Tulsa TV Memories: Tulsa pop culture      

Mazeppa's opening and closing themes

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Mazeppa opening, announced by
"Delmo Gillette" (Gary Chew).

Short clip: 122K .wav

Gary Chew was Delmo Gillette, the announcer for the Mazeppa show
Gary Chew

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(from GB 118) Mitch Schauer, creator of "Angry Beavers" (Wikipedia), said:

Sitting here in Deutschland, I was listening to the Mazeppa theme on your great website and realized the movie being introduced is 1931's "The Mad Genius." John Barrymore starred and Karloff had a bit in the opening.

Opening theme:

(from Guestbook 11) Gailard Sartain said:

Regarding the Mazeppa theme: Having eclectic musical taste. I purchased a re-release of "Coon-Sanders Nighthawks" circa 1966 and it has been part of my music library ever since. In fact, just three weeks ago, I bought 4 new CDs of theirs off the internet since I had long since worn out the LP. So, you are right it is the first few bars of "Alone in the Rain."

The second half is from an LP I found in KOTV's record library. It's from a sound effects record that radio and television stations used for commercials, promotions, etc. The selection on the Mazeppa theme was called "Chase Music."

And, yes, Gary Chew did splice it together for me. In fact, if it weren't for Gary Chew's encouragement, there wouldn't have been a Mazeppa Show.

Coon-Sanders Nighthawks Orchestra Webmaster: "Alone in the Rain" is on the Coon-Sanders Nighthawks' "Everything is Hotsy-Totsy Now" CD.

The earliest documented after-midnight radio show was the Coon-Sanders "Nighthawk Frolic" on WDAF-Kansas City in 1923. Listeners could join the Nighthawk Club and receive a membership card...much like Mazeppa's Uncola Underground card almost 50 years later.

Hear "Alone in the Rain" from the Coon-Sanders Nighthawks Orchestra page.

(from GroupBlog 214) Bill Groves said: 

Stories of the CenturyI was doing some "homework" for an upcoming edition of "Television Chronicles", watching an old western called "Stories of the Century" (Amazon.com link).

In the episode (fittingly enough) about Oklahoma's Dalton Gang, the soundtrack suddenly burst forth with what we tend to remember as the opening theme to Mazeppa's Uncanny Film Festival, during a scene involving a runaway stagecoach.

"Stories of the Century" episode with Mazeppa's "Chase Music".
Jim Davis ("Jock Ewing" of "Dallas") jumps from the train.

Webmaster: I wonder if the Mazeppa "chase music" wasn't already library music even then (1954), possibly recycled from old Republic B Westerns. I see that the director of the Dalton Gang episode, William Witney, was previously a Republic director.

Incidentally, Witney (born in Lawton, OK, according to the IMDb) directed episodes of "Branded", "Zorro", "Wild, Wild West", "Bonanza", and "Sky King".

(from Guestbook 107) The webmaster said:

"Shy King" was a bit on the Mazeppa show (taking off from the syndicated series, "Sky King"). You saw a toy plane being "flown" by hand while Mazeppa supplied voices off camera. When Shy issued a command to "Fire up the Songbird, Penny", an off-camera blowtorch melted down the plane while Shy complained frantically.

Mazeppa closing theme: "Why Can't This Night Go On Forever?" (Jones/Newman) by Isham Jones and his Orchestra
(short clip: 119K .wav)

"Why Can't This Night Go On Forever?" by Isham Jones and his Orchestra.
The singer was Frank Hazzard.

Closing theme:

(from GB 1) Joe Dickens said:

...also, does anybody know the origin of the Mazeppa closing theme, "Why Can't This Night Go On Forever?"

(from GB 8) David Bagsby said:

Mazeppa's closer, "Why Can't This Night Go On Forever?" is from 1933 and written by Isham Jones and Chas. Newman.

David covered this tune on his first "The Tulsa Project" CD.

It's on Isham Jones' "Plays His Own Compositions" (Amazon)

While still on KOTV, Mazeppa backed a silent, TU student-produced film with Jones' "Sentimental Gentleman from Georgia" (YouTube). It's also on "1929-1934 by Isham Jones" (Amazon).

(from GB 221) Lowell Burch said:

I was watching Merrie Melodies on TCM and saw "Cros Bingsby" sitting in a bathtub singing "Why Can't This Night Go On Forever?" The name of the cartoon was "I've Got to Sing a Torch Song".

Sorry about that. It's a slow night.

Is that one of those cartoons where Bing croons "buh buh buh booo"?

12/11/2008: Found it: "I've Got to Sing a Torch Song" (YouTube).

Webmaster: This page about the career of Isham Jones notes that he wrote the standard, ''It Had To Be You'', and that one of his 1940s vocalists was Curt Massey, who later sang the theme song for the television series "Petticoat Junction" (related TTM link).

This Isham Jones tune was played on "The Uncanny Film Festival and Camp Meeting" in 1971
behind a silent film by a TU student. I audiotaped that show.

(from GroupBlog 278) Mike Hardeman said:

I'm sure someone has posted this. We ran across it a couple of weeks ago and were blown away!

Webmaster: An unknown fan has done for Mazeppa what Don McLean did for Buddy Holly. He wears a Hoss Chopright half-mask, does an uncanny Mazeppa impersonation, then plays an original song about the days Mazeppa was on the airwaves. Great job! Who is this guy?

Also check out Randy Prahl's modern folk song, "Miss Belvedere".

(from GB 278)  Randy Prahl said:

I want to thank you for posting my YouTube song "Mazeppa" on the site. I got a personal message on my YouTube Channel from Gailard himself. He ran across it from this site. It was very cool to have contact from him. I am a big Mazeppa fan like many of you. Thanks again.

(from GB 292) The webmaster said:

I heard from Wayne McCombs today that songwriter Randy Prahl's great song, "Mazeppa", was played by Stan at KRVT-AM this morning.

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