Alana is the spotlight dancer for this week, and her suggested theme is “Movie and TV Themes.” Thank you choosing an easy one for me, Alana! I’ve created many playlists of TV themes and featured them on the blog here, and I’ve also created at least one playlist with movie themes (for an earlier M4). So, to pull today’s list together, I was able to go through the lists and pick my “faves.” Hope you enjoy them.
- Henry Mancini, “Charade” Henry wrote the music while Johnny Mercer composed the lyrics (which we don’t hear here). From the 1963 movie of the same name, which starred Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn.
- Shirley Bassey. “Goldfinger” Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley wrote the lyrics and John Barry the music, and Dame Shirley gave us an iconic performance on this theme from the 1964 movie starring Sean Connery, Gert Frobe, and Honor Blackman.
- Emil Newman, “Laura” They originally wanted to use Duke Ellington’s “Sophisticated Lady,” but director Otto Preminger, probably not wanting to pay royalties, nixed the idea. David Raskin wrote this instead, and I’m glad he did, because it’s just beautifiul. From the 1944 movie starring Gene Tierney, Dana Andrews, Clifton Webb, Vincent Price, and Dame Judith Anderson.
- Vincent Bell, “Airport Love Theme” They made Arthur Hailey’s 1968 book into a movie in 1970, complete with a star-studded cast that included Burt Lancaster, Dean Martin, Jacqueline Bisset, Jean Seberg, and George Kennedy. The theme was written by Alfred Newman (no relation to Emil, above) and was given Vincent Bell’s “guitar under water” treatment.
- Gerry Sherman, “Midnight Cowboy” One scene in this 1969 movie earned this movie an “X” rating, which was dumb, because far more graphic things are shown in PG-13 movies today, so its rating was lowered to “R.” This tale of hustlers in New York City starred Dustin Hoffman and Jon Voight. John Barry, who also wrote the music for the “Goldfinger” theme, composed this, and that’s Jean “Toots” Thielemans on the harmonica.
- Mike Post, “The Rockford Files” Mike Post wrote the theme songs for many TV series, as I discussed in a previous post. This was for the late-’70s series starring James Garner that I think has been on somewhere in the world ever since it was filmed.
- The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, “Park Avenue Beat” You probably recognize this as the theme for the long-running TV series Perry Mason starring Raymond Burr and Barbara Hale. The music was written by Dick DeBenedictis.
- Nelson Riddle & His Orchestra, “Theme from Route 66“ CBS didn’t want to have to pay royalties to Bobby Troup to use his classic song, so they commissioned Nelson Riddle to come up with one. The result was every bit as good, I think. For the show starring Martin Milner and George Zaharias.
- Lalo Schifrin, “Theme from Mannix“ Still one of my favorite TV themes, written by one of my favorite composers. For the 1960’s show starring Mike Connors and Gail Fisher.
- Wilbur Hatch, “Theme from Here’s Lucy“ Lucy’s show after she and Desi Arnaz split and she married Gary Morton ran from 1962-1968. Wilbur Hatch directed the Desi Arnaz Orchestra during the run of I Love Lucy and wrote the theme, and all the music, for this show.
And that’s Monday’s Music Moves Me for February 26, 2018.