Earle Hagen


Pictured are Earle Hagen and SCL President Dan Foliart at the 2003 SCL Holiday Dinner.

The name Earle Hagen has been synonymous with successful television shows since he first began composing for them. His list of credits are a virtual “best of” the shows of his generation. Some of these include The Andy Griffith Show with its fabulous whistled theme, The Dick Van Dyke Show with Dick’s trip over the couch accented with a “Hagen” hit, Make Room for Daddy, Gomer Pyle, The Mod Squad and The Dukes of Hazzard, to mention only a few.

One of Earle’s wonderful qualities is his range and diversity, perhaps best exemplified in the incredible scores to I Spy, which tested his versatility, incorporating everything from Japanese tonalism to Middle Eastern exotic. His longevity in the business speaks not only to his creativity, but also to his ultimate professionalism. His book Scoring for Films and its companion Advanced Technique for Film Scoring have long been considered the industry standard in their field. His latest book, with the self-effacing title, Memoirs of a Famous Composer…Nobody Ever Heard Of, was recently released.

Perhaps one of his most famous compositions is “Harlem Nocturne” written for Jack Dumont of Ray Noble’s band. In the 80’s it became the theme song for the Mike Hammer series, and it was played recently as Bill Clinton came out to be interviewed by Jay Leno.

In the early years of his career Earle had the opportunity to arrange for Frank Sinatra and, with one or two exceptions, did every arrangement that Marilyn Monroe sang or danced to during her years at Fox.

Earle has received numerous awards, including the BMI President Award, the Richard Kirk Award as well as the Irwin Kostal Award from ASMAC.

by Dan Foliart, excerpted from The SCORE (Spring 2004)