Here's a little tribute to the great Patty Duke, who has given us so much in both drama and comedy, and in her brave and important autobiography. She and her husband are going through one of those tough and anxious times: "Mike has been diagnosed with prostate cancer, surgery June 30. I know he will be ok, but many unknown factors..."
For many kids, Patty's role in "The Miracle Worker" was an inspiration. In telling the story of Helen Keller, there was also a message for all kids who felt alienated, who didn't understand what parents and teachers wanted, and who thought there was no hope that they could communicate or make something of themselves. And a few years later, she explored the schizoid world of teenagers by playing both "Patty" and "Cathy" in her sitcom; the party kid and the serious student. She was such a fine actress; she made "identical cousins" seem like two truly different people, just by her ability to reflect the different personalities of the girls, and shading one of the voices.
I know, that's getting awfully serious and analytical. But it's true. So is the fact that thanks to Patty's sitcom, every time I heard the "Maverick" theme song, I thought the line was "Natchez to New Orleans, livin' in Jackson, Queens." Patty's fictional home was in Brooklyn Heights, which probably wasn't much of a bus ride to Jackson Heights.
Which brings me to HER theme song, which was sung by the peculiar middle-aged Skip-Jacks, the group that contributed their weird sense of swing to Buddy Morrow's RCA album "Poe for Moderns," hepping up a few songs based on Edgar's stories and poems.
It was common, if not mandatory back in the 60's to have an exposition theme song that explained the premise of the show and who the lead characters were. Since we all know about the "crazy pair," and how a hot dog made Patty "lose control" STFU, Skip-Jacks...here's the theme WITHOUT the words!
This un-sung version is the work of the unsung composer-arranger Carl Brandt (August 15, 1914 — April 25, 1991).
Brandt may be best known as an arranger for Spike Jones (working on Spike's Warner Bros album "In Stereo,") and supplying incidental music for all the Dick Tracy cartoons, as well as some of the "Adventures of Mr. Magoo." He supplied the background music for a lot of TV shows from "The Alaskans" in 1959 to "Mod Squad" in 1968, with "I Spy," "The Andy Griffith Show," and "Gomer Pyle" in between.
This track comes from a 1964 compilation album of TV themes he produced for Warners, where he was on the staff, arranging material for a variety of projects and composing incidental music for TV shows. He was pretty flexible in his stylings, and while he started in the Big Band era working with the colorfully named orchestra leader Dick Jurgens, he continued working into the era of rock and funk, composing music for the soundtrack to the blaxploitation film "Cleopatra Jones" in 1973.
So thank you music lovers, Carl Brandt, and a special thank you and get well to Patty and her husband.
PATTY DUKE THEME WITHOUT WORDS Carl Brandt