Neal Hefti (1922-2008) - music, song, jazz, blues
Remember the 60s TV Series of Batman, bold, brash and camp? The music is too, based on a simple blues sequence with repeated words, but that is what good music is all about, complementing the medium whether it is stage, TV or Film. Neal Hefti has also contributed to film in the form of "Barefoot in the Park" and "The Odd Couple" with its catchy main theme, also reused on the television series which followed the film's success.
Hefti has a jazz background having played trumpet in jazz bands. He has arranged music for Henry James and the Count Basie CD called "The Complete Atomic Mr. Basie" including the track "Flight of the Foo Birds". Sadly he died in October 2008 at his home in California.
Here is a selection of Neal Hefti tracks on Youtube:
Films by Neal Hefti:
- The Odd Couple - soundtrack and songs with main theme lyrics by Sammy Cahn
- Sex and the Single Girl - with Tony Curtis and Natalie Wood
- How to Murder your Wife
- Boeing Boeing
- Lord Love a Duck
- Batman - theme tune
- Duel at Diablo - the main title for the Western has a laid-back latin vibe, see the youtube link above
- Barefoot in the Park
- Oh Dad, Poor Dad, Mama's Hung You in the Closet and I'm Feeling So Sad
- A New Leaf
- Last of the Red Hot Lovers
TV music by Neal Hefti:
- The Fred Astaire Show - music director
- Batman - theme tune and some episodes (Nelson Riddle did many more) from the 60s camp version with Adam West, Hefti also contributed the lyrics "Dah-dah-dah-dah-dah-dah-dah-dah" and "Batman"!
- The Odd Couple - series following the successful movie
- Barefoot in the Park - also had a TV series which re-used the theme from the film
- The 500 Pound Jerk - TV Movie
- Conspiracy of Terror - TV Drama
The following CDs featuring music by Neal Hefti may be found. In addition an extract of a piano arrangement of "Flight of the Foo Birds" has been used as an example score on the Sibelius Software site.