Two for Tuesday: Henry Mancini

Did you ever get the feeling that you were forgetting something? I realized just a few minutes ago I hadn’t posted the Two for Tuesday for today.

In honor of my parents’ wedding anniversary (58 years today; shame that neither of them lived to see it), today’s guest artist is the late, great Henry Mancini, the composer of “Moon River,” a tune popularized by the late Andy Williams, who celebrated his Two For Tuesday two weeks ago. During the Blogging from A to Z Challenge, you might remember that I did a post on him and his collaborations with director/producer Blake Edwards. I included a number of Mancini’s songs in that post (and you’re welcome to visit it, by the way), so I’ll try to make this unique.

He was born Enrico Nicola Mancini in the Little Italy neighborhood of Cleveland, Ohio in 1924. After serving in World War II (where he participated in the liberation of a concentration camp), he became the pianist for the re-formed Glenn Miller Orchestra, and spent his time there working on his composing and arranging skills. In 1952, he joined the music department at Universal Pictures, and composed the music for over a hundred movies, including The Glenn Miller Story, for which he received his first Oscar nomination. Going freelance in 1958, he wrote the theme song for the TV show Peter Gunn, the first of many collaborations with Blake Edwards. He was a prolific composer, arranger, and performer who remained active until his death of pancreatic cancer in 1994.

You’ve heard the first song here if you were a fan of the TV show Newhart in the Eighties (and who wasn’t?). This is the full theme; the one used for television was about half as long. (I have to say, to be fair, that the show was a favorite of ours because Bob Newhart was a graduate of Loyola University Chicago, also our alma mater.) The second song, “Experiment in Terror,” was written for Blake Edwards’ 1962 movie of the same name, starring Glenn Ford and Lee Remick. Those of us who lived in the Chicago area know it better as the theme from Creature Features, WGN-TV’s Saturday night horror film.

There are literally hundreds of Mancini songs, performed by a wide variety of artists, that people have posted to YouTube, a sign that Henry’s music is ageless and has a broad appeal to people of all ages. I hope I’ve given you enough of a taste that you spend some time and check those out.

Happy Anniversary, Mom and Dad!

4 thoughts on “Two for Tuesday: Henry Mancini

  1. Hey guys, I just saw on Twitter this awesome script of an intro from Henry Mancini on Elton John from @HenryMancini. Anyone know where to get a clip of this show on YouTube or somewhere?


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