|Still from 'Requiem for Methuselah' (1969)|
Almost fifty years later, however, it's fascinating to read the names of some of the other composers who were considered for Star Trek's first pilot, which we have thanks to notes taken during a music meeting held on December 8. 1964. As music historian Neil Lerner points out, the list is a fascinating mix of "well-established names (such as Franz Waxman, David Raksin, Hugo Friedhofer, and Elmer Bernstein) and up-and-comers who have since become quite famous, like Jerry Goldsmith and John Williams."
This behind-the-scenes document has been printed before, in Lerner's informative essay, "Hearing the Boldly Goings: Tracking the Title Themes of the Star Trek Television Franchise, 1966-2005," although the version found there has been edited from the original. What follows is a complete transcription of the original document, found in the Gene Roddenberry Star Trek television series papers held by UCLA. The misspellings are the work of whoever originally typed up the notes, possibly D.C. Fontana, who was Roddenberry's secretary at the time. My notes are in brackets.
NOTES ON MUSIC MEETING - 12/8/64
1 - Jerry Goldsmith - Not Available [Eventually hired by Roddenberry to score Star Trek--The Motion Picture in 1979]
2 - Elmer Bernstein - Interested - likes pilot - wants to read script. Wilbur sending script to Bernstein.
3 - Harry Sukman - MGM - Available [Sukman scored an episode of The Lieutenant and the unsold pilot 333 Montgomery Street, both for Roddenberry. He was also slated to score two episodes of Star Trek during the 1967-68 season, but dropped out for reasons unknown. After the series, he would go on to score two more pilots for Roddenberry (both unsold): Genesis II (1973) and Planet Earth (1974)]
4 - Les Baxter - Available - Wilbur Hatch reluctant to recommend.
5 - Dominic Tronteri - Available [Scored multiple episodes of The Outer Limits, which involved associate producer Byron Haskin and assistant director Robert H. Justman]
6 - Franz Waxman - Available
7 - Sy Coleman - Suggested by Oscar Katz - Wilbur checking him out.
8 - Alexander Courage - Young composer - up and coming.
9 - Hugh Friedholder - Did some of the original music on Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea.
10 - David Raxton - Wrote Laura. Works closely with the producer.
11 - Johnny Green - Would love to do a series. Did music for Empire.
12 - Leith Stevens - Doing Novack. Did the last few shows for Empire. Score a feature with a Science Fiction theme. [Scored Roddenberry's unsold pilot, A.P.O. 923, as well as the Haskin-directed The War of the Worlds (1953)]
13 - Johnny Williams - Did Checkmate - Presently doing music for "Baby Makes Three" pilot for Bing Crosby Prods.
14 - Jack Elliott - Suggested by Oscar Katz - Feels that he has great potential. Wilbur checking him out.
15 - Wilbur Hatch checking out the composer of "The Man from Iphania" [The identity of this composer remains a mystery to me]
16 - Will Markowitz - Wilbur checking him out. [Richard Markowitz was later hired to score episodes of Mission: Impossible and Mannix for Desilu]
17 - Lalo Shiffrin - Recommended by Wilbur Hatch and Herb Solow - Wilbur checking him out. [Later hired to score Desilu's two other successful pilots from this era -- Mission: Impossible and Mannix]
18 - Nathan Van Cleave - Wilbur checking him out. [Van Cleave had previously worked with Byron Haskin on two features, Conquest of Space (1955) and Robinson Crusoe on Mars (1964)]
Image courtesy of Trek Core.
The Gene Roddenberry Star Trek Television Series Collection (1964-1969)
Inside Star Trek : The Real Story (Herbert F. Solow and Robert H. Justman, 1996)
Music in Science Fiction Television: Tuned to the Future (edited by K.J. Donnelly and Philip Hayward, 2013)