But first - who are the 4Mers, or the Music Moves Me folks?
The Head 4M'er is XmasDolly. Her co-4Mers are: Callie of JAmerican Spice, and ♥Stacy of Stacy Uncorked♥ And last but certainly not least, Cathy from Curious as a Cathy.
Each week we have a theme (unless it is a freebie week, during which we can blog about anything musical) So today, I take a detour into the 1970's and early1980's.
One of my all time favorite shows was M*A*S*H, which took place in a Mobile Army Surgical Hospital during the Korean War. The show documented various surgeons and nurses and their wartime experiences. One of the surgeons, Charles Emerson Winchester the III (and woe to you if you forgot "the Third"), was an upper-crust Bostonian who started his stint of duty so full of himself you couldn't stand him.
But David Ogden Stiers portrayed Dr. Winchester as a complicated man - one who found his refuge from the war in music. When times were slow, Winchester would listen to classical music in his shared tent on his record player.
In the very last episode of the series, one of the most watched TV episodes of all time (in fact, except for various Super Bowls, it was the most watched), Winchester runs across five Chinese soldiers, and afraid for his life, expects to die. Instead, the soldiers turn out to be musicians, who end up surrendering to him.
Winchester decides to teach the musician prisoners Mozart's Clarinet Quintet for Clarinet and Strings in A. (This is long, so you may want to just listen to the very beginning).
But, too soon, the Chinese musicians are led away for a prisoner of war exchange.
Soon after, a shipment of wounded arrives. Winchester recognizes one of the wounded - he's one of "his" musicians. Another medic tells Winchester the other four musicians were already dead.
Winchester retreats to his tent, and starts to play the Mozart record of the Quintet in A he owns - only to pull off the record from the record player and smash it. The music that had been his escape from war was now a reminder of its horrors. In my opinion, this was one of the most powerful scenes in a powerful TV series.
In real life, David Ogden Stiers, who died Saturday at the age of 75 from cancer, was both an actor and a musician. He was the resident conductor of the Newport Symphony Orchestra, and served as a guest conductor for some 30 American orchestras during his lifetime.
I had almost chosen the M*A*S*H opening theme for my "Music Themes of TV and Movie " and today, I would like to close with its theme, written by Johnny Mandel, called "Suicide is Painless".