Those of us of a certain age who grew up in Texas heard this epic movie music in our ears all the time:
Dimitri Tiomkin was a Ukrainian Jew who studied music at the Saint Petersburg Academy with Alexander Glazunov. I doubt he ever heard of the Alamo, but he wrote the score to the big 1960 John Wayne movie that taught all us kids our Texas history. Am I right to hear a little of old Russia in this opening score?
Tiomkin's music for these movies was everywhere in Texas on TV, in ads, even in school documentaries about state history. Kids loved it. It made them feel like their own James Dean or John Wayne in their own epic movie in technicolor.
So here's a tip of the Stetson to Maestro Tiomkin, and thanks for making Texas seem so grand.
My favorite old movie about Texas remains Hud, based on a novel by Larry McMurtry, my favorite writer about Texas and the West:
My friend Conrad out of New Mexico (he grew up in the Texas Panhandle) reminded me about another great movie about Texas, The Last Picture Show:
Both of these movies are a lot less epic and a lot truer to the experience of living there.