Friday, October 29, 2010

Hawaii Five-O Theme (Chaquito) for James MacArthur

Even if you never bothered to watch the original show, you know two things about "Hawaii 5-0." One, the great theme song. And two, the phrase "Book 'em, Danno." Danno was "Danny Williams," played by James MacArthur. "Danno" is now down under. Johnny Gregory, the choice for a rendition of the TV theme song, is still with us and celebrated his birthday this month (October 12, 1924).

Johnny Gregory (nee Gregori…his father was dance band leader Frank Gregori) recorded several albums of TV themes and lounge hits under his own name, including esoteric items such as "Melodies of Japan." But he and his orchestra also performed under such aliases as "The Cascading Strings," Nino Ricci and his orchestra, and Chaquito and his orchestra. Just why he'd have one album of hard-hitting TV themes released as Johnny Gregory and another (containing "Hawaii Five-O) as Chaquito, is hard to figure. The album as Chaquito does not have a lot of stereotypical Latino instrumentation, and most of the cuts (such as "Mannix," "Name of the Game," "Ironside") are very faithful to the originals.

People figured MacArthur (December 8, 1937 – October 28, 2010) had acting in his blood, since he was the son of Helen Hayes and her playwright husband (author of "The Front Page"). Actually, he was adopted. He looked nothing like Helen Hayes…which was a good thing for any guy hoping to play a hero on television.

Before he reached that level, he starred in several Disney movies, was on Broadway co-starring with Jane Fonda in "Invitation to a March," and toured in various stage productions around the country, including "John Loves Mary" with his first wife, the bubbly sitcom blonde Joyce Bulifant.

His second wife was "Wrangler Jane" on "F-Troop," the winsome Melody Patterson. That marriage lasted five years. They were married in Hawaii, where James was now starring in his most famous role, a role he played for eleven of the show's twelve seasons. He left before the final aloha, opting to return to the stage and a juicy role in "The Lunch Hour" opposite Cybil Shepherd.

For more, you can go to his official website,, where you'll find bio material, photos, and under "other goodies," links to Amazon where you can buy DVDs of seasons of "Hawaii Five-O" and some of the films that he was most proud of, including 'Battle of the Bulge," "Storm Chasers," "Spencer's Mountain," "Swiss Family Robinson,""Kidnapped" and many more.

He was gracious in his praise of the new version of his most famous TV show: "Ever since I saw the script for the pilot, I‘ve been very excited about this new Hawaii Five-0. From that first moment, I knew CBS had another winner on its hands. I can remember back to when Lenny Freeman called to invite me to participate in the original version. My first thought was, “Great! If I’m lucky, this is my free ticket to 13 weeks in Hawaii. Count me in!

Little did I know that 40 years later, people would still be calling out to me to “Book ‘em, Danno!” wherever I go, and that Hawaii Five-0 would become a worldwide phenomenon, an indelible part of our modern culture, ready tonight to launch a bold new incarnation…"

He added: "I’m looking forward to making an appearance in the new show when the time is right, and I can’t wait to see what the writers have in store for me."

Hawaii Five-O theme by CHAQUITO, aka Johnny Gregory Instant download or listen on line. No pop-ups, porn ads, Paypal donation pleas or wait time.

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