Vic Mizzy

Composer


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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About
About this interview

In his two-and-a-half hour Archive interview, Vic Mizzy (1916-2009) describes composing two of the most recognizable television theme songs of all time, for the series The Addams Family and Green Acres. Regarding The Addams Family, Mizzy talks about directing the main title sequence and writing motifs for the characters. He discusses meeting Charles Addams and working with the actors and producer David Levy. Regarding Green Acres, Mizzy talks about the concept for the opening titles and working with the lead actors and creator Jay Sommers. Mizzy also recalls his early years as a songwriter with Irving Taylor and later Mann Curtis. He speaks about and sings some of the lyrics for several of his hits including, "My Dreams Are Getting Better All the Time." Mizzy also talks about his other work in television on the series Shirley Temple's Storybook, Kentucky Jones, and The Pruitts of Southampton. Additionally, he discusses working on feature films such as the Don Knotts comedy vehicles of the '60s and '70s and his work with William Castle. B-roll consists of two photos (Mizzy at MGM and on the set of Green Acres) and a Charles Addams cartoon, as well as Mizzy in person playing his two well-known theme songs at his organ. Karen Herman conducted the interview in Bel-Air, CA on March 29, 2004.

"You better know when to stay out. That's the secret about good film scoring." 

Interviewee(s)
Highlights
Vic Mizzy plays the theme to Green Acres
Vic Mizzy on writing the theme song for The Addams Family and directing the main title
Vic Mizzy on scoring and writing the theme song to Green Acres
Vic Mizzy on scoring The Munsters' Revenge
Vic Mizzy on how he'd like to be remembered
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On his childhood and early interests; on his early talent with instruments and being a piano prodigy; on becoming a Boy Scout
On wanting to be a composer; on attending NYU and writing songs and scripts for the school's varsity shows; on winning an amateur hour on radio's The Fred Allen Show
On writing songs with Irving Taylor; on publishing songs; on serving in the Navy's welfare recreation office during World War II; on composing songs that became hits during the war; on staying state-side to play the organ rather than getting shipped overseas

Chapter 2

On playing the organ for the Navy during World War II and falling ill
On scoring The Richard Boone Anthology for Mark Goodson; on scoring Kentucky Jones and The Addams Family
On his early memories of television and participating in experimental television; on one of his first composing jobs: Moment of Fear; on scoring Klondike
On composing for Shirley Temple's Storybook
On writing the theme song for The Addams Family and directing the main title

Chapter 3

On the promotional reel for The Addams Family; on working with the cast; on Carolyn Jones' death; on creating motifs for the show
On a typical work week scoring The Addams Family; on memorable episodes; on The Addams Family reunion special
On the music at the end of an Addams Family episode; on The Addams Family movies; on the legacy of The Addams Family theme song
On scoring and writing the theme song to Green Acres

Chapter 4

On working with Eddie Albert on Green Acres; on instrumentation on the show and working with the creator, Jay Sommers
On a typical scoring session on Green Acres; on the musical legacy of the show; on how he figures out when to put music into a scene
On scoring the Movie-of-the-week The 13th Gate; on composing for Kentucky Jones, Pruitts of Southampton, Double Life of Henry Phyfe, Captain Nice, and The Don Rickles Show
On composing for feature films; on working with William Castle

Chapter 5

On scoring films and getting a song in MGM's "Easy To Love"
On scoring the television movies The Deadly Hunt, Terror on the 40th Floor, The Perils of Pauline, Hurricane, and The Million Dollar Rip-Off
On scoring the series Temperature Rising, Quincy, M.E., and The Munsters Revenge
On then-current projects - scoring "Spiderman"; on the role of music in a TV show; on how the business of film scoring has changed over the years; on advice to aspiring composers
On colleagues with whom he's worked over the years; on his style

Chapter 6

On his musical style and conducting style; on the highlight of his career and career regrets
On how he'd like to be remembered
B-roll of photos from his career; live performances of the themes to The Addams Family and Green Acres by Vic Mizzy
Shows

Addams Family, The

View Show Page
Vic Mizzy on composing for The Addams Family
Vic Mizzy on writing the theme song for The Addams Family and directing the main title
Vic Mizzy on the music for the promotional reel for The Addams Family
Vic Mizzy on working with the cast of The Addams Family
Vic Mizzy on working with Carolyn Jones on The Addams Family and attending her funeral
Vic Mizzy on meeting Charles Addams, creator of the original cartoon of The Addams Family
Vic Mizzy on creating motifs for The Addams Family
Vic Mizzy on creating musical themes for The Addams Family
Vic Mizzy on his use of the harpsichord for musical themes in The Addams Family
Vic Mizzy on a typical work week scoring The Addams Family
Vic Mizzy on memorable episodes of The Addams Family
Vic Mizzy on Charles Addams and the rights to the theme of The Addams Family
Vic Mizzy on The Addams Family reunion special
Vic Mizzy on the music at the end of an Addams Family episode
Vic Mizzy on The Addams Family movies
Vic Mizzy on the legacy of The Addams Family theme song and rights through ASCAP
Vic Mizzy on a cartoon of The Addams Family, by Charles Addams
Vic Mizzy plays the theme to The Addams Family

Captain Nice

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Vic Mizzy on composing the pilot and theme for Captain Nice

Don Rickles Show, The

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Vic Mizzy on scoring The Don Rickles Show and appearing on camera

Double Life of Henry Phyfe, The

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Vic Mizzy on composing for Double Life of Henry Phyfe

F Troop

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Vic Mizzy on passing on composing for F-Troop

Fred Allen Show, The

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Vic Mizzy on winning an amateur hour on the radio version of The Fred Allen Show

Green Acres

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Vic Mizzy on scoring and writing the theme song to Green Acres
Vic Mizzy on the instrumentation and knowledge about the show used to create the theme song to Green Acres
Vic Mizzy on working with Eddie Albert on Green Acres
Vic Mizzy on the instrumentation for Green Acres
Vic Mizzy on working with Jay Sommers, the creator on Green Acres, and the cancellation of the show
Vic Mizzy on working with Paul Henning on Green Acres
Vic Mizzy on a typical scoring session on Green Acres
Vic Mizzy on the musical legacy of Green Acres
Vic Mizzy on a photo of him teaching the actors the theme to Green Acres
Vic Mizzy plays the theme to Green Acres

Kentucky Jones

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Vic Mizzy on NBC executive Felix Jackson asking him to score Kentucky Jones
Vic Mizzy on composing the theme for Kentucky Jones
Vic Mizzy on working with a problematic director on Kentucky Jones

Munsters' Revenge, The

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Vic Mizzy on scoring The Munsters' Revenge

Petticoat Junction

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Vic Mizzy on writing cues for Petticoat Junction

Pruitts of Southampton, The

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Vic Mizzy on composing for Pruitts of Southampton
Vic Mizzy on composing the theme for Pruitts of Southampton

Quincy, M.E.

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Vic Mizzy on scoring Quincy, M.E.

Shirley Temple's Storybook

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Vic Mizzy on composing for Shirley Temple's Storybook

Temperatures Rising

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Vic Mizzy on scoring the series Temperature Rising
Topics

Advice

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Vic Mizzy on advice to an aspiring composer

Historic Events and Social Change

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Vic Mizzy on serving in the Navy's welfare recreation office during World War II - working on films and writing shows
Vic Mizzy on composing songs that became hits during World War II
Vic Mizzy on playing the organ for the Navy during World War II and falling ill

Hollywood Blacklist

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Vic Mizzy on not having any involvement with the Hollywood Blacklist

Industry Crossroads

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Vic Mizzy on not having any involvement with the Hollywood Blacklist

Pop Culture

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Vic Mizzy on writing the theme song for The Addams Family and directing the main title
Vic Mizzy on the legacy of The Addams Family theme song
Vic Mizzy on scoring and writing the theme song to Green Acres
Vic Mizzy on composing the theme for Kentucky Jones
Vic Mizzy on composing the theme for Pruitts of Southampton
Vic Mizzy on the role of music in a TV show
Vic Mizzy plays the theme to The Addams Family
Vic Mizzy plays the theme to Green Acres

TV Theme Songs

View Topic
Vic Mizzy on writing the theme song for The Addams Family and directing the main title
Vic Mizzy on the legacy of The Addams Family theme song
Vic Mizzy on scoring and writing the theme song to Green Acres
Vic Mizzy on composing the theme for Kentucky Jones
Vic Mizzy on composing the theme for Pruitts of Southampton
Vic Mizzy on the role of music in a TV show
Vic Mizzy plays the theme to The Addams Family
Vic Mizzy plays the theme to Green Acres

Television Industry

View Topic
Vic Mizzy on not having any involvement with the Hollywood Blacklist
Vic Mizzy on advice to an aspiring composer

War

View Topic
Vic Mizzy on serving in the Navy's welfare recreation office during World War II - working on films and writing shows
Vic Mizzy on composing songs that became hits during World War II
Vic Mizzy on playing the organ for the Navy during World War II and falling ill

World War II

View Topic
Vic Mizzy on serving in the Navy's welfare recreation office during World War II - working on films and writing shows
Vic Mizzy on composing songs that became hits during World War II
Vic Mizzy on playing the organ for the Navy during World War II and falling ill
Professions

Composer

View Profession
Vic Mizzy on wanting to be a composer when he was a kid
Vic Mizzy on how he figures out when to put music into a scene
Vic Mizzy on the role of music in a TV show
Vic Mizzy on how the business of film scoring has changed over the years
Vic Mizzy on how technology has affected scoring
Vic Mizzy on advice to an aspiring composer
Vic Mizzy on his style
Vic Mizzy on his musical style
Vic Mizzy on his conducting style

Music Professionals

View Profession
Vic Mizzy on wanting to be a composer when he was a kid
Vic Mizzy on how he figures out when to put music into a scene
Vic Mizzy on the role of music in a TV show
Vic Mizzy on how the business of film scoring has changed over the years
Vic Mizzy on how technology has affected scoring
Vic Mizzy on advice to an aspiring composer
Vic Mizzy on his style
Vic Mizzy on his musical style
Vic Mizzy on his conducting style
Genres

Comedy Series

View Genre
Vic Mizzy on writing the theme song for The Addams Family and directing the main title
Vic Mizzy on working with the cast, scoring and writing the theme song to The Addams Family
Vic Mizzy on scoring and writing the theme song to Green Acres
Vic Mizzy on composing for Green Acres
Vic Mizzy on composing for Pruitts of Southampton

Sci-Fi/Supernatural Series

View Genre
Vic Mizzy on writing the theme song for The Addams Family and directing the main title
Vic Mizzy on working with the cast, scoring and writing the theme song to The Addams Family
People

Charles Addams

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Vic Mizzy on meeting Charles Addams, creator of the original cartoon of The Addams Family
Vic Mizzy on a cartoon of The Addams Family, by Charles Addams

Eddie Albert

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Vic Mizzy on scoring and writing the theme song to Green Acres
Vic Mizzy on working with Eddie Albert on Green Acres

Fred Allen

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Vic Mizzy on working with Fred Allen

John Astin

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Vic Mizzy on working with John Astin on The Addams Family
Vic Mizzy on composing music for John Astin for the promotional reel for The Addams Family

Richard Bare

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Vic Mizzy on working with Richard Bare

William Castle

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Vic Mizzy on working with William Castle

Perry Como

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Vic Mizzy on working with Perry Como

Jackie Coogan

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Vic Mizzy on composing music for Jackie Coogan for the promotional reel for The Addams Family

Phyllis Diller

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Vic Mizzy on composing the theme for Pruitts of Southampton
Vic Mizzy on composing for the Phyllis Diller movie "Did You Hear The One About The Traveling Saleslady?"
Vic Mizzy on composing the theme for Pruitts of Southampton

Eva Gabor

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Vic Mizzy on scoring and writing the theme song to Green Acres

Mark Goodson

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Vic Mizzy on scoring The Richard Boone Anthology for Mark Goodson
Vic Mizzy on scoring the pilot Legal Eagle

Paul Henning

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Vic Mizzy on working with Paul Henning on Green Acres

Felix Jackson

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Vic Mizzy on NBC executive Felix Jackson asking him to score Kentucky Jones

Carolyn Jones

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Vic Mizzy on working with Carolyn Jones on The Addams Family and attending her funeral
Vic Mizzy on composing music for Carolyn Jones for the promotional reel for The Addams Family

Dave Kahn

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Vic Mizzy on working with Dave Kahn

Don Knotts

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Vic Mizzy on working with and composing for Don Knotts

Andre Kostelanetz

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Vic Mizzy on working with Andre Kostelanetz

Gypsy Rose Lee

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Vic Mizzy on working with Gypsy Rose Lee on Pruitts of Southampton

David Levy

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Vic Mizzy on scoring The Richard Boone Anthology for Mark Goodson
Vic Mizzy on composing for The Addams Family
Vic Mizzy on writing the theme song for The Addams Family and directing the main title
Vic Mizzy on David Levy casting The Addams Family and other shows

Lisa Loring

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Vic Mizzy on working with child actor Lisa Loring, "Wednesday Addams" on The Addams Family

Nat Perrin

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Vic Mizzy on working with Nat Perrin

Frank Sinatra

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Vic Mizzy on working with Frank Sinatra

Jay Sommers

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Vic Mizzy on scoring and writing the theme song to Green Acres
Vic Mizzy on working with Jay Sommers, the creator on Green Acres
Vic Mizzy on Jay Sommers wanting lots of interstitial music on Green Acres

Shirley Temple

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Vic Mizzy on composing for Shirley Temple's Storybook and composing "The Enchanted Melody"

Lana Turner

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Vic Mizzy on dancing with Lana Turner at a barbeque hosted by Carolyn Jones

Frederic Ziv

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Vic Mizzy on scoring Ziv's Klondike

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