Speaking of TV Music...

Earle Hagen, who composed the theme songs for The Dick Van Dyke Show and The Andy Griffith Show (he also did the whistling) has died at the age of 88.

One thing about those two theme songs I mentioned: though you hear the full versions over the long closing credits, the actual opening sequences are only about 20 seconds each — about the time a half-hour comedy has for a title sequence today. So it really is possible to do a memorable main title in a very short amount of time, and more shows should really be coming up with memorable, easily-identifiable title sequences (preferably actual action, rather than still pictures, which just don’t have the same effect: Dick Van Dyke actually started with still pictures in the main title, and switched to the ottoman opening in season 2).


I’m also very partial to Hagen’s opening theme for season 1 of That Girl; they rearranged the theme every year after that, and it never sounded as good as the joyous, New York-ish sound of the first season:


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