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score Mike Post and the American Broadcast Zeitgeist

I'm often surprised by the number of film and television people that have never heard of Mike Post.

He's one of those guys who's work you have likely heard literally thousands of times, without ever realizing he was there.

Do you know the "chong chong" sound that bookends segments in every "Law and Order" series? Mike Post made that sound.

Do you know the neon distortion of mainstream 80s Stratocaster leads, or the trademark rock blues melodic that typified NBC? That's Mike Post.

Remember the jazz riffs of the News Radio theme? The catchy guitar riff of Magnum Pi? The memorable melodies of the "A Team" "LA Law" or "Hill Street Blues" theme songs. How about "The Greatest American Hero"? This guy basically reinvented blues for the television medium.

Anyway, just a quick bio glance at one of the underappreciated all time greats.



Who are your unsung heroes of film and television. I'd love to be introduced to some other amazing behind the scenes people that helped shaped television and film. Does anyone want to do Garret Brown?
 
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Post synthesized his chung, chung electronically, combining six or seven different sounds to get the right dead-bolt effect.

But here's the kicker: nestled within that effect is the sound of 500 Japanese men stomping their feet on a wooden floor.

"It was a sort of monstrous Kabuki event. Probably one of those large dance classes they hold. They did this whole big stamp. Somebody went out and sampled that."
 
Garret Brown was in some ways the primary innovator behind modern cinematography. The speeder chase in Jedi, Rocky running up the steps, and many others were shot by this one guy. I met him in person, he's 8 feet tall and rides a segway. Really nice guy. He looked like a benign terminator in his giant stedicam rig. If you're interested in learning about individuals that changed the way we make film, you can do worse that to look up Garret's accomplishments, this is the guy who first came up with the idea of a camera on a mobile gimbal.


I can assure you that "The Muppets take Manhattan" would not have turned out as well as it did without him.
 
I guess I never actually posted a collection of Mike's work here. No time like the present.

It's really interesting to see how widespread his work really was, you have to wonder with syndication repeats if this guy was the most broadcasted musician of all time. Many of these shows were in reruns for 20 years, playing one of his songs at the beginning and end of every episode.













 
From a musicians perspective, he's really fascinating because by the numbers this was the "perfect" music for it's time. Meaning that these tv shows were designed to appeal to the widest possible audiences, and they couldn't count on fans of any particular genre.

So it's this mixture of Blues, rock, jazz, orchestral scoring and country that ended up appealing to almost everyone. I remember when I was very young, the Magnum Pi theme was one of first songs I learned to play on guitar. Every kid in grade school knew the A team song note for note.
 
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