The theme and incidental music for Maelstrom were written by BBC stalwart Johnny Pearson.

Pearson, who died at the age of 85 on 20th March 2011, had a long-standing association with BBC television which got into full swing in the mid-Sixties. He became one of the leading composers of themes and incidental music for British TV programmes, and his orchestra was regularly heard on shows ranging from Top Of The Pops to drama serials. One of his most successful themes was Sleepy Shores - written for Owen MD, a twice weekly BBC1 soap opera about a doctor which was transmitted in the early evenings. The reflective Sleepy Shores was a light classical single with broad appeal; the theme assumed a life of its own, reaching No. 8 on the UK chart in early 1972. Instead of being in the backroom, Johnny thus appeared on Top Of The Pops himself!

Another of Pearson's more famous themes was his music for veterinary surgeon series All Creatures Great And Small. These adaptations of the James Herriot sagas began in January 1978 and finished their regular run in 1981. For a time, Pearson had his own 'Johnny Pearson Show' on BBC Radio.

Brief clip of sheet music for 'The Camelia Waltz'

Music composed by Pearson used in the series includes:
Camelia Waltz - specially recorded by Johnny Pearson and treated to sound like an old 78 disc.
Rural Green (from "Fragrance" - Bruton Music BRD5) Ep 1
Purple Haze (from "Gentle Sounds" - KPM 1058) Ep 1
Caricature (from "Colours in Rhythm" - KPM 1029) Ep 1
Sleepy Saxaphone (from "Colours in Rhythm" - KPM 1029) Ep 1
Tulip Time (from Open Air Vol 2 - KPM 1099) Ep 3

Other Featured Music includes
Ballade 4 in F Minor Opus 52 by Chopin - Ep 1
Mood Music Album by McPartland (KPM 1083) - Ep 2
Ballade 4 in F Minor Opus 42 by Chopin - Ep 3
Sonny Boy Blow by John Mayall and Bluesology by Norwegian Blues Band - Ep 4

You can purchase an MP3 of the theme from Amazon

Website visitor Lewis Juckes was very keen to track down the music from Malestrom and he sent me the following message:

"About ten years ago I conducted a bit of a search for it, and started by identifying the producer (Vere Lorrimer) and writing to him. He actually sent me a tape of himself playing the various pieces as he remembered them, on the piano! He also gave me an address for Johnny Pearson and suggested that I should write to him. I did so but received no reply. I must dig out the tape and transfer it to a CD, although it is not ideal. For instance, in one place, Lorrimer realises that he is getting it wrong, so he stops and restarts. Anyway, do you know if it is available either on CD, tape or even as sheet music? (Not that I can play, but my son is probably up to that standard.) What really interested me was the waltz which played when she went into the house on the island. Very atmospheric - normally it would have been a very merry piece, but as the story progressed it became terrifying!"

If anyone can help please contact me!

Michael J Bird Tribute Website

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