Morton Stevens

Morton Stevens (January 30, 1929 – November 11, 1991) was an American film score composer. In 1965, he became director of music for CBS West Coast operations. He is probably best known for composing the theme music for Hawaii Five-O, a television series for which he won two Emmy Awards (in 1970 and 1974), and was nominated seven other times for work on television programs including Gunsmoke and Police Woman.[1] He was taught by Academy Award-winning composer Jerry Goldsmith, with whom he frequently collaborated on other projects.

Morton Stevens
Birth nameMorton Aaron Suckno
BornJanuary 30, 1929
Newark, New Jersey
United States
DiedNovember 11, 1991 (aged 62)
Encino, California
United States


Stevens graduated from the Juilliard School in 1950, and within a few years began working as an arranger/conductor for Sammy Davis, Jr.[2] After Davis's longtime conductor, George Rhodes, died in 1985, Stevens was among those who filled that role again sporadically until Davis' death in 1990. In his later years, Stevens worked as conductor for other Vegas legends, including Jerry Lewis, and was musical director for the "Rat Pack" tour featuring Davis, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and—after Martin quit—Liza Minnelli. His classic theme for Hawaii Five-O was re-recorded for the 2010 remake of the television series.

His film work included scores for films and TV movies such as Wild and Wonderful (1964), The Spy with My Face (1965), Deadly Harvest (1972), The Strangers in 7A (1972), The Horror at 37,000 Feet (1973), The Disappearance of Flight 412 (1974), Code Name: Diamond Head (1977), Wheels (1978), The One Man Jury (1978), Women in White (1979), They Still Call Me Bruce (1987), Act of Piracy (1988) and the Jerry Lewis films Hardly Working (1980), Slapstick of Another Kind (1982) and Cracking Up (1983). In addition to "Hawaii Five-O", he also worked on the earlier smash 1960s CBS Television series dealing with an island, of a different kind: "Gilligan's Island", 1964-1967, as one of a handful of composers with his above-mentioned, frequent coworker, Jerry Goldsmith, John Williams, Gerald Fried, Billy May, and other composers. Stevens died of pancreatic cancer in Encino, California at the age of 62.[2]


  1. ^ "Morton Stevens Television Composer, 62". The New York Times. 16 November 1991.
  2. ^ a b "Emmy-Winning Composer Morton Stevens Dies". Los Angeles Times. 12 November 1991.

External links

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Blowing snow advisory

A Blowing snow advisory was issued by the National Weather Service of the United States when wind driven snow reduces surface visibility and possibly hampers traveling. Blowing snow may be falling snow, or snow that has already accumulated but is picked up and blown by strong winds. This advisory was discontinued beginning with the 2008-09 winter storm season, replaced by the Winter Weather Advisory for Snow and Blowing Snow. However, if the storm is judged to be dangerous by local forecasters, a Winter Storm Warning for heavy snow and blowing snow may be issued.

A similar bulletin is issued by Environment Canada's Meteorological Service of Canada but as a Warning.

Flow Joe

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Hawaii Five-O (1968 TV series)

Hawaii Five-O is an American police procedural drama series produced by CBS Productions and Leonard Freeman. Set in Hawaii, the show originally aired for 12 seasons from 1968 to 1980, and continues in reruns. At the airing of its last episode it was the longest-running police drama in American television history.

Jack Lord portrayed Detective Captain Steve McGarrett, the head of a special state police task force which was based on an actual unit that existed under martial law in the 1940s. The theme music composed by Morton Stevens became especially popular. Many episodes would end with McGarrett instructing his subordinate to "Book 'em, Danno!", sometimes specifying a charge such as "murder one".

Hawaii Five-O (album)

Hawaii Five-O is an instrumental album by the Ventures. It is named for the popular 1968 television series, and featured the theme song from the series as its title track. It was released in 1969 on Liberty Records LST-8061 and reached #11 on the Billboard Top LP chart, staying for 24 weeks. The album was certified gold by RIAA on July 21, 1971. The popularity of the album was propelled by the hit title track, which reached #4 on the Billboard Pop Singles chart.

Jeanette Eaton

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Jericho (1966 TV series)

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K-51 (Kansas highway)

K-51 is a west-east state highway in the southwestern part of the U.S. state of Kansas. It travels through portions of Morton, Stevens, and Seward counties.

Knight Rider (1982 TV series)

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Masada (miniseries)

Masada is an American television miniseries that aired on ABC in April 1981. Advertised by the network as an "ABC Novel for Television," it was a fictionalized account of the historical siege of the Masada citadel in Israel by legions of the Roman Empire in AD 73. The TV series' script is based on the novel The Antagonists by Ernest Gann, with a screenplay written by Joel Oliansky. The siege ended when the Roman armies entered the fortress, only to discover the mass suicide by the Jewish defenders when defeat became imminent.

Masada was one of several historical miniseries produced in the early 1980s following the success of the miniseries Roots that aired on the ABC Network in 1977 and Shogun which aired on NBC in 1980.

The miniseries starred Peter O'Toole as Roman legion commander Lucius Flavius Silva, Peter Strauss as the Jewish commander Eleazar ben Ya'ir, and Barbara Carrera as Silva's Jewish mistress. It was O'Toole's first appearance in an American miniseries.

The music for Parts I and II were composed by Jerry Goldsmith. Because of myriad production delays, Goldsmith was forced to move on to other previously contracted scoring commitments. Parts III and IV were composed by Morton Stevens, based on the themes and motifs Goldsmith had written.

Masada was filmed on location at the site of the ancient fortress, in the Judean Desert, Israel. Remains of a ramp, created during the filming to simulate the ramp built by the Romans to take the fortress, can still be seen at the site. ABC, concerned that the audience would be unfamiliar with the historical background of the story, commissioned a 30-minute documentary, Back To Masada. Starring Peter O'Toole, it recounts the history of the Jewish revolt against Rome. The network gave the documentary to its affiliates to run in the weeks before the premiere of the miniseries.

The miniseries was nominated for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Limited Series and Golden Globe Award for Best Miniseries or Television Film. Peter O'Toole and Peter Strauss were both nominated for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Special and Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Limited Series or Motion Picture made for Television. David Warner, as Pomponius Falco, received a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or a Special. Joel Oliansky was awarded the Writers Guild of America Award for Television: Long Form – Multi-part and was nominated for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing in a Limited Series or a Special. Jerry Goldsmith won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Achievement in Music Composition for a Limited Series or a Special for his score to Part II, with Morton Stevens nominated for his score to Part IV. The series, cast, and crew garnered nominations for eight additional Emmys.

As was the case with Shogun, an edited, feature film-length version of the miniseries was made for theatrical release in other countries under the title The Antagonists. This was the version that became available on home video. The complete Masada miniseries first made it to the video market on four VHS tapes in 2001. A two-disc DVD release titled Masada — The Complete Epic Mini-Series was released on September 11, 2007. A Region 2 UK, two-disc DVD was released on 19 January 2009.

In 1981 MCA Records released on vinyl and cassette a re-recording of selections of Goldsmith's music performed by the UK's National Philharmonic Orchestra under the composer's baton; Intrada Records issued a 2-CD set of the original recording of the complete score in 2011.

Matt Helm (TV series)

Matt Helm is an American mystery television series which aired on ABC from September 20, 1975 to January 3, 1976. The title character was played by Anthony Franciosa.

Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Music Composition for a Series

This is a list of winners and nominees of the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Music Composition for a Series.

Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics

This is a list of winners and nominees of the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics, awarded to both the composer and lyricist.

The award has gone by several names:

Outstanding Achievement in Music, Lyrics and Special Material (1970–1973)

Best Song or Theme (1974)

Outstanding Achievement in Special Musical Material (1975–1978)

Outstanding Achievement in Music and Lyrics (1981–1991)

Outstanding Individual Achievement in Music and Lyrics (1992–1995)

Outstanding Music and Lyrics (1996–2005)

Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics (2006–present)

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The CBS Late Movie

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The program was launched following the cancellation of The Merv Griffin Show, CBS's late-night talk show from 1969 to 1972. The show went on to have a long run in first-run syndication following CBS's cancellation.

The CBS Late Movie theme music was "So Old, So Young" by Morton Stevens, which also served as the theme music for CBS' prime-time movies until 1978.A memorable aspect to the show's commercial breaks was the frequent appearance of public service announcements, from the Ad Council and other organizations, that often dealt with "mature" topics such as venereal disease, sexual and violent crimes, and abuse of hard drugs. Announcements also ran in much greater proportion than during prime time, with commercial breaks lasting longer; it was not uncommon for the second portion of the show to start at 12:05 a.m. or 12:40 a.m.

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