You too can get involved...

The Abbott and Costello Show (slapstick/comedy)

    (Syndicated, 1952)

    [starring Bud Abbott and Lou Costello, one of the most successful
     vaudeville and network radio comedy teams]


Theme 1 (first season, 1952): "Abbott & Costello Main & End [Titles]"

    [may be based upon "Jazz Baby" (1919) composed by Blanche 
     Merrill (words) and M. K. Jerome (music), a flapper tune which
     shares the same first five notes...;

     In two books, the Abbott and Costello theme was erroneously
     listed as "Jazz Babies' Ball", a 1919 composition of Charles A. 
     Bayha (words) and Maceo Pinkard (music -- who also composed the 
     jazz standard "Sweet Georgia Brown.") This tune does not have
     any resemblance to the Main Theme.

     The two books in which "Jazz Babies' Ball" is credited as the THEME
     erroneously were Craig Pattillo's "TV Theme Soundtrack Directory",
     and collector Mark Koldys says the error is also quoted in the book
    "Abbott and Costello in Hollywood" (by Furmanek, Bob, and Ron Palumbo,
     published in 1991.)

     However, a piano/conductor part of a dance-band arrangement of
    "Jazz Babies' Ball" was located at the UCLA "Archive of Popular 
     American Music". This printed music was compared to the three
     known TV themes listed below, and it matched none of them!

     Perhaps the credit of "Jazz Babies' Ball" as the A&C Theme was the 
     result of confusion with "Jazz Baby" which was published in the 
     same year (1919), and does resemble the Kraushaar TV theme...which
     is an original composition...probably actually ghost-written by 
     arranger/orchestrator Mort Glickman who was Kraushaar's writing partner]

     Credited Composer: Raoul Kraushaar (ASCAP), and
                        arranged by Mort H. Glickman (ASCAP)

     1978 Publisher: Gordon Music Company, Inc. (ASCAP)

     1998 Publisher: Gordon Music Company, Inc. (ASCAP),
                     of Canoga Park, CA

     Copyright Date:
     Renewal   Date:

     Recordings: 


Open Theme 2 [second season, 1953]: "Toy Soldiers #1"

    [Title credit in the "Mutel" library, in correspondence with 
     early library expert Paul Mandell was "Toy March", but it
     seems that "Toy Soldiers" was the name according to ASCAP...
     
     On home video tapes of the "Abbott & Costello Show" this piece
     is heard played back about a third interval higher than originally
     recorded. In other words, it was recorded in D Major, but is heard
     in F Major at a faster tempo, indicating the track was sped up for 
     comic effect...
     
     (Mahlon Merrick's pseudonym may have included "Gene" since his 2nd 
     wife, Grace Merrick, was known as "Jean" or "Gene".)]

     Composer: Gene Le Grande (ASCAP/BMI)
              [pseudonym of Mahlon Legrand Merrick]

     Original Publisher: probably Palisades Music Pub. Co. (BMI)

     1998 Publishers: Palisades Music Pub. Co. (BMI),
                         of Tampa, FL

     Copyright Date:
     Renwal    Date:

     Recordings:
         From the "MUTEL" (Music For Television) library,

     and 78 rpm reference disks in the Capitol "Q" Series library.
          Q-177: Theme No. 439 (Opening)


Close Theme 3 [second season, 1953]: "Toy Soldiers #2"

    [Title credit in the "Mutel" library, in correspondence with 
     early library expert Paul Mandell was "Toy March", but it
     seems that "Toy Soldiers" was the name according to ASCAP...
          
     (Mahlon Merrick's pseudonym may have included "Gene" since his 2nd 
     wife, Grace Merrick, was known as "Jean" or "Gene".)]

     Composer: Gene Le Grande (ASCAP/BMI)
              [pseudonym of Mahlon Legrand Merrick]

     Original Publisher: probably Palisades Music Pub. Co. (BMI)

     1998 Publishers: Palisades Music Pub. Co. (BMI)

     Copyright Date:
     Renwal    Date:

     Recordings:
          From the "MUTEL" (Music For Television) library

      and 78 rpm reference disks in the Capitol "Q" Series library.
           Q-177: Theme No. 439 (Closing)


You can make a difference...  

Return to the 1950s TV Series Title Page


Copyright 1960 - 2014 by The Media Management Group. All Rights Reserved