Quite often, not to your surprise, music gets linked together in my mind.
American classical composer Aaron Copeland finished Appalachian Spring in 1944, for which he won the Pulitzer Prize. The ballet was written for dancer Martha Graham.
Copland uses Simple Gifts, a “Shaker song written and composed in 1848, generally attributed to Elder Joseph Brackett from Alfred Shaker Village.”
Here is the song Simple Gifts, performed by Yo-Yo Ma and Alison Krauss.
The Aaron Copland version of the Simple Gifts section is isolated here. The part starting at 2:24 was used as the theme for CBS Reports, which may be the first place I heard it.
Simple Gifts was also the template for Lord of the Dance, a hymn written by English songwriter Sydney Carter in 1963. It has been included in at least one hymnal I’ve sung from in the last quarter century.
Come to where the flavor is
As a kid, I thought the theme that accompanied the Marlboro cigarette commercials was magnificent. I later discovered the tune from the movie The Magnificant Seven by Elmer Bernstein, which I have never seen.
Town Without Pity is a song performed by Gene Pitney and written by composer Dimitri Tiomkin and lyricist Ned Washington. I didn’t learn much about Pitney until after his commercial peak from 1961 to 1964. The a cappella group, The Nylons, does an excellent cover version. The intro sounds to my ear very much like the theme to the television program Perry Mason, which I think is one of the finest pieces of pure music in that genre, especially the closing.
Of course, the William Tell Overture from Gioachino Rossini’s last opera is quite familiar. The third movement is often used in many animated features to represent a new day. Then the fourth movement was used as the theme for the television program The Lone Ranger. That final movement speeded up appears in the movie A Clockwork Orange.