Mike Post

Composer


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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About
About this interview

In his nearly three-hour Archive interview, Mike Post talks about his early interest in music and his formative years as a studio musician. He recalls his early successes as a music producer, including producing the first album for First Edition, the band that made Kenny Rogers famous and producing the number one hit "Classical Gas". He discusses his first big break in television as the musical director of the newly revamped The Andy Williams Show (1969-71), making him the youngest person to hold that title at the time. He recounts his longtime partnership with Pete Carpenter and their collaborative efforts on many of the major dramatic shows of the 1970s and '80s. He speaks about his chance meeting with Stephen J. Cannell that led to his extensive work with Cannell, Dick Wolf and Steven Bochco. Post describes the work of a television composer as someone who layers their art on another's in a true spirit of collaboration. He outlines his compositions and memorable theme songs for such series as T he Rockford Files, Hill Street Blues, The Greatest American Hero, L.A. Law, Cop Rock (theme by Randy Newman) and Law & Order. Stephen J. Abramson conducted the interview on May 25, 2005 in Burbank, California.

"Look at the picture. A lot of guys make the mistake of going, 'This is what I feel.' Look at the picture. Your art on somebody else's art.  They already did their art. Look at the picture. By the way, did I say look at the picture?"

Highlights
Mike Post on writing the theme song to Magnum, P.I.
00:32
Mike Post on writing the theme song to L.A. Law
01:39
Mike Post on writing the theme song to The Greatest American Hero
01:01
Mike Post on meeting Stephen J. Cannell
06:45
Mike Post on writing the theme song to Doogie Howser, M.D.
01:19
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On his early life and influences; on early theme songs that he liked
On playing for Sonny and Cher; on his early session work; on producing the band First Edition with Kenny Rogers

Chapter 2

On producing and winning a Grammy for the song "Classical Gas"; on going to work for The Andy Williams Show; on working with Ray Charles
On his two years as a conductor on The Andy Williams Show; on his music partner Pete Carpenter

Chapter 3

On his writing process with partner Pete Carpenter; on meeting Stephen J. Cannell; on writing the theme song for Toma
On writing the theme song to The Rockford Files; on his friendships with Stephen J. Cannell, Steven Bochco, and Dick Wolf; on writing the theme songs for Richie Brockelman, Private Eye and Baa Baa Blacksheep

Chapter 4

On early career encouragement; on writing the theme songs to The White Shadow, Magnum, P.I., and Hill Street Blues; on public reaction to his work
On then-current trends in television scoring; on music he listens to and scoring feature films; on writing the theme songs to The A-Team and L.A. Law

Chapter 5

On writing the theme for L.A. Law; on what he's proudest of; on writing music for Quantum Leap, Doogie Howser, M.D., and Cop Rock
On writing the theme for and scoring Law & Order and its spin-offs; on writing the theme for NYPD Blue

Chapter 6

On composing various themes; on then-current (2005) projects
On the business of composing for television; on career highlights and the Pete Carpenter Memorial Fund; on advice to aspiring composers and how he'd like to be remembered
Shows

A-Team, The

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Mike Post on writing the theme song to The A-Team
00:34

Andy Williams Show, The

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Mike Post on his entry into television via The Andy Williams Show
01:49
Mike Post on working with his hero, Ray Charles, on conducting The Andy Williams Show  and how he came to pre-record the music for the show
06:05
Mike Post on his two seasons conducting the orchestra on The Andy Williams Show
03:53
Mike Post on what he learned working with various musical guests on The Andy Williams Show
02:14

Baa-Baa Black Sheep

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Mike Post on writing the theme song for Baa-Baa Black Sheep
00:48

Cop Rock

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Mike Post on composing for Cop Rock
05:35

Doogie Howser, M.D.

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Mike Post on writing the theme song to Doogie Howser, M.D.
01:19

Grammys, The

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Mike Post on winning a Grammy for "Classical Gas" and coming of age in Los Angeles
04:39

Greatest American Hero, The

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Mike Post on writing the theme song to The Greatest American Hero
01:01

Hill Street Blues

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Mike Post on working on Hill Street Blues with writer/producer Steven Bochco
03:48

L. A. Law

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Mike Post on writing the theme song to L.A. Law
01:39
Mike Post on writing the theme music for L.A. Law
01:09
Mike Post on scoring L.A. Law
02:02

Lassie

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Mike Post on the theme to Lassie
01:26

Law & Order

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Mike Post on writing the theme for and scoring Law & Order
05:11

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit

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Mike Post on writing the theme for and scoring the Law & Order spin-offs
01:11

Magnum, P. I.

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Mike Post on writing the theme song to Magnum, P.I.
00:32

NYPD Blue

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Mike Post on writing the theme for NYPD Blue
05:56

Quantum Leap

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Mike Post on writing the theme song to Quantum Leap
00:31

Richie Brockelman, Private Eye

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Mike Post on writing the theme song for Richie Brockelman, Private Eye
01:29

Rockford Files, The

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Mike Post on writing the theme music for The Rockford Files
03:22
Mike Post on scoring The Rockford Files
00:38

Toma

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Mike Post on writing the theme song for Toma
01:14

White Shadow, The

View Show Page
Mike Post on writing the theme song to The White Shadow
00:58
Topics

Pop Culture

View Topic
Mike Post on the theme to Lassie
01:26
Mike Post on writing the theme music for The Rockford Files
05:08
Mike Post on writing the theme song for Richie Brockelman, Private Eye
01:29
Mike Post on writing the theme song for Baa-Baa Black Sheep
00:58
Mike Post on writing the theme song for Toma
01:14
Mike Post on writing the theme song to The White Shadow
00:58
Mike Post on writing the theme song to Magnum, P.I.
00:32
Mike Post on working on Hill Street Blues  with writer/producer Steven Bochco
03:48
Mike Post on writing the theme song to The Greatest American Hero
01:01
Mike Post on writing the theme song to The A-Team
00:34
Mike Post on writing the theme song to L.A. Law
01:39
Mike Post on writing the theme music for L.A. Law
01:09
Mike Post on writing the theme song to Quantum Leap
00:31
Mike Post on writing the theme song to Doogie Howser, M.D.
01:19
Mike Post on composing for Cop Rock
05:35
Mike Post on writing the theme for and scoring Law & Order
06:22
Mike Post on writing the theme for and scoring NYPD Blue
05:12

TV Theme Songs

View Topic
Mike Post on the theme to Lassie
01:26
Mike Post on writing the theme music for The Rockford Files
05:08
Mike Post on writing the theme song for Richie Brockelman, Private Eye
01:29
Mike Post on writing the theme song for Baa-Baa Black Sheep
00:58
Mike Post on writing the theme song for Toma
01:14
Mike Post on writing the theme song to The White Shadow
00:58
Mike Post on writing the theme song to Magnum, P.I.
00:32
Mike Post on working on Hill Street Blues  with writer/producer Steven Bochco
03:48
Mike Post on writing the theme song to The Greatest American Hero
01:01
Mike Post on writing the theme song to The A-Team
00:34
Mike Post on writing the theme song to L.A. Law
01:39
Mike Post on writing the theme music for L.A. Law
01:09
Mike Post on writing the theme song to Quantum Leap
00:31
Mike Post on writing the theme song to Doogie Howser, M.D.
01:19
Mike Post on composing for Cop Rock
05:35
Mike Post on writing the theme for and scoring Law & Order
06:22
Mike Post on writing the theme for and scoring NYPD Blue
05:12

Television Industry

View Topic
Mike Post on how the business of television scoring has changed since the '70s
03:43
Professions

Composer

View Profession
Mike Post on his process of writing musical themes
03:27
Mike Post on how he got hired (by Stephen J. Cannell) and his work ethic
01:47
Mike Post on coming up with the theme music for The Rockford Files, using a synthesizer, being a "behind-the-scenes" guy
05:08
Mike Post on the process of scoring a television episode
02:42
Mike Post on what he's proudest of in his music career
04:03
Mike Post on how the business of television scoring has changed since the '70s
03:43
Mike Post on advice to aspiring television or film composers and how he'd like to be remembered
01:52

Music Professionals

View Profession
Mike Post on the process of scoring a television episode
02:42
Mike Post on what he's proudest of in his music career
04:03
Mike Post on how the business of television scoring has changed since the '70s
03:43
Mike Post on advice to aspiring television or film composers and how he'd like to be remembered
01:52
Genres

Music Shows & Variety Shows/Specials

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Mike Post on what he learned working with various musical guests on The Andy Williams Show
02:14
People

Steven Bochco

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Mike Post on his friendships with Stephen J. Cannell, Steven Bochco, and Dick Wolf
04:52
Mike Post on writing the theme song for Richie Brockelman, Private Eye
01:29
Mike Post on working on Hill Street Blues with writer/producer Steven Bochco
03:48
Mike Post on composing for Cop Rock
05:35
Mike Post on writing the theme for and scoring NYPD Blue
05:12
Mike Post on then-current (2005) projects and how he works with Stephen J. Canell, Steven Bochco, and Dick Wolf
04:26

Sonny Bono

View Person Page
Mike Post on playing for Sonny and Cher
01:51

Stephen J. Cannell

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Mike Post on meeting Stephen J. Cannell
06:45
Mike Post on the talent of Stephen J. Cannell
03:52
Mike Post on writing the theme music for The Rockford Files
05:08
Mike Post on his friendships with Stephen J. Cannell, Steven Bochco, and Dick Wolf
04:52
Mike Post on then-current (2005) projects and how he works with Stephen J. Canell, Steven Bochco, and Dick Wolf
04:26

Ray Charles

View Person Page
Mike Post on working with his hero, Ray Charles, on The Andy Williams Show  and how he came to pre-record the music for the show
06:05

Cher

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Mike Post on playing for Sonny and Cher
01:51

Henry Mancini

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Mike Post on early encouragement from Henry Mancini 
02:37

Randy Newman

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Mike Post on composing for Cop Rock
05:35

Kenny Rogers

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Mike Post on producing the band First Edition 
06:20

Tom Smothers

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Mike Post on producing the hit song "Classical Gas" for Mason Williams
04:06

Andy Williams

View Interview Page
Mike Post on his entry into television via conducting for The Andy Williams Show 
01:49

Dick Wolf

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Mike Post on his friendships with Stephen J. Cannell, Steven Bochco, and Dick Wolf
04:52
Mike Post on writing the theme for and scoring Law & Order
05:11
Mike Post on then-current (2005) projects and how he works with Stephen J. Canell, Steven Bochco, and Dick Wolf
04:26

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