Kenyon Hopkins

March 10, 2006

I discovered basichip.com and his/her amazing musical offerings and found one Kenyon Hopkins an interesting and unknown composer from the 1950s and 60s. He was trained as a composer at Oberlin, was a son of a miinister (as I am), worked with Andre Kostelanetz, and was the chief composer and arranger for Radio City Music Hall. He also composed for television and film. (Oh, did I mention he did the music for The Brady Bunch TV series?) Read baschip.com’s article on him for the complete story and discography.

Kenyon Hopkins

One of the films he scored was called “The Strange One.” A film with “homosexual undertones” I have copied basichip’s synopsis of the film along with one of the musical cues from the film by Hopkins called “Boogie on The Strange One.” I love how the countermelody is in a different key, evoking the notion of the strange one, outside the key, the queer. With regard to the musical style, think Henry Mancini in the late 50s, early 60s.
As of 2005, only the score to Baby Doll has been reissued on compact disc.

The Strange One

The Strange One

Kenyon Hopkins

Coral CRL 57132 (1957)


In his movie debut, Ben Gazzara portrays Jocko De Paris, a manipulative psychotic who holds a Southern military school in thrall. Due to its pronounced homosexual undertones, this film almost never made it to the screen, but the filmmakers managed to circumvent the censors by removing three minutes of allegedly offensive footage and by making the film’s most overtly gay character a slimy, repulsive creep. Another implicitly homosexual character, is depicted as merely wimpish and withdrawn.

[audio:http://www.basichip.com/kenyon_hopkins/the_strange_one.mp3]

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