By Joe G and Arfies
Whether it's the memorable theme song, the fast-paced "running away" ditty whenever someone sees something strange at 1164, the romantic music softly playing in the background, or even Samantha's "tinka-tinka-tink," music certainly plays an important role in the world of Bewitched. Here's a tribute to the composers who made it all happen.
Howard Greenfield, the lyricist of the "Bewitched" theme, was born in New York on March 15, 1936. According to mp3.com, "In late 1952 the 16-year-old Greenfield was introduced to 13-year old neighbor and piano prodigy" Neil Sedaka. Together they wrote such hits as "Stupid Cupid," "Calendar Girl," "Where the Boys Are," "Stairway to Heaven" (not THAT one), and "Breaking Up is Hard to Do." With Jack Keller, Greenfield wrote the lyrics for several television shows of the 1950s and 60s, listed below. In 1975, Greenfield and Sedaka again enjoyed fame with Captain and Tenille's Grammy-winning "Love Will Keep Us Together."
Though he died of complications from AIDS on March 4, 1986, Greenfield was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1991.
Sadly, Keller passed away from leukemia on April 1, 2005. His website, http://www.jackkellersongwriter.com, was unfinished at the time of his death. He was looking forward to the Nicole Kidman/Will Ferrell movie and remixed a new R&B version of the Bewitched theme, which ended up not being used. But his legacy lives on. A section of his site called "My Favorite Recorded Songs" ended with "There were many written over the years, but I would have to say that 'Bewitched' was by far more than just a song..."
Different versions of the Bewitched theme, as well as other musical samples, can be heard on the Songs and Sound Bytes page. Scroll down to "Miscellaneous Sound and Music."
Warren Barker was born on April 16, 1923 in Oakland, California and attended UCLA, majoring in music. In addition to writing the vast majority of cues for Bewitched and the orchestration of its title theme (as well as coming up with Samantha's nose-twitch xylophone effect), he has also composed music for Batman, The Flying Nun, The Partridge Family, The Andy Griffith Show, and That Girl. Barker wrote the theme for Hawaiian Eye and conducted music for 77 Sunset Strip. In 1970, Warren Barker was nominated for an Emmy honoring his original music for the acclaimed series My World and Welcome To It. He also was an orchestrator for the movie version of Hello, Dolly. More recently, he has composed and arranged music for school and professional bands around the world.
When ABC aired its 1964 fall preview with clips from the Bewitched pilot, the music was different from what we know it today, from the lively flutes in the intro to the muted trumpet theme repeated throughout. The newer, more lush music would be reused in the series often, especially in the first season.
According to Mary Barker, "The process for scoring was something like this: After the show was edited, Warren and the film editor, Rocky Moriano, ran it on a movieola and marked where there should be music. This was then made into 'cue sheets.' Warren brought the cue sheets home and sat down at the piano with a stop watch and composed the type of music that went with the action. This was then recorded and then dubbed on to the film."
The background music cues often had titles registered with BMI, such as:
- "Introducing Miss Jasmine," a sultry saxophone piece first heard in "It Takes One to Know One." Later it would be re-used whenever a sexy woman made her entrance, such as Pleasure O'Riley.
- "Pretty Tabitha," a pleasant music-box-like tune for the little witch.
The theme was only reused once, at the bar scene in "If They Never Met," another romantic episode.
Some more memorable cues include one from "Eye of the Beholder" and "Illegal Separation." On the 1st season colorized DVD, the Spanish and Portuguese versions have the music, but no laugh track, so if you want to listen for uninterrupted music, select that option.
About whether the original cues still exist, Warren Barker said, "I did have a recording of the theme and a few cues, but they were lost in a flood here in 1994."
More information about the music of Bewitched can be found in Jon Burlingame's 1996 book "TV's Biggest Hits."
Carpenter often collaborated with Leland Michael Postil, aka Mike Post, on shows such as The Rockford Files, CHiPs, Magnum, P.I., Hunter, and The A-Team. IMDb.com lists that Carpenter died on October 18, 1987. The Pete Carpenter Fellowship for Aspiring TV/Film Composers was established in his memory in 1989.