Television Main Themes & Studio Recordings (stuff I’ve done)

Have Faith

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Opening theme from the ABC sitcom Have Faith starring Stephen Furst, Ron Carey and Frank Hamilton.
Gordon Lustig Composer, Arranger, Conductor

Recorded on the Newman Sound Stage in Los Angeles with 33 of the best musicians in the world. We had 3 hours booked for the session and they played it perfectly the first time through. I only wish I could have had more music for them to play with the 2 1/2 hours of time remaining! Hearing the music played live by those players was pure joy. Watch the original opening credits here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lQIx_HIZ_FI


Homesick

From “A Kid’s Life” by children’s recording artist, Robbo.
Gordon Lustig Producer, Arranger, Guitarist

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Armed with my trusty pencil, score paper and imagination, I felt as though I was painting this arrangement. I used chromatic runs and augmented chord colors to suggest the feeling of homesickness. When the boy realizes he is no longer homesick, the harmonization changes to a major tonality with french horns leading the way, reflecting his triumphant discovery. I worked on 4 CD projects with Robbo.


John Denver Love Song Medley

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From “John Denver Tribute II” by Tribute Artist Jim Curry.
Gordon Lustig Producer, Arranger, Guitarist

Jim Curry chose the songs and the order but put no restrictions on how I was to approach the arrangement. I thought that writing a string quartet/flute/oboe arrangement would not only be fun and exciting and enhance the songs, but would make this particular cut on the recording unique to Jim. Later, I expanded the arrangement for a symphony orchestra that would be conducted by Lee Holdridge, John Denver’s arranger and conductor of 20 years.


Yo M’enamori D’un Aire (I Fell In Love With the Charms)

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From “Silver and Gold” by Ladino singer, Judy Frankel.
Gordon Lustig Producer, Arranger, Guitarist

I played guitar on two of Judy’s CDs: “Silver and Gold” and “Sephardic Songs Of Love And Hope.” I loved that she wanted everything to be understated, as genuine as possible and simple. Judy’s wonderful, unique voice seemed to flow out of her as effortless as breathing.


Turn It

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Title track from “Turn It” by the Jewish rock band Mah Tovu.
Gordon Lustig Producer, Arranger, Acoustic Guitarist

On this track we had piano, bass, drums, electric & acoustic guitars, trumpet, trombone, sax, and french horn. I first started working with Mah Tovu in 1999 producing their hit parody of “Louie, Louie,” called “Pharoah Pharoah”. In addition to producing “Turn It”, I also produced two educational booklets/CDs: Days of Wonder/Nights of Peace and Day of Days: Creating Family Shabbat Through Song. I’ve performed with Mah Tovu in cities across the country.


Edith

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Original Country song.
Gordon Lustig Composer, Guitarist

I seem to have inherited my homepun humor from my father. When I perform this song live, I’m always surprised at the burst of laughter the first time I get to the punch line. I guess not everyone had a dad like mine.


Once I Loved a Flower

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From “The Many Faces of Love” by Cantor Shula Kalir-Merton.
Gordon Lustig Composer, Producer, Arranger

Shula commissioned me to compose a song based on the poem, “I Never Loved A Flower” written by Grace Aguilar in 1844. I tried to capture in the composition and orchestration the elegance and bittersweet quality of the Judy Collins and Janis Ian records I grew up with. Along with piano, guitar, and percussion, the orchestra consisted of a string section, woodwinds, and French horns. Recorded at Rusk Studios in Hollywood.


I Am Not James Taylor

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Original song
Gordon Lustig Composer, Guitarist

I wrote this song after watching James Taylor’s 2008 concert, One Man Band. I’ve always been a huge fan and as a kid I spent a lot of time working out his beautiful guitar parts. “I Am Not James Taylor” was one of the fastest, easiest, and most fun songs I’ve written. Of course, I had James as my muse and he would never do me wrong.


Chicken Soup

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Opening theme from the ABC sitcom “Chicken Soup” starring Jackie Mason and Lynn Redgrave.
Gordon Lustig Composer, Arranger

Unfortunately the studio didn’t allow us to hire a real orchestra, so I have Stu Goldberg to thank for putting so much life into these virtual instruments. This was the state-of-the-art in 1989, and so was Stu. Got to know Lynn Redgrave, Jackie Mason, and the rest of the cast. They were all kind, hard working people. Mason was, well, Jackie Mason; what you see is what you get.


Pursuit of Happiness

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Opening theme from the NBC sitcom “Pursuit of Happiness” starring Paul Provenza and Wesley Thompson.
Gordon Lustig Composer, Arranger

The challenge (and fun) of writing a TV theme song is in trying to encapsulate the premise, mood, and general vibe of the show in 30 to 60 seconds. The producers wanted a contemporary sound and there wasn’t much electric keyboard back in 1776, so I added a little fife & drum in at the very beginning. THAT was the key. Well, that, and an amazing singer named Mendy Lee. The producers liked my demo so much that they used it on the air exactly as it was. Much credit goes to my music producer and roommate at the time, Mark Mattson.


Even More Samples:

Howie & Rose

Opening theme from the pilot “Howie & Rose” starring Howie Mandel and Shanelle Workman. BTW-that’s my friend, Dave Koz, playing EWI on this track. Gordon Lustig Composer, Arranger


Foley Square

Opening theme from the CBS sitcom “Foley Square” starring Margaret Colin and Michael Lembeck.
Gordon Lustig Composer, Arranger

Watch the original opening credits here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J6ow6d9mDh4


God Learns to Create

Music from the short stories series “One People, Many Stories” for National Public Radio.
Gordon Lustig Composer, Arranger