A Writer’s Tale: Of Names and Songs

Many years ago, when I still lived in Miami, Florida, I wrote a short story which was both a coming-of-age tale and also a look at an older man who must re-examine his youthful choices after a tragic incident kills his high school “crush.” As Reunion’s summary reads on the back cover and on itsContinue reading “A Writer’s Tale: Of Names and Songs”

Movie Review: ‘Black Sunday’ (1977)

Black Sunday (1977) Written by: Ernest Lehman, Kenneth Ross, and Ivan Moffat Directed by: John Frankenheimer Starring: Bruce Dern, Martha Keller, Robert Shaw, Fritz Weaver On March 11, 1977, nearly a quarter of a century before Al Qaeda’s horrifying attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on September 11, 2001, a relatively smallContinue reading “Movie Review: ‘Black Sunday’ (1977)”

Music Album Review: ‘By Request…: The Best of John Williams and the Boston Pops Orchestra’

In 1987, the Dutch record label Philips Records[1] (Philips Phonographische in Dutch) released By Request…: The Best of John Williams and the Boston Pops Orchestra, a compilation album featuring 12 themes or overtures, two “special events” fanfares, and one television theme[2] composed by Oscar and Grammy Award-winning composer conductor John Williams. At the time ofContinue reading “Music Album Review: ‘By Request…: The Best of John Williams and the Boston Pops Orchestra’”

Book Review: ‘The Complete Making of Indiana Jones: The Definitive Story Behind All Four Films’

This film could very easily not be a hit. All films are a risk. I mean, there’s no way to know. You can’t predict a hit.” – George Lucas, on Raiders of the Lost Ark, 1981 On May 20, 2008, Del Rey Books – an imprint of Ballantine Books, a division of Penguin Random HouseContinue reading “Book Review: ‘The Complete Making of Indiana Jones: The Definitive Story Behind All Four Films’”

On Music: My Top 10 John Williams ‘Star Wars’ Themes

I have been a fan of John Williams’ symphonic scores ever since I saw the original Star Wars – aka Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope – in the autumn of 1977[1] For me, Williams’ swashbuckling, neo-Romantic themes and action cues sold the rest of George Lucas’s out-of-this-world space-fantasy about “a boy, a girl,Continue reading “On Music: My Top 10 John Williams ‘Star Wars’ Themes”

On Music: Happy 89th Birthday, John Williams!

Hi, there, Dear Reader! It’s early afternoon here in New Hometown, Florida on Monday, February 8, 2021. Currently, the temperature is 75˚F (24˚C) under cloudy skies; with the wind blowing from the east at 8 MPH (13 KM/H) and humidity at 69%, the feels-like temperature is 75˚F (24˚C). The rest of the day will seeContinue reading “On Music: Happy 89th Birthday, John Williams!”

Music Album Review: ‘Saving Private Ryan: 20th Anniversary Limited Edition’

In 2018, La-La Land Records released Saving Private Ryan: 20th Anniversary Limited Edition, a commemorative – and slightly updated – reissue of John Williams’ 1998 soundtrack featuring most of his score for Steven Spielberg’s widely-acclaimed World War II drama set amidst the backdrop of the June 6, 1944 Normandy landings and the first week ofContinue reading “Music Album Review: ‘Saving Private Ryan: 20th Anniversary Limited Edition’”

Music Album Review: ‘Saving Private Ryan: Music from the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack’

On July 21, 1998, Dreamworks Records – the now defunct label founded by Steven Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg, and David Geffen in 1996 as a subsidiary to their film studio Dreamworks SKG – released Saving Private Ryan: Music from the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack, a one-hour-long soundtrack album with music composed and conducted by John Williams.Continue reading “Music Album Review: ‘Saving Private Ryan: Music from the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack’”

On Music: My 10 Favorite Non-Star Wars Themes by John Williams

I have been a fan of composer/conductor John Williams since I first watched Star Wars in a crowded theater in October of 1977 at the Concord Mall in South Florida. I didn’t know it at the time – I was a 14-year-old at the time and rarely paid attention to the “Music by” credits inContinue reading “On Music: My 10 Favorite Non-Star Wars Themes by John Williams”

Digital Music Album Review: ‘John Williams Live in Vienna: John Williams/Wiener Philharmoniker/Anne-Sophie Mutter’

On August 14, Berlin-based Deutsche Grammophon (DG) – now part of Universal Music Group – released John Williams – Live in Vienna in digital and physical media (compact disc, compact disc + Blu-ray, and vinyl LP). This new album – as well as the filmed concert – marks the first time that Maestro Williams conductsContinue reading “Digital Music Album Review: ‘John Williams Live in Vienna: John Williams/Wiener Philharmoniker/Anne-Sophie Mutter’”