Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Charles Mingus and Spider-Man

Thinking about Charles Mingus and television theme music made me realize: the theme for the 1960s cartoon series Spider-Man, by Bob Harris and Paul Francis Webster, sounds heavily indebted to Mingus’s “Boogie Stop Shuffle.”

Bob Harris wrote the theme music for Lolita. (Not “Lolita Ya Ya”; that’s Nelson Riddle.) Paul Francis Webster, lyricist, worked with Duke Ellington on songs for the 1941 musical revue Jump for Joy, “I Got It Bad (And That Ain’t Good)” among others. It’s easy to imagine that someone had been listening to Mingus.

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