Minnelli’s musical fantasia ‘On A Clear Day You Can See Forever’ (1970)

On a Clear Day You Can See Forever (1970)

On A Clear Day You Can See Forever film poster

Barbra -On a Clear Day

Barbra plays Daisy Gamble, a woman based on Bridie Murphy, who knows when the phone’s going to ring, and talks to flowers helping them to flourish. She seeks help from a doctor who specializes in hypnosis to help her  quit smoking. Once she’s under, she becomes regressed back to several past lives and quite a few animated personalities, one of which he falls madly in love with. Co-Starring Yves Montand and Jack Nicholson, Simon Oakland, Larry Blyden and Bob Newhart.


With music by Burton Lane and lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner, sung by the unchallenged songstress of the millennia Barbra Streisand, here’s just one of the spectacular, and transcendental songs of the film.


On a Clear Day You Can See Forever sung at the film’s coda

some extra bit of goodness

Hurry It’s Lovely Up Here

I’m too Verklempt to speak-MonsterGirl