Allyn Ferguson was like so many great TV composers: You knew his tunes but most folks didn’t know his name. Think of Charlie’s Angels, Barney Miller and all those Norman Rosemont-produced TV-movies based on classic literature. He was enormously talented, had been around forever, and had one of those wonderfully crusty exteriors. I liked him a lot. Here’s his obituary.
The L.A. Times asked for a piece linking Wagner’s 19th-century leitmotifs with today’s film music, notably that of Williams (in the Star Wars films) and Howard Shore (in the Lord of the Rings trilogy). It was an offbeat assignment that put me in touch with scholars who shared interesting perspectives.