Friday, October 1, 2010

touch of mancini

I've written about old radio here at Boomerville before.  Back in the 60's, we weren't just listening to The Beatles.  We were on the receiving end of all kinds of music.  The song that came to mind this morning was a a song from the movie Hatari (1961).   The Baby Elephant Walk was scored by non other than Henry Mancini.  It's a quirky number, but quite popular when it came out.

Hatari is a John Wayne romatic/comedy/adventure which was a loosely scripted movie by Howard Hawks.  Hawks originally intended to cast both John Wayne and Gable Gable...that is until Gable's death.  As you know I love John Wayne movies, but Hatari isn't one of my faves.  Perhaps if Gable had lived to make it - it would have been memorable.  I am also a Clark Gable fan.

Though the movie isn't one of Wayne's best, Mancini's song is unforgettable.  For you younger whipper-snappers who have never heard the name of Henry Mancini, he's the guy that brought you the theme song to The Pink Panther.  My favorite tune of his is the theme to television series Peter Gun (1958).
One of his first outstanding scores was for the Orson Welles film  Touch of Evil (1958). Touch of Evil was unique in that it was one of the first films to use source music, or music that didn't just play in the background but actually came from a visible source in the film story, such as a radio or a nightclub.  This movie by the way is unforgettable.

I once had one of his greatest hits LPs in my album collection.  Mancini was great.
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