Alexander Courage


Oscar-nominated, Emmy-winning composer-arranger Alexander “Sandy” Courage was most famous for his theme for STAR TREK, the landmark 1960s science-fiction series. His heroic fanfare for the USS Enterprise has been heard in all of the TREK feature films and several of the TV series; his soaring main title for the original series (1966-69) is equally famous. But during a 50-year career in Hollywood he also scored dozens of radio shows, orchestrated and arranged for MGM musicals, and composed for both movies and TV.

For CBS Radio, he scored such shows as THE ADVENTURES OF SAM SPADE and BROADWAY IS MY BEAT. From 1948 to 1960 he worked on more than a dozen films — as arranger, orchestrator or both — now considered classics of the musical genre: SHOW BOAT (1951), THE BAND WAGON (1953), SEVEN BRIDES FOR SEVEN BROTHERS (1954), KISMET (1955), IT’S ALWAYS FAIR WEATHER (1955) and GIGI (1958), all at MGM; FUNNY FACE (1957) at Paramount; and GUYS AND DOLLS (1955) at Goldwyn.

Courage’s best-known original film score was for Arthur Penn’s THE LEFT-HANDED GUN (1958). His two Oscar nominations were for adapting musicals with Fox music director Lionel Newman: THE PLEASURE SEEKERS (1963) and DOCTOR DOLITTLE (1967). He orchestrated occasionally for John Williams and often for Jerry Goldsmith. His other notable television scores included JUDD FOR THE DEFENSE (1967) and more than 100 episodes of THE WALTONS (1972-81); he won a 1988 Emmy as principal arranger for a Julie Andrews Christmas special.

Recommended listening:

Broadway Is My Beat (radio)

That’s Entertainment (collection of music from MGM musicals)

Star Trek (original series scores)

Doctor Dolittle (adapted / arranged)