Sam Spence: March 9, 1927 – February 6, 2016

I meant to get to this a couple days ago but just didn’t have time.  Sam Spence died at the age of 88 a day before Super Bowl 50.  Spence is most well known for composing NFL Films Music.  Spence per the New York Times, “set the fierce dance of the NFL to music in film.” I thought about it and that’s a perfect way to describe it.  He made film jump off the page and come to life.  He made viewers want to jump right in the action.  With Sam’s Music and John Facenda’s voice both Ed and Steve Sabol could do no wrong.  It was a marriage made if heaven and exactly what the NFL needed.

Sam Spence worked with NFL films from 1966 – 1990.“I wanted music that would speak to the passion of the game and that would also be contemporary,” Steve Sabol, who wrote, produced, directed and edited many of the films for which Mr. Spence wrote the scores, said in an interview with The New York Times in 1985. “Sam took hummable melodies, like British drinking songs, Irish ballads and Israeli wedding music, and updated them.” – New York Times.

If you’ve read our blogs or listened to our podcasts you know my writing partner and I are very fond of Sam Spence’s work.  We have used his songs multiple times in our podcast intros.  NFL Films since inception has a done a remarkable job preserving games and important moments through out the history of the NFL.  It could be the middle of June and you hear a Sam Spence song and you immediately think Fall and Football.  It’s a wonderful feeling.  His music has appeared in TV shows (King of Queens), Commercials (Burger King Football add) and video games (Madden Football).  Regardless of age, this music transcends generations.  Sam Spence has composed hundreds of NFL Films shorts.  Among my many favorites are “A Chilling Championship” “The Raiders” and “Classic Battle.”  Listen to those songs and you can’t help but think Football.

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New Eagles Focus podcast launching this weekend.  In our 10th episode we are doing our 1st annual Eagles Congress pc.  This is a full team break from the front office to the grid-iron and what they need to do to hoist the Lombardi trophy.


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