Peter Gunn (song)
- For more information on Mancini's original music for the TV show, see Peter Gunn and The Music from Peter Gunn.
|Instrumental by Henry Mancini|
|from the album The Music from Peter Gunn|
|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.
- A popular version by guitarist Duane Eddy reached number six on the UK Singles Chart and number 27 on the Billboard Hot 100.
- Pete Candoli and His Orchestra released the song as part of an EP in 1959 entitled "Peter Gunn Cha Cha".
- Ted Heath and His Music released the song as the B-side to his single "Sermonette" in 1959.
- Shelly Manne recorded a version on Shelly Manne & His Men Play Peter Gunn which was released as a single in 1959.
- Quincy Jones included a version on his 1963 album Quincy Jones Explores the Music of Henry Mancini.
- King Curtis included a version on his 1964 album Soul Serenade.
- The Kingsmen included a version on the 1965 The Kingsmen on Campus LP, Wand LP 670.
- Jimi Hendrix recorded a version that appeared on War Heroes (1972) and West Coast Seattle Boy: The Jimi Hendrix Anthology (2010).
- 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.
- Emerson, Lake & Palmer released a version on their 1979 live album, In Concert. A slightly shortened edit was released as a single in some countries.
- Aretha Franklin and The Blues Brothers released a version of the song as a medley with "Think" in 1980 which reached number 39 on the dance 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.
- A live version appears on Pulp's 2006 Peel Sessions album.
- The B-52's used part of the rhythm figure for their 1979 single "Planet Claire".
- 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 26 June 2016.
- Art of Noise, In Visible Silence Retrieved April 26, 2014
- Ellis, Dave (2 October 2012). "Chat with Spy Hunter Game Designer". Like Totally 80s LLC. Retrieved 13 August 2018.