Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Theme from “Peter Gunn”

Written and first performed by Henry Mancini (1958).
Hit versions by Ray Anthony & His Orchestra (US #8/R&B #12 1959), Duane Eddy (US #27/UK #6 1959), Deodato (US #84/R&B #96/DANCE #20 1976), Art of Noise (US #50/CAN #14/UK #8/DANCE #2 1986).

From the wiki: “‘Peter Gunn’ was composed by Henry Mancini for the television show of the same name. The song was also released 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

“Of the arrangement, Mancini explained in his 1989 autobiography, Did They Mention the Music?:

‘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 re-arranged the first single version of the song for bandleader Ray Anthony in 1959. Recorded for Capitol Records at Radio Recorders and featuring tenor saxophonist Plas Johnson, it reached #8 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #12 on the R&B chart.

“Mancini’s arrangement was followed by a cover by guitarist Duane Eddy that reached #6 on the UK Singles Chart in June 1959, and #27 on the Billboard Hot 100 in November 1960.

“Deodato released a version of the song in 1976, which reached #20 on the US dance chart, #84 on the Billboard Hot 100, and #96 on the R&B chart.

“Art of Noise released an arrangement of the song featuring Duane Eddy in 1986, which reached #2 on the US 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, and was awarded a Grammy for Best Rock Instrumental Performance.”

Ray Anthony & His Orchestra, “Theme to ‘Peter Gunn'” (1959):

Duane Eddy, “Theme to ‘Peter Gunn'” (1959):

Deodato, “Theme to ‘Peter Gunn'” (1976):

Art of Noise, “Peter Gunn” (1986):

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