Biography All Music Guide
All Music Guide:
Philadelphia native Alexander Courage is famous for co-writing the theme for the original Star Trek TV series with the show's creator Gene Roddenberry. The mid-'60s NBC-TV series went on to become a phenomenon during it's run in rerun syndication and spawned several movie versions and successful TV spin-offs. Raised in New Jersey, he earned a bachelor's degree in 1941 from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY. Courage served a five-year stint in the United States Army during World War II. After the war, he settled in Los Angeles and began working as a composer/arranger for radio shows The Camay Hour and Sam Spade.
Around 1948 his film-scoring career began when he was hired by MGM to write orchestral arrangements. He worked extensively in film music, and his credits as a composer/arranger include Funny Face, Guys and Dolls, Showboat, The Americanization of Emily, The Pleasure Seekers, Yes, Giorgio, Doctor Dolittle (1967), My Fair Lady (1964), and Superman (1976). He had numerous Academy Awards nominations. A partial listing of the vast number of TV series scores he composed and/or arranged would include Wagon Train, Peyton Place, Daniel Boone, The Waltons, Land of the Giants, and Lost in Space, among others. Courage was an early member of the Composers and Lyricists Guild of America and various other organizations. Some of Courage's catalog is available on CDs from GNP Crescendo: Star Trek: Original Television Soundtrack (The Cage, Where No Man Has Gone Before) (1989), Star Trek: Original Television Soundtrack, Vol. 3 (Shore Leave, The Naked Time) (1992), and The Fantasy Worlds of Irwin Allen (1995). Other CDs that feature Courage's music are Rhino's 1997 CDs Academy Award-Winning Music From M-G-M Classics and That's Entertainment: The Best of the M-G-M Musicals; the 1967 movie soundtrack to Doctor Dolittle issued as a 1997 UNI/Verve CD; Leonard Bernstein: Greatest Hits; Gershwin Fantasy; a 1998 Sony Classics CD featuring Joshua Bell, John Williams, and the London Symphony Orchestra; the Executive Decision movie soundtrack from UNI/Varese Sarabande; Muppets From Space; Jessye Norman Collection; John Williams/Boston Pops Salute to America; First Knight; and Inside Star Trek. For instrumentalists, there's the book Complete Star Trek Theme Music.