Five-Star Fav: Turning To The Cool Side

Since the debut edition of Five-Star Favs offered up classic rock, I thought I’d change gears this time around and present one of my top favorites from the world of cool jazz. After all, one of the guiding principles of the GMC has always been proving that geezers like all kinds of music. (Well, most kinds.)stars

Anyhow, today’s choice is a piece of music that goes back to the 1950s, and helped awaken an appreciation for jazz in a certain goofy teenager. As I’ve written before, I was definitely unfocused musically in those days (and in other ways too) but when I first heard the driving, hypnotic opening of the theme song for a new TV show called Peter Gunn, I was hooked.

It was something new for a lot of other folks, too. TV private-eye shows, like most other kinds of programs in those days, often used fairly anonymous background music. But Peter Gunn announced that it was something different with the opening notes of the theme, and Mancini’s music continued to show up throughout the show. In fact, some of the characters were jazz musicians (many played by the real thing) so the show was definitely exploring new territory.

In subsequent years a lot of different musicians have enjoyed some success with the theme song itself. Duane Eddy sold a lot of records with it and — now in his seventies — still performs it in many of his live appearances. Modern artists include everybody from Emerson, Lake and Palmer to Jeff Beck.

pg2Henry Mancini – “Peter Gunn”

3 thoughts on “Five-Star Fav: Turning To The Cool Side

  1. I still remain partial to the Mancini version of this great musical piece. And I hardly missed an episode of the television show. If memory serves me correctly, seems like I remember you doing a post on Mr Gunn’s love interest in the series who was a singer in her own right. She was a ‘looker’ for sure.

    Even though I have made known my preferred version, I have to say that Duane’s version ain’t too shabby! I would have loved to have heard an arrangement by Booker T and the boys… 🙂


  2. Thanks for writing. You’re right, I did do a piece on Lola Albright — which can be found HERE.
    Couldn’t find Booker T, but here’s the Blues Brothers.


NOTE: Comments are welcome!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s