April 16, 2009

Primed for jazz (one more time)

I just knew I'd forgotten to include some things (music) in my previous post that, as I put it, "primed" me (and perhaps other Gen-x'ers) to become jazz music fans later in life. Jazz was so prevalent in the television to which we were exposed, one could almost conclude there was a concerted effort to create a whole new audience for the genre.

First, while technically used in the movie first, there was the Saturday morning cartoon, The Pink Panther Show, which premiered in 1969. Henry Mancini's swingin' theme:

The theme song to Mannix, by Lalo Schifrin is another tune I should have included. When I was around 8 or 9 years old (possibly younger), I was "playing Mannix" in my neighborhood, armed with a cap gun, while loudly humming the theme song to myself. An older boy from across the street overheard me doing so, and he teased me incessantly about it. I remember this like it was yesterday.

And just one more, a show I watched in rerun form every day for a while during the early '70s, The Odd Couple, had a really cool, and yes, jazzy, theme song. And what do you know? It was composed by Neil Hefti, the arranger of one my favorite Sinatra albums, Sinatra and Swingin' Brass.

Well there you have it, my case for how m-m-m-my g-g-generation and I were pre-programmed to quite possibly enjoy jazz music when we became old and gray. I guess it could have been worse - "they" could have done a Manchurian candidate kind of thing to us.....Now I must play solitaire.

  • Primed for Jazz (part one)

    Leigh said...

    Mancini! I do love him. My favorite is the soundtrack from Hatari!; my mother had it on vinyl. Check it out on Amazon, with previews. "Night Side" is my favorite track.

    I'm not sure why "Lujan", also used in the movie (and in The Big Lebowski and Mr. Lucky) isn't on the soundtrack album. You can hear it here.

    I also think the theme from Peter Gunn is one of his best. That and many other greats, like "Moon River" and "Frish Frosh", here.

    Chris said...

    Yes, Mancini was awesome, and prolific. That Hatari soundtrack is very cool. I need to get that. "Night Side" is indicative of his style at the time of the Pink Panther soundtrack - very lounge-y. That is weird how "Lujon" is missing from it - there must be a "collectors edition" out there that costs more because of its inclusion. I don't remember it being in The Big Lebrowski, but I could be wrong. I'm a sucker for even stuff like "Days of Wine and Roses."