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“Liner Notes” from the maestro…


A person noted for feats of courage or nobility of purpose, especially
one who has risked or sacrificed his or her life. (Webster)

Foster’s life (1826 – 1864) has become part of American legend. He
died at age 37 with 38 cents in his pocket and a penciled scrap of
paper that read, “dear friends and gentle hearts.” This
Foster Overture is a medley of songs containing Oh Susanna,
My Old Kentucky Home, Jeanie With the Light Brown Hair, Old Folks at
Home, Beautiful Dreamer and The Campton Races.

The song Thee I
Love was written by Dimitri Tiomkin for the movie Friendly
, which is the story about a family of Quakers in
Indiana in 1862. Their religion is strongly opposed to violence and
war. When Southern troops pass through their area, trouble arises.
Should they fight despite their peaceful beliefs?

opened in London on May 28, 1878. It ran for 571
performances and became a huge fad in America. HMS Pinafore is
amongst the most popular Gilbert and Sullivan operas.

Hector on watch at the OK Corral

After the shootout near the OK Corral (October 26, 1881) Wyatt Earp
yearned for a peaceful life and went to San Francisco to propose
marriage to Josephine Marcus who was an actress/singer and,
ironically, was performing the roll of Josephine in the comique
opera “HMS Pinafore.” Looking at Heaven is the end credit
music of the movie Tombstone. The photo on the cover of this
CD is the famous Bird Cage Theater; it is at this theater where
Wyatt Earp meets Josephine Marcus for the first time and where, in
the early 1900’s, famous artists like Lillian Russel and
Enrico Carusso performed. I personally had the privilege to spend
two nights in the old hotel across the street from the Bird Cage
Theater in Tombstone, Arizona. After I fully soaked in the
atmosphere of the old western town and the theater’s history, I
Wyatt Earp and was inspired to compose this CD.

     It was this
same Bird Cage Theater that also inspired Arthur J. Lamb to write
the lyrics of the song A Bird in a Gilded Cage. Harry Von
Tilzer wrote the music that made Lillian Russel famous.

The Magnificent

is an Americanization of the film ‘Shichinin no samurai’ or
‘The Seven Samurai’. Year after year, a bandit terrorizes a
small Mexican farming village. The village elders send three of the
farmers into the United States to search for gunmen to defend them.
They end up with 7, each of whom comes for a different reason. They
must prepare the town to repulse an army of over 100 bandits who
will arrive wanting food.

Morricone wrote the score for the movie Once Upon a Time in the
. This frontier epic is the story of a mysterious stranger
with his harmonica who joins forces with a notorious desperado to
protect a beautiful widow from a ruthless assassin working for the

     The simple
but haunting melody Do not Forsake Me Oh My Darling
was written by Dimitri Tiomkin for the movie High Noon
starring Gary Cooper and Grace Kelly. The movie tells the story of a
retired lawman about to leave town with his new bride when an outlaw
he put in prison returns with his gang to take revenge.

     Two bounty
hunters search for an outlaw named ‘Indio’. The Yield of the
refers to the scene that takes place in an old Spanish
church where Indio takes on the man who sent him to jail. When the
music, seemingly coming from the pocket watch ends, the duel starts.
Ennio Morricone composed the music for the movie For a Few
Dollars More

     In my eyes,
‘Johnny,’ who goes to war as a young boy, fighting for the country
he loves, is a true hero. And When Johnny Comes Marching
, gratitude and joy are immense, an emotion still evoked by
many who listen to this composition today. Morton Gould originally
wrote the arrangement of this timeless piece, entitled American


The CD concludes
with a short, yet poignant and significant reprisal from the
movie Tombstone

After proposing
marriage, legendary Wyatt Earp gently asks Josephine:

 ”May I have
this dance?

  …And then,
we’ll order room service…”

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