Earle Hagen, Earle Hagen.

The death of Dody Goodman last week causes me to reminisce about that great 70s soap opera lampoon Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman (Dody played Mary’s mother); and that causes me to reminisce about the magnificent main title music for the show, composed by Earle Hagen. (Click here to hear.) Hagen wrote many great TV themes, including those for The Dick Van Dyke Show and I Spy. For Mary Hartman, he created a masterpiece of classic Hollywood tunesmithing and orchestration. Funny as the show was, and funny as his theme music was in context, divorced from that context there is nothing funny about it—it stands up as pure music, and could easily have been the soundtrack for a Douglas Sirk movie of the fifties.

Hagen died only last month. RIP, RIP.

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