[aka: Mr. Wizard] (NBC, 1951 - 1955) (NBC Saturday Morning, 1955 - 1965) (NBC 1971 - 1972)
[2006 ASCAP title variation: "With Gambolling Gait"; Sometimes it takes decades to unravel the credits of THEME music, even for a very popular series; this one certainly illustrates that point... In a phone interview in the early 1980s, "Watch Mr. Wizard" host Don Herbert, speaking from his California desert home, was asked about his original signature THEME; He could not remember the exact title of the piece first used on the air some 30 years previously; All he could remember was, it "was a library track -- something like 'Galloping Gait' or 'With Galloping Gait' -- something like that...sorry I couldn't be more helpful..."; There is a Boosey & Hawkes library track called "Galloping Hooves" by Richard Cowgill but it was more of a action-agitato composition, and not familiar, so our researches moved on... The "Galloping Major" by George Bastow was suggested by a studio owner familiar with production music and the TV series; it was in an appropriate style and mood, and was vaguely familiar...so it was our most likely candidate for over twenty years -- but we could never verify this; That educated guess was wrong...but it just goes to show you that sometimes, with patience, even the deepest mysteries of TV music can be solved with the kind assistance of people over the Internet. In July 2006, twenty years after we talked to Don Hebert, and more than 50 years after the piece was used on the air, we received an EMail from contributor Art Chimes, who hosts a "Voice of America" radio program called "Our World." Art had recently interviewed Don Hebert at the age of 89 for his show that aired on July 15, 2006; Reading about our difficulty pinning down the THEME on this web site, Art took the trouble to look up the NBC Music Cue Sheets, and he confirmed that it is the above-titled composition from the Bosworth Production Music library; This was indeed the signature theme circa 1957. Although the NBC cue sheet lists the writer's name as "P. Malakey" -- either this was a pseudonym Mackey used, or the NBC music department typist couldn't read the label (or couldn't read someone's hastily scribbled handwriting transferring that information.) Because no listing for anyone with the name of "Malakey" is in either ASCAP or BMI repertoire databases; We thought for sure this was supposed to be "Malarkey" (a stage name.) But there is indeed a credit for the above title, published by Bosworth, listed under the name of "Percival Mackey" in ASCAP's 1978 Index of Performed Cmpositions. Oddly enough, the ASCAP Repertoire database of 2006 spells both the title of this work and Mackey's name differently than in their 1978 reference publication (the name as "Persival" Mackey.) The title word "Gamboling" -- which means to leap about playfully, or frolic like a dog or horse -- has an older spelling variant of "Gambolling" which they used in the repertoire database. So the credits for this THEME were slippery right up till the end! Percival Mackey was a popular British bandleader in the 1920s who not only made recordings under the name "Percival Mackey and his Band", but as a smaller ensemble -- "The Percival Mackey Trio." He wrote mood music for Bosworth as well as scoring a few British films -- including "Facing The Music" (1941) in which he appeared conducting under the name "Percival Mackey and his Orchestra". U.S. spelling variation in 2006 was "Persival" Mackey] Composer: Percival Mackey (British PRS/ASCAP) 1978 Publishers: Bosworth & Co., Ltd. (London) 2006 publisher: [title listed without publisher in the ASCAP Repertoire database] US Copyright Date: [not found] US Renewal Date: [not found] Recording: 78rpm: [in the Bosworth Mood Music Library] The West End Celebrity Orchestra conducted by P. Mackey Bosworth 1199.
[Title verified by collector and library music expert Paul Mandell; this THEME was used during part of the show's run as several collectors verified. Art Chimes of "Voice of America" found an NBC cue sheet that showed it was used on the series during the 1962 season - after the first THEME "With Gamboling Gait" above...] Composer: Kurt Rehfeld (ASCAP) [pseudonym of Kurt Reinhold] Original British Publisher: Impress Mood Music, Ltd. Prev. US Selling Agent: Emil Ascher, Inc. (ASCAP) 1997 US Selling Agent: Audio Action (ASCAP), of Burbank, CA 2006 Publisher: Hereinafter Music (ASCAP) c/o Opus 1 Music Library LLC of Studio City, CA. US Copyright Date: US Renewal Date: Recordings: 78rpm: [Impress library, formerly distributed in the US by Emil Ascher, Inc. of New York.] Impress IA-181.
[According to David R. Jackson who corresponded with ASCAP about this theme, it aired on the network beginning in the first quarter of 1962...It was used on the main network newscast, and other programs in the news/public affairs genre; Thanks to contributor Art Chimes, who found an NBC Cue sheet for "Watch Mr. Wizard" listing this as a Signature THEME following the "Morning Flirtation" THEME cited above; We are not sure if this citation means it was used in later years than "Morning Flirtation", or used simultaneously, as an End-credits THEME tag...] Composer: Irwin A. ("Bud") Bazelon (ASCAP) Original Publisher: Jobete Music Co., Inc. (ASCAP) 1997 Publisher: Jobete Music Co., Inc. (ASCAP) c/o EMI Music Publishing of New York, NY Copyright Date: Aug. 5, 1963; EU 783 446. Renewal Date: June 25, 1991; RE-535-676. Recordings: