The Theme From Bonanza By Jay Livingston; A Living, Breathing TV Theme

Jay Livinston: Bonanza’s Theme Is  One Of The Most Popular Of All Time.

Bonanza‘s (composers: Jay Livinston & Ray Evans {lyrics}) was one catchy little dittie; definitely one of those themes that was as much a part of the show as any of the repeated visuals. I can (and always will) still see the Ponderosa, the panoramic pans of the country, Carson City etc..

The lyrics were never actually used. Apparently Pernell Roberts (Adam), the only accomplished vocalist of the cast, begged off when they recorded the theme with the vocal for the pilot. Luckily, the result never actually made the air.

The Cartwrights: Little Joe; Ben; Hoss; Adam.

When that guitar slides in, you know you’re in for an hour of good ole western adventure with some intelligent story line. I love how the theme is guitar melody right through, ending with the big orchestra finish. That big finish building to tonight’s episode or leaving you wanting to tune in next week when played at the end credits!

Let’s go back to 1959 to catch the classic Bonanza theme; it’s 9 o’clock on a Sunday night, we’ve just finished The Ed Sullivan ShowWait for it

Personnel as determined: David Rose orchestrations; Billy May arranger.

*The TV themes that stay with me reflect every character, every episode, the times the series took place in AND the genre of theatre applicable; fresh forever in my music mind.


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