Music of The Virginian

The Virginian featured some of the best composers in film and television. I cover them all in my book.  Music has always been an integral part of Westerns both in television and film.  The Virginian excelled in its choice of music with acclaimed composers such as Bernard Herrmann, David Shire and Leonard Rosenman composing scores for the show.

The partnership of Leo Shuken and Jack Heyes provided my favorite music in Season 5.  Here are the opening title credits to Legacy of Hate (5:01) courtesy of YouTube.

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6 thoughts on “Music of The Virginian”

  1. This piece of music from Legacy of Hate has remained in my mind over the years, and thanks to your book, I now know the writing team behind it. It is one of many pieces that I remember, some, such as the opening music of The Substitute by David Shire, I recorded on my first cassette recorder. I can always spot the great Bernard Herrmann and Leonard Rosenmann’s scores,even when they are used together in the same ep, as they both had a very distinctive sound, Herrmann’s, in particular, often have hints of his Hitchcock scores.

    It’s a pity the identity of some of The V composers remains unknown, because of Universal’s closed door policy mentioned in your book. For instance, I would love to know if John Williams did any of those uncredited scores, since he composed “The Golden West”, usually played on the saloon piano, and “Tomorrow” often played at dances. The music of all these great composers was a great asset to the show.

  2. Yes the music was integral to the success of the show Nicholas. Much like writers, musicians are often overlooked but often the theme music or strong incidental music stays with you for many years.

  3. I heard a song on the Virginian , the main line was everybody is waiting for something, but I don’t think that was the name of it. A young man was singing it as he waited to be executed!! He was playing a guitar as well.

  4. I have recognized certain music used in both The Virginian and in Wagon Train, like the song Today which has been mentioned. One piece of music which I find great is one I don’t know the name. It is used in a few episodes of The Virginian. First episode I think it is used is in season 2, “No Tears for Savannah” featuring Gena Rowlands. This music really conveys the somber feelings felt by the characters in the episodes it is featured in.

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