Billy Goldenberg, known for composing the pilot scores for “Night Gallery” and “Columbo,” died Monday night at his home in NewYork at the age of 84. He had won Emmys for the TV-movie “Queen of the Stardust Ballroom” and miniseries “The Lives of Benjamin Franklin,” “King” and “Rage of Angels.”He earned eight Tony nominations including Best Musical for the score of the 1978 Broadway musical “Ballroom.”
He started as assistant to Universal TV music director Stanley Wilson, who assigned him scores for series as “Ironside,” “It Takes a Thief” and “The Name of the Game.” Later, Spielberg gave him “Name of the Game” and he also did the director’s television work including “Night Gallery,” “Duel” and three installments of “Amazing Stories” in the 1980s.
He said in an interview with Los Angeles in 1976,“They told me to write a score for ‘Fear No Evil,’ a story about demonology. I thought, wow, I’m really in over my head. I worried a lot, but I worked my tail off, experimenting until I found a way to combine romantic music with a strong flavor of horror. It clicked, and suddenly I’d found a place where I belonged.”
He added,“A composer should be sensitive to what’s happening on the screen,” Goldenberg told the L.A. Times. “It’s better to underplay and understate, even though it often becomes a personal struggle for me because I’m very emotional, always ready to pour my heart out.”