I was lucky enough to attend composer John Williams’ 1992 re-recordings of his Olympics music, including his classic 1984 “Olympic Fanfare and Theme,” which prompted me to write this July 1992 piece for TV Update. (At the time, I was writing a nationally syndicated column about television.) I happened to stumble across the original piece this morning and thought you might like to see it. It predates, of course, his third and fourth Olympic themes (“Summon the Heroes” and “Call of the Champions”), which I’ve written about elsewhere. But it’s nice to be reminded of the composer’s original thoughts about creating these pieces, which are now an indelible part of the Olympics experience.
The Winter Olympics offered an opportunity to explain, in more depth than I’ve ever seen, just how Leo Arnaud’s “Bugler’s Dream” wound up as the renowned brass fanfare so closely associated with the Olympic Games. Along the way I get to discuss John Williams’ own contributions to the Games and report on Dimitri Tiomkin’s surprising salute in this year’s Closing Ceremonies.
All those years covering this field and this was my first chance to meet Randy Edelman, whose music I’d been hearing since the days of MacGyver. He was about to win BMI’s Richard Kirk Award, so it was a wonderful opportunity to revisit such scores as Gettysburg, Come See the Paradise, Last of the Mohicans and The Adventures of Brisco County Jr. Directors Rob Cohen, Ivan Reitman and Ronald Maxwell are also quoted. And here’s another favorite piece, a Los Angeles Times story from 2002 explaining why Edelman’s obscure, cancelled-Fox-series theme wound up becoming famous for its use in Olympics telecast.