Saturday, September 30, 2023
Miles from the Mainstream
D. R. ZUKERMAN, proprietor
The Victor Young Collection
at Brandeis University

February 19, 2023 --

A few weeks ago, looking at a Wikipedia article, LPR noticed a link to information about Victor Young, a well-known Hollywood composer from 1930 until his death in December 1956, soon after his last movie, "Around the World in 80 Days" was distributed.

LPR recalled that Young, on a level with Elmer Bernstein, Bernard Herrmann, Max Steiner among other leading composers of that period (perhaps only below the extraordinary Erich Wolfgang Korngold) xomposed the music theme of "Medic,", a television program of the 1950's starring Richard Boone, as Dr. Konrad Styner (before his "Have Gun Will Travel" TV western series). As a viewer of "Medic," LPR was familiar with Young's marvelous musical theme for the show -- indeed, I was saddened on learning of his passing when I was 16, December 1956. He was born in 1899 and was sent to live in Poland at the age of ten, after the death of his mother. He returned to the United States after WWI. in 1920, and began composing in Hollywood for movies in he 1930's. This paragraph, copied and pasted from Wikipedia, touches on his Academy Award nominations. In addition to Hollywood, he was also on the radio, including the Don Ameche show.

"He received 22 Academy Award nominations for his work in film, twice being nominated four times in a single year, but he did not win during his lifetime. He received his only Oscar posthumously for his score of Around the World in Eighty Days (1956). Harold Adamson wrote the lyrics to Around the World in 80 Days with Michael Todd's blessing. Adamson could not be nominated for the words were written two weeks before Oscar night and the votes were in. Yet theaters around the country played the lyrics at intermission. Thus, Victor Young holds the record for most Oscar nominations before winning the first award. His other nominated scores include Anything Goes (1936),[14] The Big Broadcast of 1937 (1936),[14] Artists and Models (1937),[14] The Gladiator (1938), Golden Boy (1939), For Whom the Bell Tolls (1943), The Uninvited (1944), Love Letters (1945), So Evil My Love (1948), The Emperor Waltz (1948),[14] The Paleface (1948),[14] Samson and Delilah (1949), A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court (1949), Our Very Own (1950), September Affair (1950), My Favorite Spy (1951), Payment on Demand (1951), The Quiet Man (1952), Scaramouche (1952), Something to Live For (1952), Shane (1953), The Country Girl (1954),[14] A Man Alone (1955), The Conqueror (1956) and The Maverick Queen (1956)."

What I did not know was that his compositions, memorabilia and the posthumous Oscar he received for "Around the World in 80 Days" score had been donated to Brandeis University, which I entered as freshman in September 1958, nearly two years after his passing.

His songs include "My Foolish Heart," and "Stella By Srarlight," and LPR visitors will find links to these songs, here, along with a link to the "Medic" theme.

The first link is to a Brandeis article that discusses the life of this terrific composer of song and score, and outlined the Victor Young Collection at Brandeis University:


The archivist for the Victor Young Collection at Brandeis is Ms. Chloe Gerson.

Here is contact information for Ms. Gerson:

Chloe Gerson (née Morse-Harding)
Reference and Instruction Archivist
Robert D. Farber University Archives & Special Collections
Brandeis University, Mailstop 045
P.O. Box 549110
Waltham MA 02454-9110

Archives and Special Collections is open for research appointments, both virtually and in-person. Viewing sessions may also be made virtually through Zoom. Please see Reference Appointment Protocols for more information.

Here is a link to the "Medic" theme.


Here is a link to the song "My Foolish Heart."


And here is a link to the song "Stell By Starlight."


And there is so much more of the work of Victor Young. Just get in touch with Ms. Gersonn at Brandeis U.