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Synanon

SYNANON

Liberty 1965
Mono LRP 3413 - Stereo LST-7413
Music from the score of the Columbia Pictures Motion Picture
A RICHARD QUINE Production
Screenplay by S. LEE POGOSTIN, IAN BERNARD
Story by S. LEE POGOSTIN, BARRY ORINGER
Directed by RICHARD QUINE
Starring EDMOND O’BRIEN, CHUCK CONNORS, STELLA STEVENS, ALEX CORD, RICHARD CONTE, EARTHA KITT

Composed and Conducted by NEAL HEFTI

Blues for Hopper

Hope

Main Street

Open House

Put Your Little Foot

The Perfect Beginning

Tonight's the Night

Zankie - main title

Zankie and Put Your Little Foot

Zankie

As recently as a half-dozen years ago the use of a jazz composer-arranger to do a film underscoring would have made headlines in the music press. It was an implacable theory on the part of the movie-makers that jazz writers might be nice to visit once in awhile, but certainly no one would want to live there.

That attitude has taken an abrupt about-face, however, and one of the men chiefly responsible for the change is Neal Hefti. He, along with men like Henry Mancini and Andre Previn, has shown that the jazz composer is not only technically equipped to handle the problems of film scoring, but that he brings with him a vitality and freshness that adds immeasurably to a picture’s impact. He provides more than “background music” – he makes the music an integral part of the action.

Hefti’s skill at heightening drama, building tension, and supporting action without intruding upon the dialog can be heard at its very best in Synanon. Neal has that rare ability to write simply and sparingly, resisting the temptation to try to make the viewer leave the theater saying, “Wow, did you hear that score?”

You need go no further into this album than the main title, “Zankie,” to hear what we mean. It sets perfectly the mood of inevitable tragedy that the screenplay develops.

And one does not have to see the picture to appreciate the irony of “Main Street” or the wistful resignation of “The Wiffenpoof Song” as they are programmed on this album. They tell an eloquent story.

It did indeed take the film industry a long time to tap the rich lode of music that is to be mined from jazz. But when it did make its move, it went first class. It looked to men like Neal Hefti.


Mr. Alvin Bennett, Pres.
Liberty Records, Inc.
Hollywood, CA

Dear Al;

I have just heard the test pressing for the SYNANON album, and I want to tell you how pleased I am with Neal Hefti’s score and the superior technical assistance which you and your staff gave to the work.

As you know, I recently finished shooting the film on the actual site of Synanon House in Santa Monica. This is the place which Senator Dodd called “A miracle on the beach . . . “ the place where former dope addicts, juvenile delinquents and alcoholics have found, as one writer put it, a TUNNEL BACK TO LIFE.

The success of Founder Chuck Dederich in rehabilitating the victims of dope addiction, alcoholism and juvenile delinquency was so astound that I felt obligated to bring Synanon’s story to the screen.

I hope that people playing the album can “listen between the grooves” and visualize the tremendous impact Synanon has made on all who had a part in the making of the film. For myself, the crew and the excellent cast which included Edmond O’Brien, Chuck Connors, Stella Stevens, Richard Conte, Alex Cord, Earth Kitt, Barbara Luna and Alejandro Rey, it was truly a labor of love.

I am certain the same holds true for all those involved in producing the SYNANON album.

Sincerely,
Richard Quine