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Rare Harold Lloyd TV Show Theme From The 70's!

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Holy Smokes! Here is the super rare Harold Lloyd's World Of Comedy TV series theme song from the late 1970's! "HOORAY FOR HAROLD LLOYD!" I can't believe that I found this on YouTube! And there are episodes too!





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I recall the "Time-Life presents Harold Lloyd" programmes, I suppose many saw HL for the first time this way when many PBS stations picked them up in 1977.

When Lloyd died in 1971, his executors were obliged to let the huge media conglomerate Time-Life have TV rights to the long dormant films. They actually toured some art house cinemas first, hence the 1974 copyright. But they apparently had very little idea on how to show them in any dignified way, and instead used the technique of such crass kiddie presentations as THE FUNNY MANNS, MAD MOVIES or THE MISCHIEF MAKERS. Lloyd himself was appalled by the way his contempoaries were treated on TV, and during his life, resisted allowing his films to go on the tube, for fear this same treatment awaited them. Fortunately for him, he had the wherewithall to legally own them.

Alas, he was right, and T-L cut out all the titles and x number of minutes from each short and loaded on an annoying, unsuitable narrator (Henry Corden trying to do Pete Smith) bullying his way through with uneeded puns and flying explanations of the action, to make the films "funnier". A similar fate had befallen the Christie comedies when they were put on TV in the late 1950's. I'm sure Harold saw them and could only give thanks he could save his films from such treatment.

As for the features, T-L did include the titles, but they also cut out material to make for convienient TV station use, so 10 minutes of commercials could fit in and it would still come out ending on an hour or half hour mark. Easily half of "Hot Water" for instance, was removed.

Well silent film is at last being accorded some respect, and you won't see things like that any more.

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Living in Harold's own State of Nebraska, you would think that I would have seen this show when I was a Kid, but our PBS station out of Lincoln did not carry it! I think a station in South Dakota was the nearest to us that did? I was so angry!


The same station, which was listed in our TV Guide, used to run the features too. I know people who are still partial to the Time-Life music scores, but I find the sound effects excessive and unnecessary. The only two films I saw in 16 millimeter at the local Cinema Arts Guild were THE FRESHMAN and SAFETY LAST. Both in Truncated versions. SAFETY LAST in-fact was heavily cut. So those were the only two Time-Life scores that I got to hear.


Portions of the score to THE FRESHMAN were lifted without credit from Walter Scharf's 1959 score to the film. Heard in the compilation Harold Lloyd's THE FUNNY SIDE OF LIFE in 1963. I have no idea why they didn't keep the entire score, as it was much better than the Neil Hefty one they did use?


I had heard of the "Hooray For Harold Lloyd" Theme song many times, but I had never heard the Lyrics before I found this post on Youtube.

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Actually quite a lot of areas didn't run the Loyd series; probably the largest market I've heard of was the New Jersey PBS network, but for the most part something so old is by definition not hip. It is also slapstick comedy, so it is seen as beneath contempt by most PBS progammers.

The scores were actually not that bad, and the occassional sound effect is okay. The real problem was the vicious chopping up of the shorts until they were as meaningless and insufferable as the Laurel & Hardy "Laughtoons". The hectoring narration is as welcome as would be a self-appointed loud-voiced member of a cinema audience.

As for theFreshman, I still don't know why they don't just record the score that was written for it in 1925.

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So didn't you like Robert Israel's score to THE FRESHMAN? He did use the "Freshie" theme from 1925, and "Collegiate" as part of his arrangement.


I actually like the Walter Scharf score quite a bit, but some of it sounds more 1950's documentary like than the 1920's. I thought Scharf scored the "Fall Frolic", and Big Game sequences brilliantly though.


Carl Davis wrote a score to THE FRESHMAN in 1998. Unfortunately, the Lloyd Trust did not meet his price, and they settled for Robert Israel on the eventual DVD release. I love the Israel score now, but I still would have been curious to hear the Carl Davis one anyway. Portions of his score were released on a Faber Music CD in the UK. I'm sorry to say, that I have never found a copy.


Yes, the occasional sound effects are fine, like on the New-line Entertainment DVD's. However, the Time-Life series, had sound effects for every little bell and whistle! Much like the Robert Youngson Silent Compilations of the 50's and 60's.

That is a bit to much. The Crescent City Jazz band were credited with performing all the scores to the Time-Life editions. There were various composers for the features.


I haven't seen enough of these to adequately critique the music A good friend though who saw the edition, prefers the score on the Time-Life version of THE KID BROTHER to Carl Davis score to the film? I can't imagine that! I do know the Time-Life Music for SAFETY LAST wasn't even in it next to Davis work.


Thought I may ask you, where can I find a good vintage recording of the sprightly "OH HAROLD"? THis was H L's regular Movie Theme song from about 1922 onward? I have heard fairly recent Piano, and Theater Organ renditions, one of them by Gaylord Carter, but I long for an original nice Orchestra Band recording from the 20's. Have you ever seen any?

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I did hear the score to the Time-Life and the Israel version, and yes, "Freshie" was there. I think that the tune was inspired by the film. As a cultural land mark, The Freshman is responsible for about forty years of rah-rah, never-go-to-classes, football-obsessed college movies.

Really, Harold pretty much invented a film genre. Itwas a hit, and almost immediately spawned Universal's well recieved short subject series, "The Collegians" (1926-29), wherein each episode yet another inter-collegiate sports rivalry is addressed down to cross country skiing and water polo. "GOOD NEWS" came along and introduced the musical college/college football theme, and the Marx brothers even had a satire on them.

Remember, theatre orchestras mainly played great classical music, and most film scores were derived from classical themes. Lillian Gish once said something to the effect that cinema orchestras " taught people to appreciate great music." Indeed they probably helped. The classics always outsold popular music in phonograph record sales into the 1940's.

So perhaps the original scores aren't as self consciously 1920's enough to suit the ones that control the music. The timeless music attached to most dramatic films with vitaphone scores will bear me out on this. The strains of pops/ jazz can be heard on the comedy features, but mostly the cues written many years before as generic "Movie " music by William Axt, Pasternack,Shilkret, etc.

Youngson's scores were all heavy handed choices, the sticky sound effects and never leave you alone for a minute narration were more reminiscent of the way silent comedy was abused and debased on Howdy Doody than it's first hand presentation.Yet, the full orchestra track was far closer to the fact than say, Paul Killiam's numbing upright piano doozies.

I know the tune OH HAROLD, and sorry to say I haven't got a recording of it. If you are patient enough and keep up with 78rpm record sales, you are bound to find it.

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  • 7 months later...

This is a reply to an older thread, but may still be of interest.


You mentioned that you'd like to hear a good vintage recording of the 1922 song "OH HAROLD".

I have four different original 78's of that song, all from 1922. Some have vocals, some not.

Also, five original 78's of "FRESHIE" and one of "SPEEDY BOY" (both of course, Harold Lloyd movie songs). All good old fun stuff!

Would be glad to record them for you...



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Thanks much for the offer. Yes, I am very interested in good recordings of "OH HAROLD", both instrumental, and lyrical versions. All I have ever heard was some piano and Wurlitzer versions in the past.


I have a good recording of FRESHIE by Fred Warning's Pennsylvanians, and a pretty nice one of SPEEDY BOY too. I believe by Ben Bernie? But if you have others renditions, that would be great too. Would love to hear them. The ones I have are posted among my playlist on GAOH. Here is the link to my page there:








By the way, you wouldn't happen to have recordings of the GRANDMAS BOY, GIRL SHY, and FOR HEAVENS SAKE tunes would you? All three films had a melody, and a song that tied to their release. I have plenty of stuff we can trade for. Send me a PM. I will give you my E-mail address. and we will work something out right away. Again thank you.

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