Star Trek Theme Vocalist Dies

By Michelle
August 14, 2005 - 11:29 PM

Loulie Jean Norman, the soprano who provided the vocals for the original Star Trek theme song, died on August 2nd.

E Insiders noted that Norman, who dubbed Diahann Carroll's singing in the film version of Porgy and Bess. for the song "Summertime", had worked with Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley and many other well-known singers. No cause of death was given.

Although the Star Trek theme was re-recorded at the start of the original series' third and final season, when budget cuts inspired producer Fred Freiberger to replace the one using Norman's voice in order to avoid paying royalties to her, the original music composed by Alexander Courage originally had lyrics, notes Courage later claimed that Gene Roddenberry had composed the unheard lyrics so that he could claim half the royalties.

Once Roddenberry claimed half the royalties to the music by composing lyrics that he did not intend to use in the show, Courage declined to work on any further Star Trek episodes. After the show's cancellation, Nichelle Nichols recorded a disco version of the Star Trek theme with different lyrics.

Norman provided wordless accompaniment to Courage's theme music. Roddenberry's lyrics themselves posit a star trek that "will go on forever" sung by a narrator who says, "I know he'll find in star-clustered reaches/Love, strange love a star woman teaches."

More on Norman and the saga of Star Trek's original theme song may be found in the Wikipedia.

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