Superman: “The World of Tomorrow” Reborn

Scene from “Around the World with Superman”

By Steve Vertlieb: I nearly fell off my chair when I listened to the music played (or “under scored”) during this promotional clip comparing High Society with The Philadelphia Story produced by Turner Classic Movies for a Fandango theatrical release of the 1956 MGM musical.

I’d guess that you’d have to be from my age bracket or generation in order to recognize this wonderfully lovely scoring, but I was delightfully astonished to hear it once more, and I’m dying to know who decided to utilize it, where they found it, and why they chose to use it.

Its title is “The World of Tomorrow,” and it’s from a particular style or thematic genre called “British Light Music.” For people of my generation, however, this particular piece of background scoring was a part of television source music utilized throughout the early-to-mid-Fifties, and emanated from what was known as the “Francis, Day and Hunter” collection of recordings. That library of cues was later restored and is, apparently, still available through “KPM Music” for industrial use.

Composed by Jack Beaver and conducted by Sidney Torch, this haunting theme was used on countless TV series of the period but, in particular, The Adventures of Superman starring George Reeves and, most memorably, from a beloved episode of the television series entitled “Around The World With Superman,” airing originally on March 13, 1954, in which a blind child enters a contest to win a flight around the world, carried tenderly in the arms of Superman, as well as during the touching conclusion of “The Dog Who Knew Superman,” first airing on November 14, 1953, as Clark Kent surrenders the little dog that he loves in order to protect his dual identity.

These episodes, which aired in late 1953 and early 1954, are from the second season of the classic television series, and were both directed by Thomas Carr. It’s a truly lovely piece of music that somehow defined this impressionable period of my youth, and has miraculously been rescued from literal obscurity from nearly seventy years ago. Watch and Listen. This IS truly Television History!

1 thought on “Superman: “The World of Tomorrow” Reborn

  1. …if the reuinion scene between Ann and her father in “Around the World With Superman” doesn’t bring a tear to your eye, then you probably laughed at the conclusion of OLD YELLER too….

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