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Jerry Fielding papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSS 2116

Scope and Contents note

Jerry Fielding papers is comprised of scores, sometimes complete and sometimes sketches, from nearly a hundred different productions. The music manuscripts contained herein are for various television shows and made-for-television movies from the late 1950s through the late 1970s. Fielding did work for three major U.S. television networks. Contains preliminary sketches, rough scores and finished orchestrations. Also includes spotting sheets and cue sheets, both essential to the recording of background music; motion picture music manuscripts; recording session audio tapes; correspondence; contracts; and other papers.

Dates

  • 1950-1982

Creator

Conditions Governing Access note

Unprocessed collection. Access granted by curator of Film Music Archives.

Conditions Governing Use note

It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain any necessary copyright clearances. Permission to publish material from the Jerry Fielding papers must be obtained from the Supervisor of Reference Services and/or the Special Collections Board of Curators.

Biographical History

Although best remembered for the bold, evocative film scores he composed for tough-guy filmmakers Sam Peckinpah and Clint Eastwood, Jerry Fielding was also a premier arranger of the swing era, later headlining a series of space age pop LPs as well. Born Joshua Feldman in Pittsburgh on June 17, 1922, Fielding was a child prodigy who claimed among his earliest influences Bernard Herrmann's pioneering scores for the radio dramas of Orson Welles. A pupil of theatrical conductor Max Atkins, he was regularly writing arrangements for theatrical pit bands while still in high school, and at 18 was hired by guitar great Alvino Rey. When Rey relocated his musical enterprise from New York City to Los Angeles, he brought Fielding with him and by the mid-'40s he was an in-demand freelance arranger, writing charts for swing icons including Tommy Dorsey, Kay Kyser, and Charlie Barnet. Fielding also wrote extensively for radio, including programs hosted by Hoagy Carmichael, Kate Smith, and the Andrews Sisters, and was eventually named musical director of The Jack Paar Show. By 1952 Fielding helmed his own jazz orchestra, which was the house band on Groucho Marx's popular television game show You Bet Your Life, but as a self-confessed loudmouthed crusader who received death threats for hiring African-American musicians, it was inevitable that he would run afoul of Sen. Joseph McCarthy's anti-Communist witch hunts. Called to testify in front of the House Un-American Activities Committee, Fielding took the Fifth Amendment, and his Hollywood career crumbled. Fielding sought refuge in Las Vegas, where he served as musical director for acts including Abbott amp; Costello and Debbie Reynolds. He also signed a record contract with Decca, cutting a series of jazz-inspired discs including Sweet with a Beat, Swingin' in Hi-Fi, and Fielding's Formula. The emergence of stereo technology galvanized Fielding's efforts, and later LPs including Magnificence in Brass and Near East Brass remain favorites of exotica collectors. With McCarthy's reign of terror finally at an end, Fielding returned to Hollywood in 1962, and at the recommendation of blacklisted screenwriter Dalton Trumbo he was hired to write his first feature score for Otto Preminger's political thriller Advise and Consent. A score rich in atmosphere and melancholy-two emerging signatures of Fielding's work-it was followed by a series of lighthearted television efforts including themes for the series Hogan's Heroes and Run Buddy Run. In 1966, he teamed with two-fisted filmmaker Sam Peckinpah for the telefilm Noon Wine, inaugurating an often contentious creative partnership that won Fielding Academy Award nominations for 1969's The Wild Bunch and 1971's Straw Dogs. Fielding also scored several films for Clint Eastwood, earning a third Oscar nomination for his work on 1976's The Outlaw Josey Wales. While in Canada scoring the feature Below the Belt, Fielding suffered a fatal heart attack on February 17, 1980. He was just 57 years old.

Ankeny, Jason. Jerry Fielding: Biography. http://www.allmusic.com/.

Extent

1 folder (0.1 linear ft.)

177 boxes (88.5 linear ft.)

Language

English

Abstract

The music manuscripts contained herein are for various television shows and made-for-television movies from the late 1950s through the late 1970s. Contains preliminary sketches, rough scores and finished orchestrations. Also includes spotting sheets and cue sheets, both essential to the recording of background music; motion picture music manuscripts; recording session audio tapes; correspondence; contracts; and other papers.

Arrangement note

Arranged in five series: 1. Jerry Fielding music scores, undated; 2. Jerry Fielding audio tapes, undated; 3. Jerry Fielding correspondence and papers, circa 1953-1982; 4. Jerry Fielding instrumental parts, audio tapes, and other materials, undated; and 5. Jerry Fielding phonograph disks and audio recordings, undated.

Other Finding Aids note

A more detailed finding aid is available in print in the repository.

Other Finding Aids

File-level inventory available online. http://files.lib.byu.edu/ead/XML/MSS2116.xml

Custodial History note

Manuscripts maintained by the author until his death; thereafter maintained by his widow, who donated them to BYU. The collection was donated in three installments: A95-092, A97-060, and A98-181. A separate inventory has been prepared for each accession number.

Immediate Source of Acquisition note

Donated; Mrs. Jerry Fielding.

Appraisal note

Original motion picture music manuscripts and recordings that document the history of music composed and recorded for motion pictures.

Film Music Archives.

Processing Information note

Processed; James V. D'Arc; 1995-2001.
Title
Register of the Jerry Fielding papers
Status
Completed
Author
James V. D'Arc
Date
1995-2001
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English in Latin script.
Sponsor
Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grant, 2007-2008

Repository Details

Part of the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Repository

Contact:
1130 HBLL
Brigham Young University
Provo Utah 84602 United States