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Thursday, October 16, 2008

Neil Hefti: 1922-2008



Agent Triple P notes that the TV and film composer Neil Hefti has just died at the age of 85. His career really divided into two distinct parts: the early years when we worked as arranger and composer for some of the best big bands such as Woody Herman, Buddy Rich, Harry James and, especially, Count Basie and the later years, after 1960, when he worked on TV and film scores in Hollywood. He scored a number of films such as Harlow (1965), Barefoot in the Park (1967), Boeing-Boeing (1965) and our favourite How to Murder your Wife (1965).  He is, however, almost entirely known for composing the repetitive but catchy theme for the sixties TV series Batman.


Virna Lisi in How to Murder your Wife


It is, however, the music for How to Murder your Wife for which Agent Triple P appreciates him. His score contains seven themes all of which, like his Batman theme, are hopelessly catchy. A reviewer in the TV Times many years ago noted that his score for HTMYW was "the definitive sound of the sophisticated sixties soundtrack."  Well spotted, sir, and bravo Mr Hefti!

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