A Kaddish for Henry Mancini (April 16, 1924 – June 14, 1994) on his seventeenth Yahrtzeit. I had to work the “Pink Panther” theme into it, didn’t I?
Just about everyone knows that Mancini wrote the Pink Panther theme, but did you know he also did the Peter Gunn theme? “Moon River” from Breakfast at Tiffany’s? “Days of Wine and Roses”? He did the themes to a whole bunch of TV shows—in many cases, his music being the best or perhaps only good thing about the show. Mancini covered a vast range of styles, and he also did notable work as a conductor and pianist. He even did some cameo spots in TV and movies—for details, use The Googles or see wikipedia.
Whether you like his music or not—but c’mon, who doesn’t love “The Pink Panther”? who hasn’t tried to pick it out on piano when nobody’s looking?—you have to admire the guy.