Fans of Mystery Science Theater 3000 will probably remember the hilarious William Conrad Fridge Alert invention exchange from episode 420.
Here’s a more “off beat” composition by Dominic Frontiere, performed by William Conrad. Russ Vickers painted the gorgeous canvases used in the opening and closing shots of the John Wayne western “Chisum.” You can see more of his stunning work at http://www.russvickers.com/
“Chisum” was released in 1970 and I haven’t seen it. After seeing the opening credits I don’t think I really need to. I think O.G. rapper William Conrad has probably summed it up ably for us right there in the opening ode. And if he didn’t then this is even more bizarre! I looked up musical supervisor Sonny Burke to see if he was a drinking man and apparently he was not. A clever Facebook friend pointed out that Conrad played the voice of Matt Dillon on the radio version of Gunsmoke for years so that’s probably the tie in they had in mind but… Well you be the judge!
A friend of mine says he loves the Frontiere theme song for the show “Search” that I posted yesterday “more than life.” I don’t think there is a theme song that I love more than my life. I would probably take a fairly hard punch in the arm to ensure the continued existence of all the “Ballad Of…” style themes though. So if that sort of thing comes up, I’m your woman!
This show aired for one season in 1972 but it sounds really cool! The story revolved around a group called Probe who specialized in finding lost people and things. I was bummed that they didn’t show the super spy gadgetry in the credits but the internet tells me it included cool looking ring scanners, ear implants, and a dental beeper that they could sound to Probe HQ when they couldn’t speak (one beep for yes, two for no). One of the agents was played by Tony Franciosa who later starred in “Finder of Lost Loves.”
Here’s an interesting bit of trivia: The theme song was written by Dominic Frontiere who was arrested for scalping tickets to the 1980 Super Bowl. He got the tickets because his (then) wife owned the LA Rams (I’m guessing they played). He spent nearly a year in federal prison for the crime. He did write a great theme song though. His other credits include the opening theme from “The Outer Limits,” “That Girl,” and “The Flying Nun.” Here’s his theme for “Probe.”
The first secret agents I liked were Steve “Six Million Dollar Man” Austin and Jamie “Bionic Woman” Summers. Oh the happy hours we spent staging super strength fight scenes and trying to figure out how to jump off of stuff in slow motion! As I was writing this post I wondered to myself if bionics actually made that techno percussion sound that we the audience heard every time they activated the cyborg powers. Did you know there are volumes of heated forum discussions related to the topic? Man it’s creepy how obsessed people can get with a TV show isn’t it? I, of course, obsess about absolutely nothing!