Friday, August 13, 2010

Favorites :: Soundtracks : Neal Hefti's Brazen Saddle Sounds!

A native of Hastings, NE, my old stompin' grounds, Neal Hefti was an old school big-band swinger, who played, arranged and composed for the likes of Frank Sinatra, Harry James and Charlie Spivak. Despite this pedigree, most people only know Hefti as the guy who penned the highly obnoxious but very memorable theme to the old Batman TV show, meaning fewer realize that he also composed the equally obnoxious theme to The Odd Couple.

However, it was Hefti's penchant for forlorn horns and trippy guitar solos for the theme of a criminally overlooked western called Duel at Diablo that I've had stuck in my head since I first heard it many, many Movie-of-the-Weeks ago.

Hefti and some unknown studio musician.

First, we have a cut of the main title that didn't appear in the actual film but shows up as the last track on the LP. The haunting lyrics were penned and performed by Ernie Sheldon, who had collaborated with Hefti and Elmer Bernstein for the soundtrack of Lord Love a Duck.

Next, we have the Dust to Dust version that helped wrap the film up.

And last, but not least, we have the unaltered title track itself plus the bonus track of Bullets and Beans.

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