The Baton: A John Williams Musical Journey

Episode 31 - Tom Sawyer

July 10, 2019

John Williams' final foray into movie musicals -- aside from the scrapped idea of making "Hook" into a musical -- was 1973's "Tom Sawyer," which paired him with the successful songwriting pair of Richard and Robert Sherman. The result was a decent effort, as Williams put some strong flourishes into the songs as well as his underscore. Naturally, you'll hear touches of "The Reivers" here, but you'll also note the strong work as an orchestrator that made this musical worth watching and a joy to hear. Host Jeff Commings analyzes some strong underscore moments and how Williams was able to beef up some of the top songs in the film. This would be the first of five films with John Williams music in 1973, starting what would be an unforgettable 12 months for the Maestro.