Richard Rodgers - Victory at Sea

Richard Charles Rodgers (June 28, 1902 – December 30, 1979) was an American composer of music for more than 900 songs and for 43 Broadway musicals. He also composed music for films and television. He is best known for his songwriting partnerships with the lyricists Lorenz Hart and Oscar Hammerstein II. His compositions have had a significant impact on popular music up to the present day, and have an enduring broad appeal.”

“Rodgers was the first person to win what are considered the top show business awards in television, recording, movies and Broadway—an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar, and a Tony—now known collectively as an EGOT. He has also won a Pulitzer Prize, making him one of two people (Marvin Hamlisch is the other) to receive each award.” Wikipedia Encyclopedia

Richard Rodgers:
Victory at Sea (1952)

“Song of the High Seas” 5:01
“The Pacific Boils Over” 5:40
“Guadalcanal March” 3:04
“Hard Work & Horseplay” 3:48
“Theme of the Fast Carriers” 6:45
“Beneath the Southern Cross” 4:00
“Mare Nostrum” 4:25

Please allow a few moments for each of the songs to begin playing. This time may vary depending on your internet connection.

RCA Victor Symphony Orchestra
Robert Russell Bennett, arranger & conductor
RCA Victor 09026-60963-2

The original monaural soundtrack from 1957 & 1959 was Digitally Re-mastered & Dolby Remixed for Surround in 1992 for this recording.

Victory at Sea started to air over the NBC television network on October 16, 1952 at 3PM on a Sunday, hardly the choicest viewing time on the schedule noted Richard Hanser. It had no sponsor (Who wants to look at a lot of war pictures?), but the initial episodes were greeted with an explosion of praise in the press, and a huge and growing audience followed its unfolding week after week throughout its course of 26 programs. It won every major prize in television and promptly began a long career of repeat performances, with a diverse list of sponsors.

(Initially, Richard Rodgers balked when offered the commission to compose the score for the long series.) His reputation in his own realm was more than secure: it was (substantial). Should he gamble it in another field, one into which he had not previously ventured and risk failure?  He hesitated.

Henry Salomon, who conceived, produced and co-authored the script with Richard Hanser, took Rodgers into a screening room and showed him some of the earliest footage of Victory at Sea, rough cuts without narration and final form. … Salomon let his pictures of the sea and the ships and the men (who fought from the sea), work their own magic. Rodgers was enthralled.

The length of the final series resulted in 62,000 feet of film. When the score was completed, it included 13 hours of cohesive, coherent music: the longest symphonic work ever written. The Rodgers music and the Bennett arrangements of the soundtrack (significantly) contributed to the overall impact (and success) of Victory at Sea. Besides being perfectly fused with the action, the music possesses and inherent vitality and substance by which it can be (listened to) with pleasure as an experience in itself.

“The music is often the only description the action needs. A new sort of musical language was developed for the series.” Time magazine