Crime and Spy Jazz on Screen, 1950–1970

A History and Discography

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About the Book

Henry Mancini’s Peter Gunn theme. Lalo Schifrin’s Mission: Impossible theme. John Barry’s arrangement of the James Bond theme. These iconic melodies have remained a part of the pop culture landscape since their debuts in the late 1950s and early ’60s: a “golden decade” that highlighted an era when movie studios and TV production companies employed full orchestral ensembles to provide a jazz backdrop for the suspenseful adventures of secret agents, private detectives, cops, spies and heist-minded criminals. Hundreds of additional films and television shows made during this period were propelled by similarly swinging title themes and underscores, many of which have (undeservedly) faded into obscurity. This meticulously researched book traces the embryonic use of jazz in mainstream entertainment from the early 1950s—when conservative viewers still considered this genre “the devil’s music”—to its explosive heyday throughout the 1960s. Fans frustrated by the lack of attention paid to jazz soundtrack composers—including Jerry Goldsmith, Edwin Astley, Roy Budd, Quincy Jones, Dave Grusin, Jerry Fielding and many, many others—will find solace in these pages (along with all the information needed to enhance one’s music library). The exploration of action jazz continues in this book’s companion volume, Crime and Action Jazz on Screen Since 1971.

About the Author(s)

Derrick Bang has written film, television, music, and general entertainment commentary for magazines and local newspapers since 1974, and supplies regular columns and features to The Davis Enterprise. He lives in Davis, California.

Bibliographic Details

Derrick Bang
Foreword by Cheryl Pawelski

Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 322
Bibliographic Info: 31 photos, appendices, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2020
pISBN: 978-1-4766-6747-8
eISBN: 978-1-4766-3988-8
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii
Foreword by Cheryl Pawelski 1
Introduction 5
Prologue: The Naked Truth 11
1. Audition: 1947–1956 15
2. Dreamsville: 1957–1958 32
3. Blue Satin: 1959 54
4. Breezy Capers: 1960 72
5. Contract with Depravity: 1961 88
6. Jamaica Jazz: 1962 101
7. Champagne and Quail: 1963 113
8. Meet Mr. Solo: 1964 129
9. Mr. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang: 1965 144
10. Mission Blues: 1966 167
11. Home, James, Don’t Spare the Horses: 1967 200
12. Shifting Gears: 1968 226
13. This Never Happened to the Other Fella: 1969 248
14. Soul Flower: 1970 257
Appendix A: Instrument Abbreviations 265
Appendix B: Discography 266
Chapter Notes 291
Bibliography 299
Index 301