Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The Kung Fu Soundtrack, Jim Helms

I am always thrilled when I get an email from a reader, and the latest, from Luigi in Venezuela, put me on to something interesting I had never known before. Luigi asked if I knew of a soundtrack for the show that did not involve actors from the show narrating over the music. I'd never known about this so I looked it up. The soundtrack Luigi turned me on to was this one, by Jim Helms.

And Luigi was right. There's a lot of great music here but Carradine, Radames Pera, Keye Luke and Philip Ahn can be heard talking over much of it, reciting Shaolin wisdom and exchanges of dialogue.

I wasn't able to find out much about this album or Helms. I did find out from the above link that this has never been released on CD. I suspect it was the only soundtrack for the show officially released and my guess would be that it was performed by Warner Brothers house musicians. You can download the album here and give it a listen. The title track can also be heard here, but I think it was recorded off someone's TV. Also here.

Meanwhile, does anyone know anything about this record, Helms, or the music of the show? I thought I remembered something in the documentary on the DVD (also on YouTube) that mentioned the music among the material regarding the show's extended staff.

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7 Comments:

Blogger Candle In The Dark said...

Hi, great page. I have the album on Mp3s! It's really good. One thing is somewhat inaccurate about your description: many of the songs do NOT have voice overs, they are complete versions of songs heard on the show. The rest of the album are the flashback discussions that Kung Fu is famous for. I can upload some of the Mp3s if requested (to youtube) - my email is hanniballecturer@gmail.com

7:25 AM  
Blogger Charlie Kondek said...

Thanks for stopping by! I'll shoot you an email, Hannibal. Where'd you get yours?

The music really is great, just another thing that was right and clicked about this show. I mean, I'm hearing subtle use of violins, drums and wind instruments to give it an orchestral yet Asian feel. Wonder what else Jim Helms did?

9:28 AM  
Blogger Capcom said...

Wow, thanks for passing this on, very kind!

The soundtrack for "The Legend Continues" is awesome as well.

7:05 PM  
Blogger MadMaxMagnum said...

I love your blog. I'm starting up a hobby website about Kung Fu and I would love to repost some of your stuff to it. If you are interested Please let me know. My site is still in Development, but you can check out what I have so far at KungFuCulture.net

Thanks
Kenn

1:16 PM  
Blogger Charlie Kondek said...

Kenn, I'd love it. Kung Fu Culture looks like a great site! Long as you link back to me (which it seems is standard practice at KFCulture) I'm good. I'll add your link to my blogroll, too. Drop me a holler and let me know how we can collaborate in the future!

1:56 PM  
Anonymous Truthseeker2032 said...

I really like your website. I've gone through the series three times since it came out on DVD. Regarding the soundtrack, there's no documentary about it on the DVDs, but Carradine mentions the soundtrack during the commentary tracks. He only mentions the soundtrack in passing.

5:15 PM  
Blogger Charlie Kondek said...

Thanks, TSeeker. He said something about it, too, during "Dinner with David" (I forget the name - did a post about it) and he couldn't remember Jim Helms' name!

5:29 PM  

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