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The national educational radio network presents music by Don Gillis and this is done saying welcome and in the same breath about to apologize for something. The apology is in order because last week I told you that the opening number of our second program would be a work called Paul Bunyan an overture to a legend. And actually it won't be that at all. Now I'm sure that most of you didn't wait breathlessly for this very moment to hear the Paul Bunyan score. Only now to snap the switch off on your radio because you're not going to have a chance to hear it. But I am sorry that I misled you. Well actually I didn't mislead you. I misled myself when I was figuring out what I would bring you on this program I listed my numbers added up the timing and made such a mistake that it would have taken 45 minutes instead of just 30 to do the scheduled show. So if confessions are good for the soul I have got a good soul because I just confessed to stupidity and not only that apologized from coast to coast all of which I hope arouses your curiosity as to what we will hear if we're not going to hear the one I had
originally scheduled. Well in addition to the raven with Nelson Armstead as narrator and to the final movement of my Symphony Number five we're going to hear a set of variations I was commissioned to do for NBC 25th birthday and that's our program begins as we hear the NBC Symphony Orchestra conducted by the composer and Bing Bang Bang.
Bing bang Vhong a set of variations on the familiar NBC chimes has been the opening number on a regular session of music by Don Gillis. The performance was by the NBC symphony orchestra with the composer conducting the composer in this instance being your host and commentator Don give us the work we're going to hear next the Raven has a very special place in my catalogue of compositions and I'd like to tell you why. First of all while it was an early work in my writing career it had a profound influence on both my music and my life. And it all happened because Nelson stead then an announcer at WB AP in Fort Worth Texas asked me to write a score to be used as background for his anniversary program devoted to Poe's literary works. Since I was a staff composer and arranger on the same station and eagerly jumped at the chance to do anything at all in the way of original writing I accepted his invitation and recall vividly our sessions where with stopwatch and sketch pad in hand
we attempted to find the exact timing the precise nuance so that the music would coincide exactly with the intent of the poem. Both descriptively and subjectively. When the work was completed conductor Jean-Paul gave it its first performance with Nelson Armstead as narrator. And we were all excited for within a few days over 10000 cards and letters came in complimenting the performance. I then expanded the work for a full symphony orchestra and submitted it to Dr. Frank Black who performed it on a series called New American music with the NBC symphony orchestra. So it was the raven that gave me my first network audience. But that wasn't all. When Nelson moved to NBC Chicago he took with him a recording of The Raven and within a few months NBC asked me to join the staff. And so the Raven was responsible for that first move to the network and then later the Raven was again good to me for the head of the Chicago production office moved into a top executive
post in New York and remembering that he had had a producer in Chicago who was also a musician sent for me to take over the job of production for the NBC symphony orchestra with my Astra Tuscany. That's the end of the story except to say that while the raven doesn't get performed very much these days it still excites me to remember its importance to me on both my personal and creative life. Certainly there hasn't been another single piece of music that I've written that has done as much for me. But then maybe there shouldn't be. After all Mr. Poe did say Quoth the raven Nevermore recently the American Federation of radio and television artists and the American Federation of Musicians gave me permission to use a tape of one of the NBC performances of this work on our series. And so we'll hear it now with Dr. Leroy sheild conducting the NBC symphony orchestra and Nelson Armstead narrating Edgar Allen Poe's famed poem The
Raven with music by Don give us. Us. Us. Us. Once Upon a Midnight Dreary. While I pondered weak in the
area. Many of you here in this volume of forgotten your. BYLINE nodded nearly napper. Suddenly there came a tapping as of some one gently rapping rapping at my chamber door. Visitor I muttered. Tapping at my chamber. Only this and nothing more. Just think they I remember it was in the bleak symbol separate by and walk its ghost upon the floor. Eagerly I wish tomorrow vainly I had sought to borrow from my book of sorrow sorrow for the loss of the rare and radiant maiden whom the angel named nameless here. Forever more.
In the silk and sad uncertain rustling of each purple curtain thrilled me filled me with fantastic terrors never felt. Just Philip reading of my heart. I stood repeating. To some visitor and reading in peace at my chamber door visitor intriguing entrance at my chamber door. This it is and nothing more. Presently my soul grew stronger. Hesitating then no longer sir said I or madam. Truly your forgiveness I implore. But the fact is I was napping and so gently you came rapping and so faintly you came tapping tapping at my chamber door. But I scarce was sure I heard you here. I opened wide the door. Darkness there and nothing.
We knew that disappearing long I stood there wondering fearing doubting dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before. But the silence was unbroken. And the stillness gave no token and the only word there spoken was the whispered word. This I whispered and then echo murmured back the word. They knew. Only this and nothing. Then into the chamber turning all my soul within me burning. Soon again I heard a tapping something louder than before. Surely said I surely that is something at my window lattice. Let me see them what their right is in this mystery explore. Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore the wind and nothing more.
Open here I flung the shutter. Coin with many of clerks and flutter in their step just take me Raven. Not the least not an instant stop. First. What was the meaning of lord or lady. Perched. Above my chamber door. Perched. Upon the bust of Pallas just above my chamber door. And sat. And nothing more. Than this Ebony bird beguiling my fancy and the smiling by the grave and stern decorum of the cauldron of. Rest be shorn and shaven Craven ghastly grim an ancient Raven wondering from the nightly Char tell me what the lordly name was on the night. The Raven. Nevermore are.
Much I marvel. This ungainly to hear discourse a plenty. Though its answer little meaning little relevance is more for me I cannot help agreeing that no living human being ever yet was blessed with a bird chamber door bird or beast upon this cluster above his door with such a thing as never more. But the raven sitting lonely in that placid bus spoke only that one word as if his soul in that one word he did opt for. Nothing further than he did not of other than he flooded. Scarcely more than muttered. Other friends have flown before on the morrow he will leave me as my hopes of then the bird said Never MAR.
The stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken. Said I What it others is its only stock in store. Some unhappy master. Unmerciful disaster followed fast and faster till just one Burton boy dirges of his hope the melancholy burden bar of never never more. But the Raven still beguiling all my sad soul in the smiling. Straight in front of the bird. Then upon the velvet sinking. I betook myself under a trance thinking what this ominous bird of your what this dark and ominous bird of you are meant in croaking. Never more are. This I said engaged in guessing. But no syllable expressing to the powerful fiery eyes now burned
into my bruises. Listen lar I sat. With my head on the cushions velvet lining. But the lamp light. Well the pilot with the lamp light loading. Never. Then. We thought the air grew denser curfew falls on the top floor. Right right. My God had sent the respite a respite and apparently from my memories of. This kind of pen and forget this last post The Raven Nevermore
Tempest Landon chatted on this poem by a horror haunted. Tell me more. Is there. Tell me tell me. Never more. Prophets. Probably still are. In the distant past. And. Never more.
Leave. The Raven nevermore. And the raven. Never sitting still is sitting. Is sitting on the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door. And his. Have all of. It is green and the lamp light and throws his shadow on the floor. And my soul from out that shadow. That lies floating on the.
Well being lifted nevermore. The Raven by Edgar Allen Poe with music by Don give us our narrator was Nelson that the final work on our program is the third movement the finale for my Symphony Number Five played on this occasion by the National High School Symphony Orchestra of Interlochen with Henri and Dolly conducting.
I am Whitney. OK.
I am. I am. In. The air. Car or.
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The Music of Don Gillis II
Bing, Bang, Bong
Contributing Organization
University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Episode Description
This program, the second in the series, features a performance of "Bing Bang Bong," and "The Raven," both by the NBC Symphony Orchestra, conductd by Dr. Roy Shield. It also includes "Finale" from "Symphony No. 5," with Dr. Orien Dalley conducting.
Other Description
This series features the works of Don Gillis; hosted by the composer himself. Most of the performances are conducted by the composer.
Broadcast Date
Media type
Composer: Gillis, Don, 1912-1978
Conductor: Dalley, Orien
Conductor: Shield, LeRoy, 1893-1962
Host: Gillis, Don, 1912-1978
Performer: NBC Symphony Orchestra
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 65-36-2 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:29:14
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Chicago: “The Music of Don Gillis II; Bing, Bang, Bong,” 1965-09-17, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed January 24, 2022,
MLA: “The Music of Don Gillis II; Bing, Bang, Bong.” 1965-09-17. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. January 24, 2022. <>.
APA: The Music of Don Gillis II; Bing, Bang, Bong. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from