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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Neal Hefti has Died at 85

Neal Hefti, composer of the "Batman" TV series theme and the theme from "The Odd Couple" died on Saturday, October 11th at the age of 85. The trumpeter played with numerous bands throughout the 1940's, most famously with the Count Basie Orchestra. During the 1950's he even started a band of his own, but by 1960 he gave up the trumpet in favor of composing full time.

After moving to California in the early 1960's, Hefti enjoyed tremendous popular success writing music for film and television. His work included themes for the films Sex and the Single Girl, How to Murder Your Wife, Synanon, Boeing Boeing, Lord Love a Duck, Duel at Diablo, The Odd Couple, Barefoot in the Park, and Harlow, for which he received two Grammy nominations for the song "Girl Talk". While most of his compositions during this period were geared to the demands of the medium and the directors, there were many moments when he was able to infuse his work with echoes of his jazz heritage.

Hefti will likely be best remembered for his background and theme music for Batman and The Odd Couple. He received three Grammy nominations for his television work and received one award for his Batman television score. His "Batman" title theme, a simple cyclic twelve bar blues-based theme, became a Top 10 single for The Marketts and later for Hefti himself. His theme for "The Odd Couple" movie, was reprised as part of his score for the television series of the early Seventies. He received two Grammy nominations for his work on The Odd Couple television series.


The Odd Couple

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