Humming Along

On Sunday, the last long-haul day for my Ukrainian egg production, I binge-watched Peter Gunn with Craig Stevens.  When you binge-watch a series, you get to know the theme music pretty well and I looked up at one point as the credits were rolling to see that Henry Mancini wrote the theme music. 

I don’t know much about Henry Mancini except that he wrote the music for Breakfast at Tiffany’s including Moon River.  So being me, I took a break from eggs and googled him.  I was surprised to find that he was the composer for a lot of shows that I know: Creature from the Black Lagoon, the Pink Panther movies, Charades and Hatari.  I remember doing a skit in elementary school using the music Baby Elephant Walk but I had never known it was by Henry Mancini.

All this new knowledge made me think about other very recognizable theme music: Ghostbusters, Hawaii Five-O, Green Acres (for better or worse), Lara’s Theme (from Doctor Zhivago) and you know me – Perry Mason.  I could probably keep this list going for quite some time.

Any theme music that you’ll cop to liking?

81 thoughts on “Humming Along”

  1. The theme music from The Lone Ranger! I think it was from the 1812 overture? My preference is and has always been classical (western classical). As a teenager I could not get enthused even with Elvis! I find today’s music LOUD and atonal! Today’s music does not sooth the savage beast! When I turned 27 I decided to learn to play the flute and it turned out my favorite piece was Flight of The Bumble Bee. In today’s world there seems to be less variety because of instantaneous publishing around the world and the constant attempt of the younger generations trying their damnest to shock the world! I listen less and less to music because my hearing is worse and worse and all sounds get really muddy. Like a typical elder I wish we could go back to the more melodious music of the past!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. No, not the 1812 Overture, but a small part of the William Tell Overture, from Rossini’s opera William Tell.

      It’s really a beautiful piece of music:

      Liked by 1 person

    2. I appreciate what you say about current music- I myself almost never rely on broadcast music and I sort of checked out of a lot of popular music back in the sixties. As a result, there are big gaps in my knowledge of popular music since then but it’s compensated by the knowledge I have of the sometimes obscure music I like. But then, I don’t really care what’s popular. It doesn’t affect me. Radio stations, no matter what their genre, never seem to have enough of the music I appreciate.

      Fortunately, we are not restricted to radio stations, online or broadcast, in determining what we listen to. We have unprecedented access to any recorded music from at least the last eighty years and simple means of compiling it for replay. I personally have about 1000 pieces of music on my phone, available to play specifically or randomly just about anywhere I happen to be. It’s a much more idiosyncratic assortment than I could ever expect a radio station to satisfy.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. Perhaps because I vowed to myself at sixteen to never become as intolerant of current music as my dad was, I still make a concerted effort to at least listen to new music and artists before rejecting them. Music, like everything else, has always evolved, and I’m just not prepared to dismiss something simply because it doesn’t appeal to me at a first exposure. Sometimes it takes a little effort on my part, and even then, there is music that simply doesn’t appeal to me, but at least I gave it a try.

        I’m wondering how Anna, being the mother of a teen, feels about this? Possibly vs and tim want to chime in as well?

        I can understand impaired hearing diminishing the pleasure of listening to music, especially if you don’t have control of the volume. I have that same problem, as do several other baboons. Nowadays I wouldn’t dream of going to a concert in a venue the size of, for example, the Excel Center (or whatever it’s called at the moment), not because I don’t like the music, but because the volume of it is too loud; it’s downright painful to listen to. That means that there are some artists that I’ll never hear live because they only play in such large venues, but I console myself that I still have plenty of access to their music through other sources.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. There’s a frequent discussion in my circles about what music is played in the scene shop. Some shops take turns. I always figure, my shop, my music. And I see it as my job to expose the kids to music they wouldn’t listen too. Most of them have never heard Alice’s Restaurant for example.
          By the same token, I have no interest in most of the stuff they listen too.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. I had sheet music as a kid for the “Pink Panther” and “Mission Impossible” themes – those were fun to play. Also had music for what became known as “Nadia’s Theme” – I think it was actually title music for “The Young and the Restless” (which I never watched), but also a good piano piece. I like the majesty of the brass in the theme music for “West Wing” and the grunge of the title music from “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.” And for sheer beauty, the soundtrack from “The Mission” is hard to beat (Ennio Morricone is another composer whose music is everywhere – he also wrote the music and memorable theme for “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly,” which I also rather like).

    Liked by 3 people

    1. To me the Pink Panther theme, paired with that cartoon of the Pink Panther, is pure genius. I can’t hear the theme and not see that pink feline in my mind’s eye. It’s also the first thing I think of when I think of Henry Mancini.

      Liked by 5 people

  3. I used to have the soundtracks of “The Last Emperor” and “The Mission” and played them often but they were on tape and got left behind when I moved on to other medium.

    Right now, the only TV theme song I keep on my playlist is the theme from The Detectorists by Johnny Flynn:

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I was writing that response while Anna’s post went up. Interesting we both mentioned The Mission. Back in the eighties that music got reused quite a bit, as I remember.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Rise and Shine, Baboons,

    I cannot say I really like this theme song, but it is one that has always stuck with me. Bonanza. Bonanza represented a childhood victory over control of the TV choices available at that time. My dad loved the show “The Real McCoys.” That show played opposite of Bonanza on Sunday evenings and it was the overwhelming choice of children my age. I was missing out on all the discussions of the show and who was more handsome, Little Joe or Adam. (Later I found Adam to be my favorite). I began a crusade to watch Bonanza, which dad liked once he watched it because it was a Western. But this took time and lots of nagging and outright begging. Then the whole issue was moot because “The Real McCoys” was a lousy show and taken off the air.

    Years later I heard the lyrics to the theme song. I will try to post the actual recording in a separate reply. They needed a different lyricist.

    Bonanza!

    We chased lady luck, ’til we finally struck Bonanza.
    With a gun and a rope and a hat full of hope, planted a family tree.
    We got hold of a pot full of gold, Bonanza.
    With a horse and a saddle, and a range full of cattle, how rich can a fellow be?

    On this land we put our brand, Cartwright is the name, fortune smiled, the day we filed the Ponderosa claim.
    Here in the West, we’re livin’ the best, Bonanza
    If anyone fights any one of us, he’s go a fight with me
    Bonanza.

    Hoss and Joe and Adam know every rock and pine, no one works, fights, or eats, like those boys of mine.
    Here we stand in the middle of a grand Bonanza.
    With a gun and a rope and a hat full of hope, we planted our family tree
    We got hold of a pot full of gold, Bonanza.

    With a houseful of friends where the rainbow ends, how rich can a fellow be?
    On this land we put our brand, Cartwright is the name, fortune smiled, the day we filed the Ponderosa claim.
    Here in the west we’re livin’ in the best Bonanza.

    With the friendliest, fightingist, loving band, that ever set foot in the promised land
    And we’re happier than them all.
    That’s why we call it Bonanza…Bonanza…Bonanza…
    Bonanza!

    source: https://www.lyricsondemand.com/tvthemes/bonanzalyrics.html

    Liked by 4 people

      1. I have contracted a old-fashioned cold. After all our obsession and fear of COVID this year, it is very strange to just get something so very ordinary and so very miserable. I cannot figure out how i got this since I have had a mask on everywhere I go.

        Ah-Choo

        Liked by 3 people

        1. I think husband is coming down with one too, either that or it’s allergies, though he’s never had allergies before.

          Hope you’re better soon.

          Liked by 1 person

  5. At the moment the only theme music from a TV series that I can think of that hasn’t already been mentioned is The Liberty Bell by John Philip Sousa used as the intro to Monthy Python’s Flying Circus.

    I can think of a lot more scores from films, if that counts.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. In high school, my friend Pete and I played Monty Python on the trumpets far too often. Gave ourselves the giggles doing it. I doubt it was appreciated as much by others.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I remember the theme from Peter Gunn with fondness – it was one of three favorite songs my high school basketball pep band played ALL the time. There are many TV theme songs I remember from my childhood years – didn’t necessarily like them but they were memorable:
    Bonanza, Petticoat Junction, Mr. Ed, The Addams Family, My Three Sons, Leave It To Beaver, The Dick Van Dyke Show, The Twilight Zone, Mission Impossible, etc., etc, etc. As to movie music themes, I still like The Pink Panther (and fun to play on the piano, which I can still do by heart). I really like much of John Williams’ extensive work, most notably Star Wars, Jaws, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and Schindler’s List. Ennio Morricone’s soundtrack to The Mission is exquisite. Other favorite soundtracks include Out of Africa, Dances With Wolves, Up, Last of the Mohicans (Daniel Day Lewis version), and Amadeus. I rarely miss listening to Saturday Cinema on MPR.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. Monk was one of those shows that I watched rabidly while it was airing. And I have not watched it since, despite the fact that reruns are available these days.

        Like

        1. I enjoyed the first several seasons, but further along in the show they changed writers and some characters, which seemed to muddle the premise. They also did not ever present any realistic attempt at treating this ( which do exist) because if he was treated and functioning, then there was not a premise for the show. Had they actually consulted with anyone who knew the biz of treatment, they could have solved a lot of these dilemmas and still produced a show that was more credible.

          Liked by 1 person

      2. Monk was a kind of one-joke show. If you bought into Tony Shalhoub as being seriously limited by a raging case of OCD, the show was delightful. The premise was always fragile . . . but no more so than many other shows.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. It was never clear to me whether Monk was supposed to be OCD or autistic or what and the show came at a time when several shows had characters sort of on the spectrum (Bones, for example).
          It seemed to me that in the later episodes of Monk that maybe the scripts were coming from the outside and it became less and less clear what Monk’s problem was. I remember one episode where he was supposedly afraid of the dark. How does that fit in?

          Like

        2. It is in the nature of television programming that a show that seems funny or interesting at first will plod on and on until everything gets tedious. I once welcomed mini-series as the cure for that, but any good mini-series now runs too long and wears out the creativity that it once had.

          Liked by 1 person

    1. I liked the instrumental theme song for Monk better than the Randy Newman, who always sounds sort of the same to me.

      Like

    2. A few years ago, the middle school choir I was accompanying performed Skye Boat Song at their Spring concert. What a lovely song – and a lovely piano accompaniment as well.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Really cool! What amazing machinery and technology, and look at the enormity of those fields. Also, a what a spunky and articulate young farmer. Thanks for posting, Ben.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. So many good theme songs.
    The Bob Newhart show (because I loved the trumpets)
    NYPD Blue was so hardcore w/ the thundering drums.
    Barney Miller…
    Mike Post wrote a lot of good ones.
    That Pink Panther one…
    And I think of Peter Gunn as related to the Blues Brothers.

    Then there’s Shaft.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. As I played the Bass Clarinet, I always liked the theme for the Alfred Hitchcock show, as it was The Funeral March of a Marionette, which features the Bass Clarinet.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. Johnny Mandel was the composer who gave M*A*S*H its theme song. He also wrote “The Shadow of Your Smile” for The Sandpiper for which he won an Oscar.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Coming in late most of my answers are taking mr out leave it to Beaver Dick Van Dyke show you didn’t get Captain kangaroo or mighty mouse is here I come to save the day

    Liked by 4 people

  10. I find that the theme song from the sitcom B Positive gets lodged in my brain more often than I would like. I believe it’s Keb Mo, and there’s nothing really wrong with the song, it’s just that some days I can’t get it out of my head.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Yes, it runs on Thursday nights on channel 4. I turn Young Sheldon on at 7, and usually leave it on through the next sitcoms. B Positive is about a guy who needs a kidney transplant.

        Liked by 2 people

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