Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Earle Hagen RIP

The man that composed and whistled that infectious Andy Griffith Show theme song died at the quite respectable age of 88 this past Monday night.

Now I know many, probably most, of you (myself included) have spent many an insomniac night with that damn tune echoing through our skulls, but Hagen was no novelty performer. He also composed and performed the themes for I Spy, The Mod Squad, The Dick Van Dyke Show, and Gomer Pyle.

Okay, maybe I'm not making such a great case for him.

But here you go - before finding TV fame he played with both The Tommy Dorsey and The Benny Goodman Orchestras. He co-scored the 1960 Marily Monroe star vehicle Let's Make Love, and later took on Gentlemen Prefer Blondes solo. He also co-wrote "Harlem Nocturne", which you probably think you don't know but would recognize in under a measure. The man performed and recorded music for 72 straight years, and while it may not have all been Mozart, it sure hit the higher rungs of pop culture (and scraped the bottom). Let's not forget that Mozart in his time was pop culture and managed both as well.

Good job, Earle. We should all be worthy of such a legacy.

2 comments:

Sam The Man said...

I remember this tricked out jazz score he did in a scene with Aunt Bea acting like a warden for Otis who was sentenced to doing chores around the house. He was trying to escape by climbing out a window and backing down a ladder from the roof. Man, that music just kept ramping up and getting wilder as he was feeling that he was getting away and then Aunt Bea catches him and that joyous jazz just deflates. Hilarious!

leigh said...

actually, i hadn't had that song echoing through my cranium for a while...until now. thanks.