Mad Men’s Second Season Premier

On Valentine’s Night, Don takes Betty to the Savoy Hotel. While there, they run into Juanita(Jennifer Siebel Newsom) an old roommate of Betty’s from her modeling days, accompanied by an older business executive. Don points out to Betty that Juanita is clearly now working as a call girl. 

We all remember Betty’s entrance!

“Song of India” which I recorded for this scene in Season 2 premier had to do two things for it to work. The first was it was to be used as playback for the on camera actors at the hotel. It was decided on a trio, Violin, Harp & piano. The second task was to become gigantic in orchestration to underscore Betty descending the hotel staircase to meet Don for their special Valentine’s date.

Here’s her entrance:

“Song of India” by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, recorded and produced for Mad Men by David Carbonara

Later that night…

In the Drapers’ hotel room, a more confident Betty shows Don a sexy merry widow she has bought. The boldness throws Don, and when they try to have sex, he is impotent. The evening ends with Betty and Don watching the Jackie Kennedy TV special, A Tour of the White House with Mrs. John F. Kennedy. Also watching the special is Joan Holloway and her new doctor-boyfriend, and Salvatore Romano, who is newly married. Pete sits alone watching cartoons, eating the chocolates he purchased for his wife.

The season premier ends with Don reading the Frank O’Hara poem Meditations in an Emergency. “Now I am quietly waiting for the catastrophe of my personality to become beautiful again.” The underscore is a call back to season 1, specifically “The Carousel“.

David Carbonara is the composer of the critically acclaimed series Mad Men, winner of multiple awards including three Golden Globes and four consecutive Emmys for Outstanding Drama Series, and multiply album releases. Recent releases include the album “Back to One” which includes singles: “Blues Orbit”, “Selling Me On…”; and the popular “Bossa Sixteen”. read more

The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe (Original Soundtrack Recording)

Click for Streaming

So there’s much talk of the latest Marilyn Monroe film hitting theaters this fall, “Blonde”, starring Ana de Armas, Adrien Brody and Bobby Cannavale. Which brought me to revisit my 2015 score to “The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe”, also based on a best-selling book, and is just about the same running time, 2:58 compared with the new film at 2:47. Although the earlier aired in two installments, it is still streaming, as is my score, which you can check out here

Kelli Garner at Capitol

I primarily recorded my soundtrack at Conway Recording Studios in Hollywood, CA on April 28th, and May 6th. However, the main title track, “I Want To Be Loved By You” performed by the fabulous Kelli Garner was recorded with the band at Capitol Recording Studios, Hollywood, CA on May 4th, 2015.


  • Orchestrations by Geoff Stradling
  • Additional music by Alex Ruger
  • Recorded and mixed by James T. Hill


The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe is a 2015 American drama miniseries based on The New York Times bestseller of the same name by J. Randy Taraborrelli. It first aired on Lifetime on May 30 and 31, 2015, and received mixed reviews. Brian Lowry of Variety writes, “What sets this latest rehash of the star’s existence apart, marginally, is a knockout performance by Kelli Garner and, to a lesser degree, Susan Sarandon’s turn as her mentally disturbed mother.” And Jordan Appugliesi of US Weekly seems surprised when he states, “Surprise! It’s Actually Good.” And Kelli’s “Marilyn” charmed most reviewers.

Series Main Cast:

  • Kelli Garner as Marilyn Monroe
  • Susan Sarandon as Gladys Pearl Baker, Marilyn’s mother
  • Emily Watson as Grace McKee, Marilyn’s foster mother, later called “aunt”
  • Jack Noseworthy as Alan DeShields, Marilyn’s therapist
  • Giacomo Gianniotti as Jimmy Dougherty, Marilyn’s first husband
  • Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Joe DiMaggio, Marilyn’s second husband
  • Stephen Bogaert as Arthur Miller, Marilyn’s third husband
  • Matthew Bennett as Whitey, Marilyn’s makeup artist
  • Embeth Davidtz as Natasha Lytess, Marilyn’s acting coach
  • Peter MacNeill as Mr. Schenck, Chairman of Fox Studios
  • Tony Nardi as Johnny Hyde, Marilyn’s agent
  • Barry Flatman as Mr. Zanuck, Studio Head of 20th Century Fox
  • Angela Vint as Patricia Newcomb, Marilyn’s publicist
  • Tamara Hickey as Patricia Kennedy Lawford

The two night mini-series was directed by Laurie Collyer.

There are many montages in the series Mad Men, and this one is one of my favorites. Not sure exactly why, it may be the simple hypnotic piano, against the warm strings. But maybe it’s the voice over, which this time isn’t Don Draper (Jon Hamm), but Ken Cosgrove (Aaron Staton).


Loved scoring to Aaron’s Staton’s voice over as sits in bed writing.

Here’s my piece called “The Man With The Miniature Orchestra”.