Joseph Mullendore

Active - 1953 - 1966  |   Born - Jan 1, 1914   |   Died - Jan 1, 1990   |   Genres - Drama, War, Adventure, Crime, Thriller

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Possessed of a retiring nature, Joseph Mullendore was a musical figure who was well known among conductors, composers, and arrangers, but little recognized by the public. Despite the fact that he seldom sought the limelight, however, Mullendore became a ubiquitous figure in television music for three decades, as an arranger and, somewhat later, as a composer, and scored a handful of feature films. He entered music as an arranger and conductor, and was frequently selected by his friend and colleague, Herschel Burke Gilbert, to serve as arranger of the latter's scores, particularly those written for television. During the early '50s, Mullendore wrote and arranged some music that turned up on The Adventures of Superman, and his "Parade of the Chessmen," an orchestral march, became the closing theme for the syndicated television series Racket Squad (which was rerun well into the 1960s) -- the latter piece was subsequently recorded by Buddy Morrow for RCA Victor on the album Impact. Another of Mullendore's compositions, "March of the Rams," was picked up by NBC as the theme for its Game of the Week television show during the 1950s, and was in so much demand from schools that it was published in an arrangement for band. Two of Mullendore's four feature-film credits involved movies associated with writer/director Russell Rouse, whose experimental feature film The Thief had gotten Gilbert an Oscar nomination, and Rouse's New York Confidential (1955) was Mullendore's only solo film composing credit. The biggest film with which the composer was associated was Fritz Lang's While the City Sleeps (1956), in which a song that he had written was used.

Mullendore became more visible during the late '50s and 1960s after Herschel Burke Gilbert was made the music director for Four Star Television, one of the most successful small-screen production companies of the era -- his name could be found on the credits of such as series as Zane Gray Theater, Burke's Law, The Rifleman, The Detectives, and Richard Diamond, Private Detective. During the mid-'60s, he often turned up as the composer of music for individual episodes of Lost in Space, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, Daniel Boone, The Big Valley, Star Trek, Land of the Giants, Time Tunnel, and Land of the Giants.

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