|Pictured at the luncheon are Cherry Lane's Peter Primont, composer Tom Hedden, BMI's Alison Smith and Del Bryant, composer Sam Spence, Cherry Lane's Aida Gurwicz and composer Dave Robidoux. Photo by Dana Rodriguez|
With an astounding list of accolades that includes 84 Emmys, NFL Films is the most honored and was the first to score original music for sports films. NFL Films Presents, a weekly series started in 1967, is the longest-running syndicated sports series in history.
Launched in 1964 by aspiring filmmaker Ed Sabol, music has played an integral part of the legendary company's 40 year history from its inception. Sabol's vision of telling the story of the game with dramatic flair led him to composer Sam Spence, and later Tom Hedden and Dave Robidoux. When the martial power of "Cossaks Charge," the jazzy brass of "The Lineman" or the triumphant strains of "Golden Boy," blend with the legendary voice of broadcaster John Facenda, you have the signature sound of NFL Films. Sabol's son Steve, who now serves as the company's president, says: "We found composers whose music captured the passion and power of the game and created an enduring and inspirational soundtrack for NFL Films."
Autumn Thunder: 40 Years of NFL Films Music, released in September 2004, is a box set of original scores from Spence, Hedden and Robidoux containing 10 CDs, 192 tracks, a pigskin cover and an 80-page color booklet describing the history of NFL Films and its music.
Sam Spence joined Films in 1966 and has composed more than 700 original scores, including "Pony Riders" and "Up She Rises." His expansive and lush orchestral scores are ingrained in our national conscience and have revolutionize the way America watches football. Spence retired in 1990.
Tom Hedden came to NFL Films in 1990 as the new music director. A year later, Dave Robidoux joined the team as audio engineer and the two started composing together. The pair's first score together was for the 1994 TNT special, 75 Seasons: The History of the NFL, which earned them an Emmy for Best Musical Score.