Earle Hagen was 88 and composed music for more than 3000 hours of television including the theme songs for The Dick Van Dyke Show, The Mod Squad, That Girl, and, most famously, the Andy Griffith Show. If you are whistling in your head right now then you are thinking of the right song but did you know there are words to that one too?
They start like this:
"Well, now, take down your fishin' pole and meet me at the Fishin' Hole.
We may not get a bite all day, but don't you rush away.
What a great place to rest your bones and mighty fine for skippin' stones,
You'll feel fresh as a lemonade, a-settin' in the shade.
Whether it's hot, or whether it's cool, oh, what a spot for whistling like a fool..."
Click here to hear Andy Griffith himself singing the theme.
Fellow composer Alexander Courage was also 88 when he passed this week. He wrote music for Lost In Space, The Waltons, Falcon Crest, Eight Is Enough and many more. But his most famous composition was the theme from Star Trek, over which William Shatner intoned those famous words, "Space. The Final Frontier...."
That it is another iconic instrumental television theme that also has lyrics doesn't begin to tell the rest of the story. Snopes.com has the sad tale of how Trek creator Gene Roddenberry, who wrote the words below, was able to use them to rook Mr. Courage out of half of the royalties he should have received for composing the music. Click here for the full story.
"Beyond the rim of the starlight
My love is wand'ring in star flight
I know he'll find in star-clustered reach
Love, strange love a star woman teaches.
I know his journey ends never
His star trek will go on forever.
But tell him while he wanders his starry sea
Remember me, remember me."