Peter Gunn (song)
- For more information on Mancini's original music for the TV show, see Peter Gunn and The Music from Peter Gunn.
|Single by Henry Mancini|
|from the album The Music from Peter Gunn|
|B-side||"The Brothers Go to Mother's"|
|Genre||Rock and roll, jazz|
"Peter Gunn" is the theme music composed by Henry Mancini for the television show of the same name. The song was the opening track on the original soundtrack album, The Music from Peter Gunn, released in 1959. Mancini won an Emmy Award and two Grammys for Album of the Year and Best Arrangement.
In his 1989 autobiography Did They Mention the Music? Mancini states:
The Peter Gunn title theme actually derives more from rock and roll than from jazz. I used guitar and piano in unison, playing what is known in music as an ostinato, which means obstinate. It was sustained throughout the piece, giving it a sinister effect, with some frightened saxophone sounds and some shouting brass. The piece has one chord throughout and a super-simple top line.
Mancini arranged the first single version of the song for trumpeter Ray Anthony in 1959. Recorded for Capitol Records and featuring tenor saxophonist Plas Johnson, it reached number eight on the Billboard Hot 100 and number 12 on the R&B chart.
Mancini has recorded several different versions of his theme music including "Señor Peter Gunn" on his 1965 album, The Latin Sound of Henry Mancini and in a new arrangement for the 1967 movie Gunn...Number One!
Lyrics were added by Jay Livingston and Ray Evans and first recorded in 1965 by Sarah Vaughan in an arrangement by Bill Holman on her album Sarah Vaughan Sings the Mancini Songbook. Mancini also recorded a vocal version titled "Bye Bye" that is on his 1967 soundtrack album Gunn...Number One!.
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In addition to the many different arrangements of the "Peter Gunn" theme recorded by Mancini, the music has also been recorded by numerous other artists. Versions that reached the record charts include:
- Guitarist Duane Eddy reached number six on the UK Singles Chart and number 27 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1959.
- Deodato released a version of the song in 1976, which reached number 20 on the dance chart, number 84 on the Billboard Hot 100, and number 96 on the R&B chart.
- Art of Noise released a version of the song featuring Eddy in 1986, which reached number two on the dance chart, number eight in the UK, number 14 in Canada, and number 50 on the Billboard Hot 100. It was featured on their 1986 album In Visible Silence, and was awarded a Grammy for Best Rock Instrumental Performance. A live version appears on their compilation album Reconstructed... For Your Listening Pleasure.
- Henry Mancini: Sounds and Scores, Northridge Music, Inc. 1973, 1986
- RCA Victor LPM/LSP-1956 liner notes
- Did They Mention the Music?, Henry Mancini with Gene Lees, Contemporary Books, 1989, page 236
- Did They Mention the Music?, Henry Mancini with Gene Lees, Contemporary Books, 1989, page 87
- Liner notes to Mercury Records SR 61009
- Liner notes to RCA Victor LPM/LSP-3840
- "RPM Top Singles – July 12, 1986". Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved June 26, 2016.
- Art of Noise, In Visible Silence Retrieved April 26, 2014