Thursday, August 18, 2016

“Undeniably Hip.” Yeah, That Fits Hayes

As much as I sometimes dread logging onto the Web each morning to see what’s happening around the world, and what assignments or problems I shall have to tackle by day’s close, there can also be pleasant surprises. Today, for example, I found the video embedded above on a closed-group Facebook page called Music for Television. It’s a tribute to singer-songwriter Isaac Hayes (1942-2008). Although Hayes is best remembered for composing the musical score to Richard Roundtree’s 1971 film, Shaft (based on Ernest Tidyman’s 1970 novel of the same name), he also created the main title theme for The Men (1972-1973), “a rotating series of Thursday-night action shows” for ABC-TV that American film and TV music expert Jon Burlingame declares, in this video, is Hayes’ “unsung masterpiece.”

“The network cut it into terrible, 40-second bits,” Burlingame explains, “but the full four-minute theme is melodic, dramatic, and undeniably hip.” I agree completely, and a couple of years ago I purchased a CD titled The Very Best of Isaac Hayes, just so I could have The Men’s complete theme close to hand.

In the event that you’re not familiar with The Men, it was a “wheel series” that featured Robert Conrad’s Assignment: Vienna, Laurence Luckinbill’s The Delphi Bureau, and James Wainwright’s Jigsaw. You can learn much more about all three of those short-run ABC crime dramas in this piece I wrote two years ago for The Rap Sheet.

1 comment:

Steve Aldous said...

Nice little capsule of Hayes' contribution to film music scoring. Hadn't heard of The Men theme, so it is great to discover this. Truck Turner was another great score.