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NBC's 2014 Olympic Coverage Features the Iconic Music of Distinguished CCM Alumnus Randy Edelman

UC alum Randy Edelman's iconic theme music has been used on the soundtrack of NBC's major sports coverage for nearly 20 years.

Date: 2/19/2014 12:00:00 AM
By: Curt Whitacre
Phone: (513) 556-2683
Photos By: Dottie Stover

UC ingot  
Distinguished alumnus Randy Edelman with the CCM Philharmonia in 2013.
Distinguished alumnus Randy Edelman with the CCM Philharmonia in 2013.

Television viewers of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi have an alumnus of the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) to thank for the rousing theme music featured in NBC’s coverage of the games. Beginning with the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, the NBC television network has used music originally composed by distinguished alumnus Randy Edelman (CCM ’69, HonDoc ’04) extensively in its televised sports broadcasts.

A prominent singer, songwriter, arranger and film scorer, Edelman has led a prolific career since concluding his studies at CCM and has regularly seen his film and television scores find a second life in NBC’s sports coverage.

As the Los Angeles Times has previously reported, the heroic music used by NBC to promote upcoming Olympic competitions was originally the theme for the comedy-western television series The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr. Read the full L.A. Times article here and view the original title sequence for that program (complete with Edelman’s score) here.

This theme has come to soundtrack NBC’s Olympic coverage for nearly 20 years and has also been used in the network’s coverage of Major League Baseball playoffs and other major sporting events.

Last January, Edelman returned to the stage of Corbett Auditorium for a special performance with CCM’s Philharmonia and Jazz Ensemble. Learn more about his recent return to campus courtesy of UC Magazine at

About Randy Edelman
Randy Edelman grew up in Teaneck, N.J., where he studied piano at an early age and gave many recitals locally. After high school graduation, he enrolled at CCM where he majored in piano and composition. While in Cincinnati, he began freelancing as a music arranger at James Brown’s King Records and also wrote original music for regional theatre.

Upon graduation, Edelman headed back to New York where he signed on as a staff writer at CBS April Blackwood Music. He also began playing piano in Broadway pit orchestras and continued his interest as a music arranger. He went out on the road as music director for many entertainers. While traveling, Edelman began writing both his own music and lyrics, beginning a decade of producing and writing his own solo albums.

The albums led to Edelman’s appearances as opening solo act to such diverse groups as the Carpenters and Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention. His songs began being recorded by such popular recording artists as Barry Manilow (“Weekend In New England”), Olivia Newton-John, Patti LaBelle, The Carpenters, The 5th Dimension, Jackie DeShannon (whom he married), Blood Sweat and Tears, Kool and The Gang, Agnetha Faltskog (ABBA) and Bing Crosby, to name a few. The subsequent success of his records in the United Kingdom led to appearances on the Top of the Pops, concerts at the London Palladium and Drury Lane Theaters, and tours throughout Europe, Japan and Australia.

Shortly after arriving in Los Angeles, Edelman became interested in using his background as a classical musician and arranger to pursue his interest in film scoring. In between his album recording he began scoring several television and feature films. His TV scoring work included MacGyver, Maximum Security, Mr. Sunshine and The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr. to name but a few. Children’s projects included PBS Wonderworks, the Care Bears album and several award-winning after school specials.

His scores have been performed by such symphonies as Boston Pops, Charleston Symphony, Cincinnati Symphony and the London Symphony Orchestra. Several years ago, Edelman’s symphonic piece “Transcontinental” was introduced for the first time by Erich Kunzel and the Cincinnati Pops. His score from The Last Of The Mohicans was nominated for both the British Academy Award and the Golden Globe. His movie themes havebecome a backbone of sports broadcasts. He has written the NBC’s NFL Football Theme, ESPN's Sports Century documentary series theme and the on-air Olympic theme for NBC. His scores have opened the Super Bowl and closed the Olympic broadcast for which he received an Emmy Award.

In 2003, Edelman received BMI's highest honor, the Richard Kirk Award for Outstanding Career Achievement.

In June 2004, Edelman was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts from the University of Cincinnati. In 2005, Randy had his biggest chart record with Nelly's "My Place." It reached No. 1 on Billboard's Rap and Hip Hop charts, and No, 4 on the Pop chart. In 2007, Edelman was nominated by the IFMCA (International Film Music Critics Association) for "Best Original Score For Television" for ABC's mini-series The Ten Commandments.

He recently scored Disney's live action Underdog, Focus Features Balls Of Fury, Fox's 27 Dresses and Universal's Mummy 3: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor. Edelman’s song, "Weekend in New England," was recently featured in the hit film Paul Blart, Mall Cop.

In 2010, he completed scoring Leap Year in London starring Amy Adams. He has traveled this summer doing film scoring seminars in Tel Aviv, Israel, at Spain's Ubeda Music Festival (where he conducted his Dragon Trilogy) and at the Sundance Institute chaired by Robert Redford. He is currently finishing the score to the documentary Na Nai'a The Legend of the Dolphins and the independent feature The Greening of Whitney Brown. In 2011 he was awarded the Gold Spirit Award, named in honor of Jerry Goldsmith, for Leap Year, as Best Comedy Score. His album of new original songs The Pacific Flow to Abbey Road has been released by Cherry Red Records in the UK and Varese Sarabande Records in the US.