The Baton: A John Williams Musical Journey

Episode 27 - The Cowboys

June 12, 2019

John Williams returned to the Old West -- and returned to working with director Mark Rydell -- for the 1972 film "The Cowboys." Once again leaning on Aaron Copland's template for Americana-tinged music, Williams employed a fun theme for the 11 boys hired to help John Wayne herd cattle across the plains. He also used a bass harmonica for the film's villain, played viciously by Bruce Dern. The score is counted as a favorite for many John Williams fans, and after learning more about the music with host Jeff Commings, you might be adding it to your top 10 list of best John Williams scores.