Two For Tuesday: Dick DeBenedictis

Dick DeBenedictis is a composer and conductor who wrote the theme songs for a number of series, including the NBC Mystery Movies (Columbo and McCloud) and for the Perry Mason movies that ran from 1985 to 1993. He was nominated ten times for Emmy Awards for his compositions. The themes he’s best known for are:

Father Dowling Mysteries, which starred Tom Bosley and Tracy Nelson

Jake and the Fatman, which starred Joe Penny and William Conrad

Matlock, which starred Andy Griffith and Linda Purl

And Diagnosis: Murder, which starred Dick and Barry Van Dyke.

DeBenedictis is retired from television composing and now conducts master classes in Los Angeles and New York.

Dick DeBenedictis, your Two for Tuesday, December 3, 2019.

10 thoughts on “Two For Tuesday: Dick DeBenedictis

    1. It might have been, who knows? I know they actually tried “Nero Wolfe” with William Conrad, and it might have run one season, maybe less. The PBS series with Maury Chaykin and Timothy Hutton was good. Dad was a huge Nero Wolfe fan…

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        1. I remember that series. Checked it on IMDb and Frederick Dannay and Manfred Lee, the guys that wrote the books, also wrote the series, so you know it was good. Shows like that never seem to last long…

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  1. oh, I remember some of these so well. it is a very interesting musical job, I imagine and takes a certain kind of composer


    1. Those are the ones I’m spotlighting with this series, because too often the person who writes music for movies and TV gets forgotten. They do an incredible job setting the tone and mood of a show, and the theme songs are minor masterpieces. In some ways I think they’re every bit as important as the screenwriter.

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      1. I once went on a date with a music professor whose grad students wrote some of the short music clips that you hear in between npr stories and breaks. He said they spent a lot of time on them


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