The other day, I placed a YouTube video of Dave Brubeck’s music to connect with the jazz master’s passing. Then, I put The Addams Family TV show theme song on my blog’s You Tube link.
Music from my youth. And it got me thinking. Where did most of the tunes with which I identified when I was a kid come from? Why, television, and movies, of course!
I always read TV credits as a kid. Hell, I still read them (and movie credits) now. Helps me to identify actors, directors, technical folks and music I like from the show. Or perhaps dislike.
I remember Frank DeVol. He did music for TV and the movies from the 40s into the 80s. Richard Diamond, My Three Sons, The Brady Bunch, even taking time out to conduct the orchestra for The Dirty Dozen! And many other works.
Then, there was Vic Mizzy. The poor man’s Frank DeVol. From the 60s to the 80s. Highlights include The Addams Family, Green Acres, The Munster’s Revenge, and even Quincy, M.E.
And Henry Mancini. Where do I start? Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Peter Gunn, Mr. Lucky. Hatari!
John Barry. James Bond movies.
Bernard Hermann. Hitchcock. Psycho. Vertigo.
I just can’t get into the truncated theme songs of today, with their rap/hip-hop motifs. If there even IS a theme song? Guess they’re just too expensive to produce.
Guess I’m old…
(For all you linguists, geeks, philosophers and music nerds out there – The mostly German philosopher’s Love Song! Seriously, play the free link at the bottom! This IS GUFFAW in AZ, after all!)
I’d like to Leibniz the stars with you.
But I know you’d Schopenhauer late, like you always do.
So I say, Hegel …
Heidegger lovely ways, she’s got all I want.
And I’d like to Hess some of her goodness, but I Kant.
So I say, Hegel …
Spinoza long since I have seen your face.
And so be-Feuerbach I shall not leave this place.
But I say, Hegel …
I Gadamer-ciful reply from her.
But as to Husserl-ove, I cannot say for sure.
So, I say, Hegel …
Well I don’t Kierkegaard my heart with all my strength.
But now I’ve been in such a Ficht(e) for such a length.
And I don’t know if my Wittgenstein to sing this lonely song.
That’s why Einstein away from you from now on.
I’ve written before about the many Daves in my life, Dave the
genius mechanic being the most prevalent. But there’s yet another Dave. Dave Brubeck.
Nope, never met him. Dave the mechanic and I did see him in concert, in 1977, I believe.
Musically, I was first interested in Classical, then Jazz, and later Rock. Being into Classical was terrific when my high school choral teacher Ken Wells had us sing in Latin(!) Bach is my first musical love.
But Mr. Wells also taught us about jazz. And Brubeck. And he gave me my first jazz record, Brubeck’s Adventures in Time. I still remember the liner notes, recounting therein Thelonious Monk receiving a gift of a potted plant. His comment? “With fronds like these, who need anemones?” Priceless.
Many folks don’t know that Dave Brubeck stood up against racism, refusing to play segregated venues in the South when his bassist Eugene Wright was banned from staying in the same hotels, or from being shown in TV broadcasts, because he was black. Brubeck simply refused to play unless Wright was offered the same accommodation and exposure. This was viewed as going-against-the-grain, but Dave didn’t care – right was right!
His musical experimentation with time signatures is phenomenal. As was his life. He passed earlier today, at age 91, one day before his 92nd birthday.
He will be missed.
And, if you don’t know Brubeck by name, you certainly know him by sound. Give a listen:
One of the recent little joys in my life is the (re)discovery of some classic television.
I was raised in the 50s and 60s, and even though I didn’t understand all the subtlety or theme of a Playhouse 90, or Requiem for a Heavyweight, I knew sometimes something important was being told.
On of my childhood memories was the TV show Peter Gunn (1958-1961).
Here was the quintessential TV PI, no office, his contact telephone was in a bar, where his girlfriend sang. He had a loose relationship with with the police, specifically a Lieutenant Jacoby, who always says his first name is Lieutenant-no name is ever offered.
Thievery, blackmail, murder, drugs, alcoholism, race-relations, the mob – all filmed in darkness.
And the ubiquitous Henry Mancini theme music.
As a kid, I was especially drawn to the ‘walking bass’ in the backgrounds. This was TV NOIR at it’s best.
Edie Hart (Lola Albright) was the girlfriend, who at first seemed to be just eye candy. but, then she sang. They actually let her sing whole classic tunes. She was great.
And now, I get to see all of them on RTV (Retro Television). In glorious black-and-white.
And marvel in the cheesy sets, no-name big city, and the police lieutenant with no first name.
And, some decent plots, fair acting and good music. Noir.
(Attention FTC – no one pays me for this or anything else – get lost!)
For the unfamiliar, I’ve placed Lola Albright on the You Tube sidebar, today.