Pop Archives

Patty Markham - Blue Star (Theme From ‘Medic’) (1961)

(Victor Young - Edward Heyman)
Australia Australia
#28 Sydney

Single on Festival and on EP Patty Markham (1961). Blue Star was also on a 1962 various artists album on Festival, Brian Henderson’s “Bandstand”.

Sydney-based club singer Patty Markham (born c.1943) also appeared on TV (Six O’Clock Rock, Bandstand and others), and on at least seven singles on Rex and Festival 1960-62. When she started recording she was still working in the office of her father’s engineering company. She was a trophy-winning tennis player in Sydney Pennant competitions, according to the liner notes of her EP.

Patty was popular in Newcastle NSW where she had a big branch of her fan club, according to Noel McGrath’s Encyclopaedia. The Newcastle Bands Database has a photo of Patty Markham backed by Newcastle band The Ravens at St Peter’s Hall in the suburb of Hamilton.

A complete Patty Markham biography is elusive, but there are glimpses of her in the archives 1960-64.

In 1961 Teenage Weekly calls her “Miss Emotion”, “the girl with the inbuilt sob in her voice”. Sydney DJ John Laws mentions her approvingly in a couple of his Sun-Herald columns, predicting a “bright future” for her with her “truly beautiful, rich-timbred voice”. In 1962 she is dueting and writing with Wayne Cornell who would later join the Delltones (1965-68). In February 1964 Canberra’s Hotel Ainslie Rex advertises the second appearance by Patty Markham “the girl with a voice in a million”.

For more on the talented Franz Conde, orchestral conductor on this record, see under Billy ThorpeThe Word For Today.

About this page: There are many recordings of Blue Star or the ‘Medic’ Theme. I haven’t tried to list them all, just the charting records and a few that are essential to the story of the song.

A composer credit to Victor Young alone usually indicates an instrumental. Both Victor Young and Edward Heyman (the lyricist) are usually credited on vocal versions. The title Blue Star originates with the vocal version, although it is used on some instrumentals.

References, further reading: 1. Noel McGrath’s Australian Encyclopaedia of Rock & Pop (1984), p. 206. 2. Teenage Weekly section of The Australian Women’s Weekly, various articles 1961-62 archived at NLA’s Trove website.

Thanks to David Overett for suggestion and leads.

Studio orchestra (TV series) - ‘Medic’: instrumental theme (1954)

(Victor Young)
Original version: soundtrack

Medic premiered in September 1954, starring Richard Boone as Dr Konrad Styner. The credits say Music by Victor Young but no orchestra is credited. Young released another recording of the theme in March 1955.

Born in Chicago and trained in Poland, violinist-conductor-composer-arranger Victor Young (1900-1956) was a classical music performer and conductor who became a prolific and influential composer of film music.

Reference, recommended reading: Victor Young at Space Age Pop.

Video: It will start playing at the beginning of the theme in the end credits, around 25 minutes. If you go back to the very start of the video you can watch the full episode, S1E26 “Lifeline”, 16 May 1955 [IMdB].

Felicia Sanders - Blue Star (1955)

(Victor Young - Edward Heyman)
Original vocal version
#29 USA

Single on Decca May 1955, orchestra conducted by Norman Leyden.

Popular New York-born nightclub singer Felicia Sanders (c.1922-1975) studied dance in California before switching to singing. She was heard on Percy Faith And His Orchestra’s 1953 hit The Song From Moulin Rouge (Where Is Your Heart).

The title Blue Star emerges here, with the lyrics by Edward Heyman (1907-1981). He wrote the words for such notable songs as Body And Soul, Out Of Nowhere, and I Cover The Waterfront (all composed by Johnny Green) and For Sentimental Reasons (Abner Silver & Al Sherman).

Further reading: 1. Felicia Sanders obituary at New York Times. 2. Edward Heyman at JazzStandards.com and at Discogs.com.

Les Baxter, His Chorus And Orchestra - Medic (1954)

(Victor Young)
Original instrumental version

This was not the first recording of the theme (that was in the TV show), but it was the first record release.

B-side on Capitol February 1955 by prolific conductor-composer (1922-1996) who has become known as “the leading figure in the history of exotica” (Space Age Music). The A-side is Unchained Melody (#1 USA).

Victor Young And His Singing Strings - Theme From ‘The Medic’ (1955)

(Victor Young)

Instrumental piano solo by Ray Turner.

Single on Decca by the composer March 1955, a different recording from the one heard in the TV series. The title on the label has The Medic but on the record sleeve it is just Medic, as in the TV series title and on other records.

Charlie Applewhite - Blue Star (The ‘Medic’ Theme) (1955)

(Victor Young - Edward Heyman)
#20 UK

B-side on Decca June 1955 YouTube by Texan singer and radio-TV presenter (1932-2001).

On the July 1955 British release on Brunswick Blue Star was the A-side. The artist was billed as Charlie Applewhite With Victor Young And His Orchestra And Chorus and the title was slightly changed to Blue Star (From ‘The Medic’ Theme) . Charted in the UK in September 1955.

Cyril Stapleton And His Orchestra Featuring Julie Dawn - The ‘Medic’ Theme (1955)

(Victor Young - Edward Heyman)
#2 UK

Single on Decca July 1955 by British violinist and bandleader (1914-1974), often on the BBC and on record. Charted in September 1955. He had solid experience in both classical and dance band music from his mid-teens.

Vocals are by Julie Dawn. British-born of Italian parents (b. Juliana Mostosi 1920-2000), she sang with the distinguished dance bands of Harry Roy, Geraldo, and Carroll Gibbons among others. She was later well-known as a singer and presenter on the BBC, hosting Julie Dawn’s Penfriends Programme from the late 70s.

Further reading: 1. Julie Dawn’s career covered a lot of bases. The Guardian obituary is a good summary. A blogpost on Julie Dawn at From The Vaults draws on that as well as the Telegraph and Independent obituaries, but adds some nice images to the story. 2. The Cyril Stapleton biography by David Ades at the Robert Farnon Society website is an excellent source.

Ron Goodwin And His Concert Orchestra - Blue Star (The Medic Theme) (1955)

(Victor Young)
#20 UK

78 RPM record on Parlophone October 1955 YouTube by British composer and conductor (1925-2003) famous for his compositions for films.