Monday’s Music Moves Me: Movie and TV Themes

Alana is the spotlight dancer for this week, and her suggested theme is “Movie and TV Themes.” Thank you choosing an easy one for me, Alana! I’ve created many playlists of TV themes and featured them on the blog here, and I’ve also created at least one playlist with movie themes (for an earlier M4). So, to pull today’s list together, I was able to go through the lists and pick my “faves.” Hope you enjoy them.

  1. Henry Mancini, “Charade” Henry wrote the music while Johnny Mercer composed the lyrics (which we don’t hear here). From the 1963 movie of the same name, which starred Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn.
  2. Shirley Bassey. “Goldfinger” Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley wrote the lyrics and John Barry the music, and Dame Shirley gave us an iconic performance on this theme from the 1964 movie starring Sean Connery, Gert Frobe, and Honor Blackman.
  3. Emil Newman, “Laura” They originally wanted to use Duke Ellington’s “Sophisticated Lady,” but director Otto Preminger, probably not wanting to pay royalties, nixed the idea. David Raskin wrote this instead, and I’m glad he did, because it’s just beautifiul. From the 1944 movie starring Gene Tierney, Dana Andrews, Clifton Webb, Vincent Price, and Dame Judith Anderson.
  4. Vincent Bell, “Airport Love Theme” They made Arthur Hailey’s 1968 book into a movie in 1970, complete with a star-studded cast that included Burt Lancaster, Dean Martin, Jacqueline Bisset, Jean Seberg, and George Kennedy. The theme was written by Alfred Newman (no relation to Emil, above) and was given Vincent Bell’s “guitar under water” treatment.
  5. Gerry Sherman, “Midnight Cowboy” One scene in this 1969 movie earned this movie an “X” rating, which was dumb, because far more graphic things are shown in PG-13 movies today, so its rating was lowered to “R.” This tale of hustlers in New York City starred Dustin Hoffman and Jon Voight. John Barry, who also wrote the music for the “Goldfinger” theme, composed this, and that’s Jean “Toots” Thielemans on the harmonica.
  6. Mike Post, “The Rockford Files” Mike Post wrote the theme songs for many TV series, as I discussed in a previous post. This was for the late-’70s series starring James Garner that I think has been on somewhere in the world ever since it was filmed.
  7. The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, “Park Avenue Beat” You probably recognize this as the theme for the long-running TV series Perry Mason starring Raymond Burr and Barbara Hale. The music was written by Dick DeBenedictis.
  8. Nelson Riddle & His Orchestra, “Theme from Route 66 CBS didn’t want to have to pay royalties to Bobby Troup to use his classic song, so they commissioned Nelson Riddle to come up with one. The result was every bit as good, I think. For the show starring Martin Milner and George Zaharias.
  9. Lalo Schifrin, “Theme from Mannix Still one of my favorite TV themes, written by one of my favorite composers. For the 1960’s show starring Mike Connors and Gail Fisher.
  10. Wilbur Hatch, “Theme from Here’s Lucy Lucy’s show after she and Desi Arnaz split and she married Gary Morton ran from 1962-1968. Wilbur Hatch directed the Desi Arnaz Orchestra during the run of I Love Lucy and wrote the theme, and all the music, for this show.

And that’s Monday’s Music Moves Me for February 26, 2018.

Monday’s Music Moves Me is sponsored by X-Mas Dolly, Callie, Cathy, and Stacy, so be sure and visit them, where you can also find the Linky for the other participants.


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Author: John Holton

I'm a writer and blogger who writes and blogs about things that interest me.

28 thoughts on “Monday’s Music Moves Me: Movie and TV Themes”

  1. John,

    You shared some good ones. A few I didn’t know, a few I forgot about, and the rest bringing back lots of good memories…mostly a sense of a more careful time. I love the full orchestra that many of yours used – so beautiful! Thanks for joining the 4M on the dance floor, my friend! Have a good week. 🙂

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    1. Nowadays, it’s one guy with a synthesizer and a laptop creating the music They didn’t have those tools back then, or maybe they’d have done the same. Musicians are expensive…

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      1. John,

        Gee, I just saw my typo I meant careFREE time. smack forehead I don’t know what composers or artists would’ve done back then but I like to think they wouldn’t take short cuts to create these signature sounds.

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    1. Sure! Marie at http://xmasdolly.com puts a Linky on her site on Monday and the theme for that week (and as far into the future as she knows) in the right-hand column on her site (it’s down a ways, she has a lot of stuff in the column). Next Monday, and every other week, is a “freebie,” meaning you can do whatever you want that day. When you publish your MMMM post, add the URL of the post to the Linky. Hope to see you!

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  2. I love Henry Mancini music, though I’ll admit this theme I was unfamiliar with. In fact, I’m unfamiliar with most of them except the Rockford Files and Goldfinger. I’m sure I’ve heard the Lucy one a time or two, though.

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    1. “Here’s Lucy”/”The Lucy Show” is frequently forgotten because “I Love Lucy” was just so great, but it was still a good show with some pretty classic moments. Gale Gordon was underrated as a comic actor. He and Lucy worked really well together.

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  3. I somehow knew you would concentrate on the “oldies but goodies”. How great to hear real orchestras playing real instruments. I had thought about a couple of more themes from the early 60’s but wondered how many 4Mers would have known them. I never thought of Perry Mason. Yes, I should have done that one, too! It’s been so much fun seeing what people have done with this week’s theme.

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    1. To be honest, I’ve never been into the movies that much, but some of the old ones are classics. And the music! Some of the greatest composers wrote it. Real classics.

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  4. I love your picks like Mannix and the love theme from Airport. You were going with a bit of a theme in a theme when you were choosing many songs with women’s titles. Now, I like the original theme of I Love Lucy, another is Secret Agent Man. For movies…The Pink Panther theme, Magnificent Seven, and The Big Country. Oh and I love High Chapperell and Bonanza!

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    1. I hadn’t really thought about the women’s names theme. I just picked a few of the ones I liked.

      Did you know “Danger Man,” the name “Secret Agent” had in England, had a totally different theme song? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4u6jYfJgj-o

      I like both of them pretty much the same.

      We never watched “High Chapparal” but you’re right, it’s quite catchy. Ever heard the lyrics to the Bonanza theme?

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  5. Wonderful selections John! I’ve always been a big fan of Mannix and Perry Mason. Loved the Lucy Show. I never see that on reruns. I see I Love Lucy on all the time but never have I seen The Lucy Show. What’s up with that?
    You chose some beautifully orchestrated theme songs. I really like Airport Love theme, Laura and Midnight Cowboy. I need to put these movies on my To See List.
    I also really liked James Garner in the Rockford Files. Would love to see that show again too…

    You’ve put together a really nice playlist, especially if one wants to relax, this is perfect to put the headphones on, kick back in the recliner and close your eyes… Very dreamy.

    Michele at Angels Bark

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    1. Rockford Files is on Cozi TV on Saturday night @ 10. Two episodes back-to-back. As for The Lucy Show, I’ve only seen it on a local broadcaster that splits its time between religious programming and classic TV (usually the shows that have gone into public domain and are thought to be lost forever). No idea why no one has picked it up; it’s a funny show, and the first couple of seasons featured Vivian Vance. I think there’s one show where William Frawley made a cameo, and the audience went nuts. He and Lucy were close friends, as I recall, though there was no love lost between him and Vivian Vance.

      I think Turner Classic Movies might be your best bet for seeing “Laura.” It might show up on a few of the streaming services. Same holds true for the other two films.

      Glad you enjoyed the playlist!

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      1. Hmm, gossip: Do tell! No love lost between Vivian Vance and William Frawley? What was up with that? I don’t think I’m aware of that. Their chemistry on-screen was terrific. They played off each other so well…

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          1. Interesting. Thanks John. I’ve had those love-hate relationships. They’re not really fun but in the end somehow you find they’ve been enriching…

            Liked by 1 person

    1. You can catch it tonight at 10 on Cozi. They play two Rockfords in a row. And no, they don’t do themes like they used to. Some movies don’t even have a theme.

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