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Title - 'Richard Thomas in 9/30/55' (OST)
Artist - Leonard Rosenman

Available for the first time on CD, Leonard Rosenman’s dramatic soundtrack score to '9/30/55' has been out of print for over 30 years.

He composed the score for two of actor James Dean’s biggest films, East of Eden and Rebel Without A Cause, both in 1955. Neither soundtrack has ever been officially released.

Indeed, Rosenman used the themes he created for both East and Rebel as the basis for his score for 9/30/55. Here he breathes new life into those classic themes with new orchestrations and the use of a few solo instruments, such as harmonica, saxophone, and banjo to reflect the southern location of Conway, Arkansas, where 9/30/55 takes place.

Beautifully directed by James Bridges (1936-1993), this intimate character drama starts with Jimmy J. (Richard Thomas) getting the news that his favorite actor, James Dean, has died in a car crash.

Hysterical and moved to tears, he calls his best friend Billie Jean Turner (Lisa Blount) to tell her the sad news. Jimmy and Billie call upon a few of their friends (Tom Hulce, Dennis Quaid) to join them as they pay respect to the actor in their own way.

On that evening they try to conjure up the spirit of James Dean with a séance, and what transcribes leaves Billie Jean with third degree burns all over her body.

After a few weeks of soul-searching Jimmy J. comes to the realization he must go on his own James Dean journey. He needs to know the people who knew James Dean, talk with them and learn as much as he can from them about his idol.

He must live where James Dean lived. And so, Jimmy’s now “A New Rebel in Search for A Cause.”

1. Newscast, September 30, 1955 (:40)
2. Main Title – Theme From “9-30-55” ("East Of Eden") Narration by Richard Thomas (2:23)
3. On The Way To Criss Cross Meadow
A. Stolen Liquor And State Police; B. In The Jailhouse Now - Sung by Webb Piercer (Jimmie Rodgers); C. Prayer By The River (3:38)
4. Hasty Retreat From Criss Cross Meadow (2:12)
5. James Dean And Eden Revisited (9:43)
6. Theme From “9-30-55” ("East Of Eden") (3:21)
7. The Ghoulish Syndrome
A. Assault On The Cemetery; B. Making Believe - Sung by Kitty Wells (Jimmy Work); C. Tragedy Befalls Billie Jean (2:24)
8. Life Imitates Art
A. Jimmy J. Visits Billie Jean / Narration by Richard Thomas; B. Billie Jean’s Disenchantment; C. Jimmy J. Smashes The Mirrors (9:21)
9. A New Rebel In Search Of A Cause (End Title: “Rebel Without A Cause”) (3:17)

Released via Varese Sarabande as a Limited Edition of 1,500 copies, 9/30/55 is most definitely an interesting "musical" concept, that's for sure.

Inclusive of more soundbites than actual music, Rosenman's patchwork album is definitely one for enthusiasts, although a stunning vocal workout from a very highly regarded artist in Jimmie Rodgers on "In The Jailhouse Now" does still manage to peak the musical diehard interest.

Official CD Purchase Link