It was a miracle to pull this one off. When we launched the Quinn Martin Collection of TV soundtracks (including Barnaby Jones, Dan August, Cannon, Most Wanted, The Invaders, The Streets of San Francisco), we knew it would be difficult to include one of Quinn’s earliest successes, the World War II series 12 O’Clock High — because it was a co-production of QM and 20th Century-Fox, and clearing the rights was therefore complicated. But we had over 12 hours of music that Dominic Frontiere composed for the 1964-67 series and I really wanted to collect and release what I felt was Frontiere’s best work for television. Luckily, with QM defunct, Fox found a way to clear it, and we were able to assemble a “best of” 2-CD set. We also had the cooperation of Dominic’s family and were able to include some period photos of the composer in the booklet.
For our second volume of music from classic Quinn Martin television shows, we chose The Invaders, the short-lived (two seasons, 1967-68) science-fiction series that starred Roy Thinnes as an architect who stumbles upon an alien invasion of Earth and then has endless trouble convincing anyone of his story. Dominic Frontiere wrote the theme and three scores, which occupy the first of our two discs. The second disc consists of suites from all of the other scored shows, including music by Duane Tatro, Richard Markowitz, Irving Gertz and Sidney Cutner. The colorful 20-page booklet was designed by Dan Goldwasser (who also designed this website for me). This was all possible because The Film Music Society, a vital film-music preservation organization, is the home of an estimated 500 reels of QM music, saved when the company went out business back in the early 1980s.
We got the sad news about Dominic Frontiere’s death through an offbeat source: a paid death notice that appeared in the Los Angeles Times. It took an entire day (including calling every funeral home in the Santa Fe area) to confirm the news, and in that time I assembled an obituary that covered the high points of his long career. Frontiere composed several classic themes of 1960s TV — including The Outer Limits, 12 O’Clock High, The Flying Nun, Branded, The Invaders, and The Rat Patrol — as well as such memorable movie scores as Hang ‘Em High and The Stunt Man. He won an Emmy and a Golden Globe and even his forgotten shows had great themes (I especially love The Immortal, Search and his miniseries Washington: Behind Closed Doors). Here is the obituary I wrote for Variety.