December 16, 2010

Something Vintage Cool: Peter Gunn created by Blake Edwards

Blake Edwards, real gone at 88.

"I'm saying bye, bye
Bye, baby
Now that I heard all that jazzing
Whereas I have had it
I've had it
I'm through now
With you now

So baby it's au revouir
Ciao ciao

-- theme from Peter Gunn

Blake Edwards, Craig Stevens, and Jack Lemmon on the set of Gunn

Gratuitous violence, smooth haircuts, unflappable attitude, sharp suits, and sleek cars. Smoking, drinking cocktails, making out with torch singers, and modern jazz. Long gone now, Peter Gunn, a PI played by Craig Stevens and created by Blake Edwards, defined cool before cool was cool in the golden age of television. These six and a half minutes distill why that was so. Check it out....

It stays cool in its essence long after the Peter Gunn episodes had faded into late night reruns and YouTube clips Henry Mancini's theme for the series was still being covered in jazz and rock.

Once you get the groove the groove never leaves.

Henri Mancini - Peter Gunn Theme download at emp3

Sarah Vaughan - Peter Gunn (Max Sedgley Remix) / Verve Remixed Vol.3

Music by Henry Mancini
Lyrics by Jay Livingston and Ray Evans


Every night your line is busy
All that buzzin' makes me dizzy
Couldn't count on all my fingers
All the dates you had with swingers

Bye, baby
I'm gonna kiss you goodbye
And walk right through that doorway
So long
I'm leaving
This is the last time we'll meet
On the street going your way
Don't look surprised
You know you've buttered your bread
So now it's fair
You should stare
At the back of my head
If you write a letter to me
My former friend
Don't you end
With a R.S.V.P.

I'm going bye, bye
I'm moving
Tomorrow I may be splittin' to Britain or Norway
I'm saying bye, bye
Bye, baby
Now that I heard all that jazzing
Whereas I have had it
I've had it
I'm through now
With you now

So baby it's au revouir
Ciao ciao

Posted by Vanderleun at December 16, 2010 9:50 PM
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"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper N.B.: Comments are moderated and may not appear immediately. Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged.

I loved that show as a kid. I can't tell you how many times I "played" Peter Gunn with my friends.

Posted by: Glynn at February 13, 2010 8:00 AM

Wow! I never realized that the Peter Gunn Theme actually had words.

My cultural education continues.

Posted by: pdwalker at February 13, 2010 8:04 AM

The opening of that clip is the first time in decades I'd seen an Imperial with the gunsight taillights. (Something else you couldn't do today, no doubt.)

Posted by: CGHill at February 13, 2010 8:07 AM

Cool, Daddy-o. Like, I dig it the most.

Posted by: Cato the Elder at February 13, 2010 9:55 AM

Along the way we lost something.
When did hip and cool become equated with squalor?

Posted by: Mikey NTH at February 13, 2010 2:18 PM

And no, 'Peter Gunn' is not squalor. The squalor came later.

Perhaps Ann Althouse is on to something with her 'men in shorts' dislike. Or Tom Wolfe with his 'Radical Chic'.

I don't really know (but I guess) - when what is low is celebrated get ready for a tidal wave of low.

Posted by: Mikey NTH at February 13, 2010 4:48 PM

I prefer Emerson, Lake and Palmers version myself, but so did Mancini after he heard it.

Posted by: Boss429 at February 13, 2010 5:53 PM

Great show and one of the best soundtracks of any television show ever.

Posted by: Paco at February 13, 2010 7:06 PM

That reminds me. What ever happened to "Mr. Lucky"? That was another cool show from way back when.

Posted by: David at February 13, 2010 9:13 PM

Great mixed version. When I clicked to get the original, my WOT addin warned me that the downloads can contain malware and viruses, so I didn't go there. Just FYI.

Posted by: Bill Peschel at February 15, 2010 10:05 AM

RIP, Blake.

Posted by: Jewel at December 16, 2010 10:05 PM

Yeah, cool soft and driving and NOT trying to destroy your eardrums.

Posted by: Vermont Woodchuck at December 17, 2010 3:48 AM

It still remains interesting (both video and music) becaus at that time people still tried to do quality things. And mass culture still had something about it. In contrast to nowadays when everything is churned out quickly without giving much thought to it.

Posted by: Lally@Israel at December 17, 2010 6:31 AM

I love the The Peter Gunn reruns on a "throwaway" channel called Retro TV.

That's when men were men and women liked it that way.

Another series in that vein was "Mike Hammer" with Vic Morrow. Have also caught it on Retro TV.

Posted by: at December 17, 2010 9:20 AM

Thanks for that.

I really like it.

(Can't you tell?)

Of course, the 'Pink Panther' movies with Peter Sellers were just a scream. Still are.

"Kato...? Where are you...? HIII YAAHHH!"

Posted by: Mikey NTH at December 17, 2010 7:10 PM

Man, no one could belt them out like Sarah Vaughan. She was the queen of cool

Posted by: Jewel at December 18, 2010 12:49 AM

Oh, man, if only I'd known there were words back when people still played Spy Hunter.

Posted by: Maureen at December 18, 2010 9:14 PM

Thanks for posting this. PG was so cool! If I recall correctly it was the first TV program to have a constant background sound track. And it was Jazz! Mad Magazine did a parody, I don't remember what year, with Mancini and a few players popping out of closets and from behind doors and such places, following him around. Too bad the clip didn't have more dialogue on it. Watching this even though they weren't speaking I could remember all the actor's voices. Amazing!! Is there anywhere on the net that I could download some episodes?

Posted by: gordon at March 23, 2011 3:45 AM