Friday, August 3, 2012
MUSIC FROM THE OLYMPICS
There is, of course, the Olympics symbol representing the five continents (Australia, I guess, is not important enough, and much of the world considers North and South America as one continent):
Conceived as early as 1912 by Baron Pierre de Coubertin (left), founder of the Modern Olympics, in 1896, the symbol was first used in the 1920 Antwerp Olympics.Thesong of the Olympics is Leo Arnaud's Bugler's Theme, initially created by ABC (also, first color cast) for their telecast of the 1964 Winter Olympics from Grenoble, France.
Appropriately enough, Arnaud (above right) was born in France (1904), studied under Maurice Ravel (remember Bolero from the movie 10 with Dudley Moore and Bo Derek?) and moved to the U.S. in 1931. However, further digging indicated that Arnaud lifted this music from Joseph David Buhl's (French trumpeter and composer who lived from 1781 to 1860) Salut aux etendards in 1958. Here is Arnaud's larcenous version.
But, ah, that is not all, for in 1984 John Williams (of Star Wars , Indiana Jones, Superman and ET fame) wrote a piece called "Olympic Fanfare and Theme" for the Los Angeles Olympics, which included the original Buhl trumpet call. Now Williams is sometimes is credited for the whole thing.
The Buhl trust is not getting any royalty payment because it was in the trash pile of obscurity for almost a century, and the 20-year copyright limit is confusing and litigious anyway. However, it is only fair to give credit to John David Buhl for the Modern Olympics Theme.
If your deeper memory is functioning, you might wonder if you've heard this melody elsewhere. Yes you have, for ABC's Wide World of Sports has been using the basic tune within a fanfare composed by Charles Fox (also responsible for Killing Me Softly With His Song.) As this series began in 1961, they must have just applied the TV sports theme to the 1968 Olympics. Wide World ended 37 years later, which was 14 years ago.
Here is all the possible music associated with the Summer and Winter Olympics:
The Atlantic suddenly now has three ocean storms, and one, Tropical Storm Ernesto, now at 50 MPH, will move west south of Cuba, and most probably into the Gulf of Mexico, almost surely becoming a hurricane:
In the west Pacific, Tropical Depression Haikui, still only at 30 MPH, will track west, strengthen into a typhoon, and head in the general direction of Shanghai, as recent cyclones (which missed that city):