I’m talking 1963, not the new one with Beyonce.
The Pink Panther is a series of comedy films featuring the bungling French police detective Jacques Clouseau that began in 1963 with the release ofthe film of the same name. The role was originated by, and is most closely associated with, Peter Sellers. Most of the films were directed and co-written by Blake Edwards, with notable theme music composed by Henry Mancini.
Mancini won a record number of Grammy Awards (20), including a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award posthumously in 1995.
In 1952, Mancini joined the Universal Pictures music department. During the next six years, he contributed music to over 100 movies, most notablyThe Creature from the Black Lagoon, It Came from Outer Space, Tarantula, This Island Earth, The Glenn Miller Story (for which he received his first Academy Award nomination), The Benny Goodman Story and Orson Welles’ Touch of Evil. Mancini left Universal-International to work as an independent composer/arranger in 1958. Soon after, he scored the television series Peter Gunn for writer/producer Blake Edwards, the genesis of a relationship which lasted over 35 years and produced nearly 30 films. Together with Alex North, Elmer Bernstein, Leith Stevens and Johnny Mandel, Henry Mancini was one of the pioneers who introduced jazz music into the late romantic orchestral film and TV scores prevalent at the time.
- A variation of “The Pink Panther Theme” performed by Hollywood Studio Orchestra was used in the film Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle as the background music at a strip club.
- From 1976 until 1993, it was used in the pricing game “Safe Crackers” on the U.S. game show The Price Is Right. The theme was played as the doors opened to reveal the game set, and again as “think music” while the contestant played the game.
- In the 5th season of Moonlighting it is used in the episode “Shirts and Skins.”
The retro cover art uses the image of the cartoon Pink Panther and incorporates mod elements such as the star above the I; this sets the retro-jazz tone for the music on the album.