John Cacavas

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John Cacavas (August 13, 1930 – January 28, 2014[1]), born in Aberdeen, South Dakota, was a composer and conductor probably best known for his television scores, such as Kojak, for which he was the chief composer, and for which he composed the show's third main title theme for its 5th and final season in 1977-1978. Cacavas's television credits also include Hawaii Five-O, The Bionic Woman, Mrs. Columbo, and Buck Rogers in the 25th Century. While he has extensive credits in television series and television movies, such as Perfect Murder, Perfect Town, he has comparatively few credits for film scores, most notably two entries in the Airport series: Airport 1975 and Airport '77. He was also responsible for the eerie score for Horror Express, a film starring Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing. Scoring music for the 1981 television movie Hellinger's Law[1] reunited him with Kojak veteran Telly Savalas.

Cacavas is also notable for his "Flute Poem", known by Canadian viewers as the opening to Hinterland Who's Who, a series of public service announcements profiling various wild Canadian animals.[2]

More recently, he wrote the theme song for the 2005 video game Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories. The song, "March Popakov Remix", was sampled by DJ Danger Mouse and is used frequently in the game.

Cacavas recently published his autobiography, entitled It's More than Do-Re-Mi: My Life in Music. He lived in Beverly Hills, California and London, England with his wife, Bonetta Becker Cacavas and was an accomplished chef. They have three grown children, Lisa, John and Jennifer, and three grandchildren, James Stewart, Eric and Alexander Cacavas.


  1. ^ Bahr, Jeff. "Composer John Cacavas dies at 83". Aberdeen News. Retrieved 11 August 2014. 
  2. ^ Hinterland Who's Who: Profile

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