Ron Jones (composer)

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Ron Jones (born Kansas City, Kansas July 7, 1954) is an Emmy and Grammy nominated American composer who has written music for TV shows, including Star Trek: The Next Generation, Duck Tales, American Dad!, and Family Guy. He composed the theme for Nickelodeon's The Fairly OddParents with series creator Butch Hartman, and the music for the show's pilots.

Early Life and Career[edit]

Ronald Jones was born in Kansas City, Kansas. After receiving a degree in music composition and music theory, he moved to Los Angeles, California, to enroll in the Dick Grove School of Music.[1] He studied under Academy Award- and Emmy Award-nominated composer Lalo Schifrin, which came about when Schifrin asked Jones to copy a concerto for guitar and orchestra.[2]

While attending Dick Grove, Jones composed an NBC Movie of the Week and began scoring television series produced by Hanna-Barbera. In addition to writing the music for hundreds of episodes of Hanna-Barbera cartoons, Jones also arranged and composed the theme songs to such Hanna-Barbera shows as Smurfs and The Snorks.

After five years at Hanna-Barbera, Jones left to work with the composing team of Mike Post and Pete Carpenter. While scoring for Post and Carpenter, Jones worked on such popular television series as The A-Team, Magnum, P.I., and Hardcastle and McCormack. The latter series starred two future Star Trek alumni in the title roles: Brian Keith as Judge Milton C. Hardcastle, and Daniel Hugh Kelly as Mark "Skid" McCormack.

In 1987, Jones was recruited by Chris Montan, the head of Disney Music, to compose the music for Disney's first syndicated cartoon series, DuckTales. Montan was impressed with Jones' work during a session on a Hanna-Barbera cartoon and admired the composer's philosophy to respect the intelligence of the audience rather than creating a "patronizing" or "cute" score that would play down to them. Jones accepted Montag's request to score DuckTales, which became one of the most successful animated programs of all time. Jones worked on DuckTales through 1988, during which time he composed, conducted, arranged, and orchestrated various memorable cues and themes which were reused throughout the show's two-season run.

Star Trek: TNG[edit]

Jones provided critically acclaimed work for the first four seasons (1987-1991) of Star Trek: The Next Generation (Star Trek: TNG). The challenges involved with creating the music for this series were to not only continue the vision of Gene Roddenberry established in the original series, but also to make it more feature film like. Right from the start the stories, the characters took things in new and exciting directions, literally where none had gone before. Ron Jones read the scripts and looked at the work videos with a microscope trying to uncover the essence of the drama. Once that was gleaned and input from the producers was communicated he set to work to create a creative landscape of new sounds, orchestral and electronic colors, motifs and themes which would become the building blocks of each score. Most composers involved in scoring a TV series tend to create a "sound" and stick to that for most episodes. In contrast, Jones considered each episode of ST:TNG a new show. Just like the very talented writers of the shows each episode had its own dramatic stories to tell, so why not make a score that supports that vision. Each episode Ron scored presented its own set of challenges and its own goals. The two part "Best of Both Worlds" episode of ST:TNG was very much like scoring a feature film and Jones approached it very seriously. After all, they threat of a superior life force attacking Starlet and even Earth itself was as tension building as a TV show could get. In fact many TV critics[who?] wrote articles saying that the cliffhanger of "Best Of Both Worlds" was one of the biggest in TV history.

In total, Jones composed forty-two episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation. He was interviewed by Bill Florence for the article "Ron Jones - Sounds in Space", published in The Official Star Trek: The Next Generation Magazine Vol. 14, pp. 16–22. After three seasons and starting in the fourth the producers choose other composers to assume Ron's position scoring the series. No specific reasons where given other than they wanted a less dramatic approach to the score and less emphasis on melodic content. Despite the success of his work, Jones was fired from the crew of The Next Generation under controversial circumstances near the end of the fourth season. His firing was supposedly because his music was thought to be "too noticeable" by Rick Berman. Jones has since been a major critic of Berman-era Trek.;[3] he cited the music of the subsequent Trek spin-offs as "less melodic and more pad-like." [4] Furthermore, he thought the theme for Enterprise would have been better used for the opening ceremonies of the WNBA.[5]

Family Guy[edit]

Jones created original music throughout the first 13 seasons (1999–present) of Family Guy.[6][7]

Jones, with his various music and lyrics collaborators, has received four Emmy nominations for his work on the series: Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics in 2000 ("We Only Live to Kiss Your Ass" aka "This House is Freakin' Sweet", from "Peter, Peter, Caviar Eater") and 2011 ("Christmastime is Killing Us", from "Road to the North Pole"); Outstanding Music Composition for a Series in 2008 ("Lois Kills Stewie") and 2011 ("Road to the North Pole"). His collaborative work on the series also earned a Grammy nomination for 2012's Best Song Written for a Visual Media ("Christmastime is Killing Us").

For the two-part episodes "Stewie Kills Lois and Lois Kills Stewie", Jones paid homage to his own music from a popular Star Trek: TNG two-parter, "The Best of Both Worlds".[8] Jones used parodies of two cues: the dramatic finale piece is reused at the end of "Stewie Kills Lois", while the piece used when Locutus of Borg first appears is reused when Lois reappears in "Lois Kills Stewie".[9] The parodied cues can be heard on Jones' website.[10]


2003 BMI Film and TV Awards: Main Title Theme

2002 BMI Film and TV Awards: Main Title Theme

1991 NAIRD Award: Best Soundtrack Album of the Year

1988 Emmy Awards: Outstanding Sound Mixing for a Drama Series (contributions)

Television scores[edit]

Selected discography[edit]

  • Star Trek - The Next Generation: Music from the Original Television Soundtrack, Volume Two (The Best of Both Worlds) (GNP Crescendo)
  • "Star Trek: The Next Generation - The Ron Jones Project (1987-1999)" released by Film Score Monthly.
  • "Superman" (1988 Ruby-Spears animated series), disc 7 of Superman: The Music (1978-1988), released by Film Score Monthly.
  • The Best of Star Trek: 30th Anniversary Special (tracks 6 & 7: Suite from "Heart of Glory") (GNP Crescendo)
  • Scooby-Doo's Snack Tracks: The Ultimate Collection (two tracks)


  1. ^ Ron Jones; Internet Movie Database, [1]; Accessed: 11 October 2009
  2. ^ "Ron Jones Interview;" Reel Cool, [2]; Published: 7 August 2008; Accessed: 11 November 2015
  3. ^ Cinefantastique magazine, Oct. 1993
  4. ^ Interview: Ron Jones, Question 12; Star Trek Soundtracks, [3]; Published: December 2002; Accessed: 11 October 2009
  5. ^ Interview: Ron Jones, Question 13; Star Trek Soundtracks, [4]; Published: December 2002; Accessed: 11 October 2009
  6. ^ "RON JONES AND SETH MACFARLANE JAZZ IT UP [5]; Published: 1 September 2009; Accessed: 11 November 2015
  7. ^ BMI Composer Just a ‘Family Guy’ [6]; Published: 9 October 2008; Accessed: 11 November 2015
  8. ^ Seth MacFarlane (October 21, 2008). Family Guy Volume 6 DVD commentary for the episode "Stewie Kills Lois" (DVD). 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment. 
  9. ^ Justin Boggan. "Star Trek: The Next Generation (The Ron Jones Project)". MainTitles film music community. Retrieved 2015-01-23. 
  10. ^ Ron Jones, Listen, Family Guy retrieved 2015-01-23

External links[edit]