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Night Lights Classic Jazz

“I Want To Live!”

Based on the true story of accused murderess Barbara Graham, the 1958 movie I Want to Live! employed a jazz soundtrack written by Johnny Mandel.

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I Want to Live 2Based on the true story of accused murderess Barbara Graham, the 1958 movie I Want to Live! employed a jazz soundtrack written by Johnny Mandel and performed by such jazz stalwarts as Gerry Mulligan, Bud Shank and Art Farmer (who appeared in the movie’s opening scenes), along with Frank Rosolino, Jack Sheldon, and Shelly Manne. Susan Hayward (who met a grisly demise in many of her films from the 1940s and 1950s) played Graham, a woman with a troubled past and a real-life jazz and Gerry Mulligan fan who was eventually executed in 1955, despite her protestations of innocence. (Debate continues today over whether or not she actually committed the murder for which she was convicted.) Hayward won an Academy Award for her performance in the movie, which was directed by Hoosier native Robert Wise (The Day the Earth Stood Still, West Side Story, The Haunting, The Sound of Music) We’ll hear music from both versions of the soundtrack that were released, as well as more background on the story behind Barbara Graham and the making of the movie.

Watch the theatrical trailer for I Want to Live!:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xVmyadZel0s

Watch the opening scene with Gerry Mulligan:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I998iKTUKj4

Original broadcast: Sept. 2, 2006

Music Heard On This Episode

San Diego Party
Johnny Mandel's Great Jazz Score Orchestra — I Want to Live! (Rykodisc, 1958)
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San Diego Party
Johnny Mandel's Great Jazz Score Orchestra — I Want to Live! (Rykodisc, 1958)
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Life's a Funny Thing
Gerry Mulligan Combo — I Want to Live! (Rykodisc, 1958)
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Henry Leaves
Johnny Mandel's Great Jazz Score Orchestra — I Want to Live! (Rykodisc, 1958)
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Stakeout
Johnny Mandel's Great Jazz Score Orchestra — I Want to Live! (Rykodisc, 1958)
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Nightmare Sequence
Johnny Mandel's Great Jazz Score Orchestra — I Want to Live! (Rykodisc, 1958)
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Trio Convicted
Johnny Mandel's Great Jazz Score Orchestra — I Want to Live! (Rykodisc, 1958)
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Trip to Corona
Johnny Mandel's Great Jazz Score Orchestra — I Want to Live! (Rykodisc, 1958)
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Main Title
Johnny Mandel's Great Jazz Score Orchestra — I Want to Live! (Rykodisc, 1958)

Notes: Midpoint music bed.

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Peg's Visit
Johnny Mandel's Great Jazz Score Orchestra — I Want to Live! (Rykodisc, 1958)
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Theme From I Want to Live
Gerry Mulligan Combo — I Want to Live! (Rykodisc, 1958)
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Barbara's Theme
Gerry Mulligan Concert Jazz Band — Complete Concert Jazz Band Verve Recordings (Mosaic, 1960)
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Preparations for Execution
Johnny Mandel's Great Jazz Score Orchestra — I Want to Live! (Rykodisc, 1958)
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Death Scene
Johnny Mandel's Great Jazz Score Orchestra — I Want to Live! (Rykodisc, 1958)
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David Brent Johnson

Born in Indianapolis, Indiana, David Brent Johnson moved to Bloomington in 1991. He is an alumnus of Indiana University, and began working with WFIU in 2002. Currently, David serves as jazz producer and systems coordinator at the station. His interests include literature, history, music, writing, and movies.

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