Thursday, October 29, 2009

VIC MIZZY : You Made Me Dizzy Mr. Mizzy

"Don't cross the street in the middle in the middle in the middle in the middle in the middle of the block. Use your eyes to look up! Use your ears to hear! Walk up to the corner when the coast is clear...
...and wait. And wait. Until you see the light turn green!"

Vic's PSA TV commercial to teach kids not to jaywalk was his most familiar melody...until he wrote "The Addams Family" and "Green Acres" themes. He loved that jaywalking song so much he even used it (sans lyrics) as background in various episodes of "The Addams Family."

You were expecting a normal obit? On this blog?

Here's another odd fact about Vic. His first popular songs (not so popular anymore) were co-written by the legendary Irving Taylor, who, late in life, created some oddball musical comedy albums for Warner Bros. Those tunes include "There's a Faraway Look in Your Eye," "Three Little Sisters," (covered by the Andrews Sisters, natch) and "Take It Easy." Vic's best known songs as far as your grandma would be concerned, were "My Dreams are Getting Better All the Time," sung by Doris Day and "The Jones Boy" from The Mills Brothers.

Vic, an N.Y.U. grad from Brooklyn, sauced cauliflower ears via a variety of odd tunes that crackled across the radio airwaves or sputtered on juke boxes, but it wasn't until TV was in full swing that he finally found his calling: theme songs.

"Green Acres" is his best known expositional song...where the lyrics are supposed to tell the audience what the show is about. Below, you'll find three more of 'em, each trying to explain a bad sitcom premise: "The Pruitts of Southampton" (Phyllis Diller singing), "Double Life of Henry Phyfe" ("Who Me" cries the show's star Red Buttons) and "Captain Nice," the super hero spoof that battled "Mr. Terrific" for a year.

Mizzy's first major movie soundtrack was for "The Night Walker," which was, as you'd expect from a William Castle film, half horror and half horror parody. (More on that one below). Vic also scored Castle's "The Busy Body," and a fist full of Don Knotts movies, notably "The Ghost and Mr. Chicken." Even in his 80's he was in demand, sought out to supply some music for "Spiderman 2."

Le Miz had a home in high class Bel Air, thanks in part to royalties from his finger-snapping "Addams Family" theme song. Maybe a few dollars came in when They Might Be Giants decided to cover "In the Middle," his jaywalking PSA commercial. He died on October 17th, age 93, leaving behind a daughter, and a website where a self-pressed CD of songs "For the Jogging Crowd" was sold. It's momentarily high-priced on eBay and Amazon, but a cheap download at

VIC's PHYLLIS DILLER, RED BUTTONS and CAPTAIN NICE themes Instant download or listen on line. No pop-ups, screen captchas or wait time.
Don't cross the street "IN THE MIDDLE" Instant Download or Listen On Line

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