The 1957 Disney feature Johnny Tremain was based on a Newbery Award-winning book by Esther Forbes that many of us read in school, a fictional story that placed young people in the midst of the Revolutionary war and its participants. Walt Disney acquired the book for his television show, but the production became more elaborate and it was expanded into a feature film. It’s notable for the teenage appearance of Luana Patten, who with Bobby Driscoll, was among the first contracted players at the studio. Also in a co-starring role is Richard Beymer, who was soon to appear in The Diary of Anne Frank and then West Side Story. Playing Johnny was actor Hal Stalmaster, whose older brother was famed casting director Lynn Stalmaster. Hal reportedly did not get the role through nepotism. According to Hal, older brother Lynn thought he “was too young to start acting and besides, he didn't think I could act!"
While there was a score LP for the 1957 Disney film, that album contained studio versions of music selections from the film along with some vocals made for records. It only took up one side of the disc, with patriotic songs from other Disneyland records on side two.
This year, seemingly out of nowhere, Intrada Records partnered with Walt Disney Records to bring George Bruns’ Johnny Tremain soundtrack music to disc for the first time, PLUS the Tremain material from the Disneyland vinyl album as well. You get the song “Liberty Tree” as heard in the film, plus the album version sung by an uncredited Bill Lee (The Sound of Music, South Pacific), who also sings the title song.
Few George Bruns scores from live action Disney films have been commercially released, though his music for such animated features as Sleeping Beauty, The Jungle Book and more recently thanks to the Legacy Collection, Robin Hood and The Aristocats. That alone makes this CD worth having, and advisedly fast, as these sort of things sell out