Thursday, May 29, 2008

Alexander Courage 1919-2008

The man who will be best remembered as the composer of the original STAR TREK TV theme music had been in declining health since 2005. Mr. Courage passed away on May 15, 2008 at the Sunrise assisted-living facility in Pacific Palisades, CA.
"Courage himself was a genial man with an impish sense of humor. His Trek cue titles are marked by odd puns and inside jokes like 'Monitor Gizzard,' 'Lurch Time' (for a ship-shaking scene in 'The Naked Time') and 'Banana Farm.' After Courage wrote the Star Trek theme music Gene Roddenberry offered to write lyrics to the tune—an arrangement that earned the Trek creator half of the royalties on the oft-played theme and cost Courage quite a lot of money, particularly given that Roddenberry’s lyrics were never given any authentic recording or performance until Nichelle Nichols recorded a version late in her career. Stung by the arrangement, the cheeky Courage would sometimes sign Roddenberry’s name when asked for his autograph.

- Jeff Bond at

Also at the above link: a video documentary about Courage.

Jon Burlingame writes an excellent overview of Courage's career for the Film Music Society.

Star Trek Soundtracks page


Alan Smithee said...

Alan Smithee was in Seattle recently, and he saw the original Captain's chair from the Enterprise at the Science Fiction Museum.

Mike Lynch said...

Cool! I guess if you're on the board of the Science Fiction Museum you get to maybe actually sit in it.