Peter Gunn (song)
- For more information on Mancini's original music for the TV show, see Peter Gunn and The Music from Peter Gunn.
"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 as RCA Victor LPM/LSP-1956. Mancini won an Emmy Award and two Grammys for Album of the Year and Best Arrangement.
In his 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.
Lyrics were added by Jay Livingston and Ray Evans and first recorded in 1964 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!.
Trumpeter Ray Anthony released the first single version of the song on Capitol Records in 1959. Arranged by Mancini and featuring tenor saxophonist Plas Johnson, it reached #8 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #12 on the R&B chart.
The song has been recorded by numerous artists including a popular version by guitarist Duane Eddy. His recording of the song reached #2 in Australia, #6 on the UK Singles Chart, and #27 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1959. The song appeared on his 1959 album, Especially for You. The song was produced by Lee Hazlewood and Lester Sill.
|Single by Duane Eddy|
|from the album Especially for You|
|B-side||"Along the Navajo Trail"|
|Recorded||March 1959, Audio Recorders, Phoenix, Arizona|
|Producer(s)||Lee Hazlewood, Lester Sill|
|Duane Eddy singles chronology|
- RCA Victor also released the song as part of a Mancini EP in 1958.
- 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.
- The Kingsmen included a version on the 1965 The Kingsmen On Campus LP, Wand LP 670.
- Deodato released a version of the song in 1976 which reached #20 on the dance chart, #84 on the Billboard Hot 100, and #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 #39 on the dance chart.
- Art of Noise released a version of the song featuring Eddy in 1986 which reached #2 on the dance chart, #8 in the UK, #14 in Canada, and #50 on the Billboard Hot 100. It was featured on their 1986 album, In Visible Silence.
- Isabel Rose recorded a version on her 2014 album Trouble in Paradise.
In popular culture
||This article appears to contain trivial, minor, or unrelated references to popular culture. (March 2017)|
- The song was the inspiration for The B-52's song Planet Claire, written in 1977 and released both on their self-titled album and as a single in 1979. Guitarist Ricky Wilson was a noted fan of Mancini.
- The version by The Blues Brothers was featured in the eponymous film of 1980.
- Bauhaus in 1981 used the bass-line from the Peter Gunn theme in "Hair of the Dog", the opening song on Mask.
- The song was featured in the popular arcade game Spy Hunter in 1983, when developer Midway was unable to secure the rights to the James Bond theme. The Peter Gunn theme is still featured in most re-releases of the game today.
- Ray Anthony's original 1959 recording was featured in the 1984 film Sixteen Candles.
- The song was used in the season three opener of the television series The Sopranos, mixed with The Police's song "Every Breath You Take" and Steely Dan's "Dirty Work".
- Clarence Clemons did a version on the soundtrack of the 1985 film Porky's Revenge!
- A version of the song also appears in the game Rock n' Roll Racing and the pinball Who Dunnit.
- The song was also used in Monty Python's The Bishop sketch in season 2, episode 17 of their TV show, Monty Python's Flying Circus.
- The Art of Noise version has been used for several trailers for films, including animator Ralph Bakshi's Cool World.
- In the TV series How I Met Your Mother a version of the song is featured in season 5 episode "The Rough Patch".
- The tune was the inspiration for the track "The Man From MI.5" in the episode of the same name of the TV series Thunderbirds.
- Henry Mancini: Sounds and Scores, Northridge Music, Inc. 1973, 1986
- Liner notes to RCA album LPM/LSP-1956
- Did They Mention the Music?, Henry Mancini with Gene Lees, Published by Contemporary Books, Inc., 1989, page 236
- Did They Mention the Music?, Henry Mancini with Gene Lees, Published by Contemporary Books, Inc., 1989, page 87
- Liner notes to Mercury Records SR 61009
- Liner notes to RCA Victor LPM/LSP-3840
- Ray Anthony and His Orchestra, "Peter Gunn" Chart Positions Retrieved April 26, 2014
- Duane Eddy, "Peter Gunn" Chart Positions Retrieved April 26, 2014
- Duane Eddy, Especially for You Retrieved April 26, 2014
- Duane Eddy, "Peter Gunn" single release Retrieved April 26, 2014
- Henry Mancini, "Peter Gunn" EP release Retrieved April 26, 2014
- Pete Candoli and His Orchestra, "Peter Gunn" EP release Retrieved April 26, 2014
- Ted Heath and His Music, "Sermonette" single release Retrieved April 26, 2014
- Shelly Manne and His Men, "Peter Gunn" single release Retrieved April 26, 2014
- Deodato, "Peter Gunn" Chart Positions Retrieved April 26, 2014
- Emerson, Lake & Palmer, "Peter Gunn" single release Retrieved April 26, 2014
- Aretha Franklin/The Blues Brothers, "Peter Gunn" Chart Position Retrieved April 26, 2014
- "RPM Top Singles - July 12, 1986". Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 26 June 2016.
- Art of Noise, "Peter Gunn" Chart Positions Retrieved April 26, 2014
- Art of Noise, In Visible Silence Retrieved April 26, 2014
- "Isabel Rose Releases New Album Trouble in Paradise". Broadway Music World. 29 July 2014. Retrieved 21 August 2016.
- Peter Gunn Theme Returns To Spy Hunter Retrieved June 20, 2014
- The Bishop Retrieved January 21, 2015
- How I Met Your Mother, "The Rough Patch" synopsis Retrieved February 18, 2016.
- Thunderbirds OST, Silva Screen Records, 2003