Sandy’s Song

Leverage Room (1)

My first foray into non-fiction.  More anecdotal in nature than narrative, it still clocks out at 100 words.

I fault Rochelle for this piece since I’m entering into her territory … and why not?  Let’s do something different, right?  “Of course right,” said the Queen. 😉  She also took the picture.

A musical arranger is like an editor for writers — he makes the greats sound better than they are.  Those composers he arranged for will tell you that.  Sandy wouldn’t.

I have included a link to a very well-produced, thoroughly entertaining and fun video on the man named Sandy.  After reading the story, click on the link.  It’s in four parts you’ll want to see them all (except part 3 is missing due to probable copyright restrictions).

So … you like movies?  Music?  Even if you don’t, you’ll enjoy Sandy himself.


The public knew the great music he arranged for the MGM musicals. They wouldn’t have known Sandy, except maybe seeing his name in the credits.

While collaborating with John Williams on My Fair Lady, he was tapped to compose a score for a new TV series. Styling the theme from a song from his childhood, “Beyond The Blue Horizon,” he finished scoring the series — Star Trek!

“Little did I know when I wrote that first A-flat for the flute that it was going to go down in history somehow.  It’s a very strange feeling.”  – Alexander “Sandy” Courage


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18 Responses to Sandy’s Song

  1. This is delightful!
    “So … you like movies? Music? Even if you don’t, you’ll enjoy Sandy himself”
    I like writing and I more than enjoyed this. Kudos!

  2. Nan Falkner says:

    Wow Kent, this was very enjoyable – I love the old musicals! Music and dancing and happiness all wrapped up with a technicolor ribbon! Excellent – just perfect. Thanks, Nan 🙂

    • wmqcolby says:

      My mom was a music teacher and she was not a Star Trek appreciator. However, when I showed her this video of Alexander Courage, she really liked it, which I knew she would since there’s more to the man’s career than one TV show. Music! Ahhhh!

  3. Space the final frontier…

    Dear Kent,

    You’ve boldly gone…to a nicely written anecdote. I enjoyed the video.

    Shalom to y’all in the Home Office,


  4. MM JayeM says:

    It’s always nice to remember those who are not washed in limelight yet leave an indelible mark in arts. Thank you for sharing this!

    Greetings from Greece!
    Maria (MM Jaye)

    • wmqcolby says:

      You’re welcome, Maria. Thank-you for your comments, too.
      By the way, I’m right now a little farther east of you. I’m in Jerusalem. They are partying like it’s 1999!

  5. storydivamg says:

    When I worked for Lillenas, I knew all the arrangers or at least interacted with them regularly. Pretty cool, talented group. My work there made me appreciate them deeply, and after leaving for other work, I learned quickly how little appreciation they really get. Thanks for shining the spotlight on an important group of artists.

    All my best,
    Marie Gail

  6. subroto says:

    This was nice, after reading it, I went looking up Alexander Courage and then through that other links to composers/musicians/etc with some great music clips on the way.

  7. rgayer55 says:

    I’ll have to play you the piece I wrote. It’s called “Bathroom Sounds in F Major.” My son says it’s destined to become a classic. He says I should hold off on the video though.

  8. How great it must be to score once.. sometimes it is all it takes… Music once it’s composed can have a life of it’s own.

    • wmqcolby says:

      Oh very much so, Bjorn. In fact, a lot of people don’t realize how much the arrangement adds to the joy of hearing the music. Just that one little nuance in an arrangement can make it memorable. Like i said, it’s the same as having a good editor for your story or even a film.

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