If I were to try to compose a blog post in response to every obituary I read relating to someone involved in the performing arts, I might have something to blog about every day. However, today, after reading the New York Times obit, (although the one in the Los Angeles Times is probably better) I was moved to write something about the passing of composer Earle Hagen. In addition to writing the jazz standard, Harlem Nocturne, Hagen was responsible for the theme songs for many, many classic television shows (including some of your favorites, no doubt). As is my wont after reading an obituary, I often do a quick check of OCLC to see if any repository owns or has processed papers relating to the deceased. In this case, it is the American Heritage Center that holds a large collection, which appears to consist primarily of Hagen’s scores.
For more immediacy though, the Archive of American Television blog contains links that provide free online access to the invaluable series of video oral history interviews with television industry professionals that it commissions and sponsors. A five hour 1997 Earle Hagen interview conducted by author Jon Burlingame can be downloaded on YouTube in its entirety.