The Phantom OST: Liner Notes


            The Phantom has entertained, amused and thrilled comic page fans for over 60 years. One of the first costumed heroes, they call him “The Ghost Who Walks” and “The Man Who Cannot Die.” Few other characters knew he was actually the 21st in an unbroken sting of Phantoms, a legacy handed down from father to son in the Walker family.  The legacy started when Kit Walker survived a pirate attack that killed his father and everyone else aboard ship.  Marooned on a remote beach, he swore an oath that he and his descendants would forever fight pirates and evildoers.  Thus, the Phantom was born.

            The character has remained popular for six decades, both in the newspaper comic strip, and in comic books. Marvel currently publishes several Phantom titles including Phantom 2040, which follows the exploits of the 24th in the line of Phantoms. That Phantom also appears on TV as an animated cartoon and a video game. 

            During the later years of World War II the Phantom was also the subject of a 15 episode serial. The comic strip continues to run in hundreds of newspapers in 40 countries.  The Phantom’s creator, Lee Falk, now well into his 80s, continues to oversee all aspects of the character he created over 60 years ago.


David Newman


            David Newman’s work spans the cinematic spectrum. In a bit over a decade he has created no less than 33 soundtracks.  Newman’s music added mystery to Hoffa, levity to Bill And Ted’s Excellent Adventure and just the right mix of mirth and mayhem to the black comedy Heathers.  Newman (not to be confused with jazz sax player David “Fathead” Newman) is the son of  nine-time Oscar winning composer Alfred Newman, nephew of Lionel Newman and cousin of pop music iconoclast and film composer Randy Newman. 

            A native born Los Angelino, Newman earned his master’s degree from the University of Southern California as a conductor. He broke into films with Steven Herek’s tongue in cheek 1986 horror film Critters, and created the music for the animated treasure The Brave Little Toaster, the hysterical Throw Mama From The Train, the Marlon Brando/Matthew Broderick vehicle The Freshman and the much ballyhooed film version of The Flintstones.  A director’s composer, filmmakers frequently use his services movie after movie:  He has scored four of Danny DeVito’s works and four of Herek’s.  The Phantom marks his second project with director Simon Wincer, following 1995’s very successful Operation Dumbo Drop. 

            Newman served as the Music Director of the Sundance Institute, the personal selection of Robert Redford.  While working at Sundance, he wrote one of his most remarkable scores, an orchestral accompaniment to the silent classic Sunrise. He conducted the Utah Philharmonic in the 1989 showing of the film that opened the US Film Festival.