Wednesday, May 28, 2008

A Famous Composer Nobody Ever Heard Of .....

A passing of note for those of us of a certain age ... or for those who stay up to watch 'Nick at Night' ... Composer Earle H. Hagen has died. He was 88. HERE is the complete write-up from and the Associated Press.

During his long musical career, Hagen performed with the top bands of the swing era, composed for movies and television and wrote one of the first textbooks on movie composing. His television score credits included I Spy, The Mod Squad, That Girl, The Dick Van Dyke Show, Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. and The Andy Griffith Show (for which Hagen also performed the trademark whistling).

Long before television became a fixture of American culture, Hagen plied his craft as a composer, arranger and musician on the live stage, and on radio, performing with the top big bands. It was while he was playing for Ray Noble’s orchestra, in 1939, that wrote “Harlem Nocturne” ..... and THAT is something for which I will always be grateful.

After retiring from TV work in 1986, Hagen taught a workshop in film and television scoring. He also wrote three books on scoring, including 1971’s “Scoring for Films,” one of the earliest textbooks on the subject. His 2002 autobiography was titled “Memoirs of a Famous Composer — Nobody Ever Heard Of.”

Let's close this set with
a performance of Harlem Nocturne by Ray Anthony and his Orchestra, courtesy of trumpetvideos at YouTube.

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