Remarks from SCL President, Dan Foliart’s induction of Mike Post as a SCL Ambassador, December 18, 2012 Los Angeles.
Mike Post’s name is synonymous with television music; memorable themes, effective underscore and shows that are going to stay on the air and then stand the test of time as they go into syndication. He has always kept his producers 100% satisfied, because he delivers time and time again with the most appropriate and well-crafted scores and themes.
I know that you’ve heard the song, I Love LA, but Mike has lived it. Growing up in the valley, he was part of the music and culture that made this town the land of dreams.
It wasn’t long before he had integrated himself into the LA music scene, working with groups such as Paul and Paula and the Markettes. That led to his participation on some of the iconic songs of the era, such as “I’ve Got You Babe,” for Sonny and Cher. He worked with them and played 12 String-guitar on all of their hit songs until new opportunities came along. He formed the First Edition including a young Kenny Rodgers and their first record I Just Dropped In (to See What Condition my Condition Was In) became a big hit. I first became acquainted with Mike Post’s music when he arranged and produced Mason William’s recording Phonograph Record. It yielded a Grammy for him for his arrangement to Classical Gas. Anyone who listens to that bridge knows that it is pure Mike Post.
Mike had a fortuitous opportunity fall into his lap when at 24 he was named the music director of the Andy Williams show. Not only did he get to hone his own arranging chops, but he was able to absorb the charts by so many of the greats of the time such as Henry Mancini and our Ambassador, Dave Grusin. This led to working with Mac Davis on his show and then things really took off for him.
In 1968 Mike had another fortunate thing happen. He met one of the true geniuses of television drama, Stephen Cannell, before he had even sold his first show. Mike brought his rock sensibilities into play and made the decision to team up with another more seasoned composer-arranger, Pete Carpenter, who remained his collaborator for the rest of Pete’s life. Their first output was a series for Steve Cannell called Toma, but their dominance in our profession really set in with his next creation, The Rockford Files with James Garner. The creative juxtaposition of the guitars and harmonica with the French Horns– this orchestration reflecting back on the great bridge from Classical Gas-– set them apart from the rest of the crowd doing television at the time. Collaborating with other creative minds such as Steven Bochco and Dick Wolf their string of hit shows reads like a dictionary of the years that followed: Law and Order, Magnum PI, NYPD Blue, The A-Team, Hardcastle & McCormick, Hunter, Doogie Howser MD, Quantum Leap to mention just a few. The theme songs from Rockford Files, The Greatest American Hero, Hill Street Blues, and L.A. Law all became chart-topping records. His Law and Order franchise continues to spawn new hit series in the form of Law and Order: Criminal Intent and Law and Order: Special Victims Unit.
Mike has won five Grammy awards and has been nominated numerous times for Emmys, having won in 1996 for his Main Title for Murder One. He continues to be an active mentor in the Pete Carpenter Fellowship program for BMI and in 1994 won their most prestigious Award named after Richard Kirk.