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.

Two For Tuesday: Mack David

Mack David was the older brother of Hal David, Burt Bacharach’s lyricist, and a composer for TV and the movies from the ’40’s through the ’70’s. He was credited with over 1000 songs in his career for which he wrote lyrics, music, or both, earning eight Academy Award nominations. He’s maybe best known for scoring the Disney animaed features Cinderella and Alice In Wonderland and for writing the English lyrics to Edith Piaf’s signature song "La vie en rose."

As for TV themes, there were four detective series produced by Warner Brothers and broadcast by the ABC Television Network in the late 1950’s for which he wrote the themes:

Bourbon Street Beat (1959-60)

Hawaiian Eye (1959-63)

Surfside Six (1960-62)

77 Sunset Strip (1958-64)

He also composed the theme for the Bugs Bunny Show which was used from 1960 to 1984 and again from 1988 to 2000.

Went a little beyond two songs there, but they were short. David died in 1993; his Wikipedia article includes this interesting fact:

David had a varied interest in musical composition. In 1975, according to the New York Times in David’s obituary: “Mr. David was granted a patent for inventing an electronic system for composing songs from fractional recordings. The system, which included playback units, stored records of lyrics and melodies. The operator selected words and music that fit together and recorded the combination.”

Mack David, your Two for Tuesday, November 26, 2019.

Two for Tuesday: John Barry

John Barry was a composer, band leader, and multi-instrumentalist who wrote scores for movies and TV shows. He wrote the score for eleven James Bond movies from 1963 to 1987, and while he didn’t write the iconic "James Bond Theme" (it was written by Monty Norman, a fact which has been the subject of a couple of lawsuits brought against Norman by Barry), he arranged it for the 1963 movie Dr. No. He has won five Academy Awards (icluding Best Original Score and Best Original Song for 1966’s Born Free), two BAFTA awards and one Golden Globe. He has also recorded extensively with his band, the John Barry Seven, in which he primarily plays trumpet (as noted yesterday, he also plays keyboards, drums, and harmonica).

Here is the theme song from the British game show Juke Box Jury, which ran from 1959 to 1967, "Hit And Miss."

Here is the theme from the 1971-72 series The Persuaders!, which starred Tony Curtis and Roger Moore.

John died in 2011, but there is still a website that details his awards and credits. You can aso see his credits on IMDb. His list of credits is too extensive to detail in a brief post, so I would encourage you to check some of these resources.

John Barry, your Two for Tuesday, November 19, 2019.

Two For Tuesday: W. G. “Snuffy” Walden (Encore Presentation)

Another encore presentation of a Friday Five post I did back in March 2016.

Several weeks ago, Cheryl Wright, who blogs at Plucking of my Heartstrings, and I were talking about TV themes, and the name William Garrett “Snuffy” Walden came up, who’s written theme songs and incidental music for a number of TV shows and movies. He has been nominated for a number of Emmy awards for his music for TV, including the five themes I’ve chosen for today.

  1. The West Wing: Walden won the Emmy for this song in 2000.
  2. Early Edition: Walden received Emmy nominations for Main Title Theme Music and Music Composition for a Series for this show in 1997.
  3. My So-Called Life: Nominated for Main Title Theme Music in 1995.
  4. Huff: Nominated for Outstanding Main Title Theme Music in 2005.
  5. I’ll Fly Away: A nomination for Main Title Theme Music in 1992.

I just realized that we never watched any of these shows….

W. G. “Snuffy” Walden, your Two For Tuesday, November 12, 2019.

Two For Tuesday: Stu Phillips

Stu Phillips has worked as a record producer, a composer for movies and TV, an A&R executive, and arranger over his long career. As A&R man for Colpix records, he produced singles by Nina Simone, The Skyliners, and Shelley Fabares, including her hit “Johnny Angel.” While at Capitol Records, he created, arranged and produced by The Hollyridge Strings, some of whose music can be heard on the US versions of the soundtrack of A Hard Day’s Night. He started writing scores for TV shows in the ’70’s, and soon became the favorite composer of producer Glen A. Larson, for whom he wrote the themes for a couple dozen of Larson’s series.

Theme for the original Battlestar Galactica

Theme from Night Rider

Theme from Quincy, M.E.

IMDb has a full list of his credits, and you can get more information from his website.

Stu Phillips, your Two For Tuesday, November 5, 2019.