Five For Friday: Johnny Pearson

Johnny Pearson was a composer, orchestra leader, and pianist who, in addition to fronting the Top Of The Pops Orchestra for sixteen years, wrote a whole library of production music for the KPM and Bruton Music, and seen many of his production pieces adopted as themes for TV programs. Here are five examples of his work.

  1. "All Creatures Great and Small": Theme music for the BBC series based on the books by James Herriott.
  2. "Heavy Action": Originally used for the BBC show Superstars, later used as the theme music for ABC-TV’s Monday Night Football.
  3. "Theme from The Rat Catchers": Don’t know much about the show other than it was a mid-’60’s UK TV series starring Gerald Flood, Glyn Owen, and Phillip Stone.
  4. "Power Drive": Used in the US animated series Spiderman and the theme song for KNXT-TV’s early afternoon movie presentation in the US. Also used as the theme music for the Australian TV series Division 9.
  5. The Carpenters, "Heather": Pearson had worked with Karen and Richard Carpenter on the 1971 TV special The Carpenters: Live At The BBC. A couple of years later Richard contacted Pearson about using another of his songs, "Autumn Reverie,"for their Now & Then album (1973). The Carpenters’ producer John Bettis renamed the song "Heather."

Johnny Pearson, your Five For Friday, October 15, 2021.