I Walked with a Zombie was released in 1943 and the soundtrack was scored by Roy Webb, while the film featured several musical interludes that were performed by Sir Lancelot. The musical director for the film was C. Bakaleinikoff, who was deemed responsible for making the decision to bring Sir Lancelot in to the film to add some authentic calypso style music.
Roy Webb was a regular composer for the RKO film studio, eventually becoming a musical director there. During his time at RKO, Roy Webb was responsible for many of the movie soundtracks that came from the company, making a name for himself for his work on horror movies and thrillers, like Cat People (1942) and Zombies on Broadway (1945).
Sir Lancelot was an actor and a calypso singer whose real name was Lancelot Victor Edward Pinard. Originally from Trinidad, Lancelot spent most of his life in the US and at the time he was widely considered as the best Calypso signer/musician in the US. Sir Lancelot appears in ‘I Walked with a Zombie‘ in a number of scenes where he performs a few of his songs such as Shame and Scandal”, and “The British Grenadiers”.
Many sources have stated that these performances in ‘I Walked with a Zombie‘ were the first time calypso music had been used in an American movie.
The soundtrack to the film was notable for the throbbing drums that are steeped throughout the movie.
We have pulled together some of the tracks from the soundtrack below, as well as a few of the Sir Lancelot performances from the movie.
1. Main Title
3. Fort Holland
5. Dr Maxwell
6. End Titles
Songs featured in the film:
1. The British Grenadiers
Music: 18th century or earlier
by Sir Lancelot
2. Fort Holland Calypso Song
Music and Lyrics by Sir Lancelot
by Sir Lancelot
3. Etude in E Op.10 No.3
Written by Frédéric Chopin
Played on piano by Tom Conway
Many of the tracks from the soundtrack can be purchased on a Roy Webb compilation album, that also features compositions from some of the other films that he scored.