[Dixielandjazz] Dragnet theme

Bob Romans cellblk7 at attbi.com
Mon Apr 14 22:05:11 PDT 2003

Surprise! I just checked, and the Dragnet Theme is even in a set of books I
have, "The Hungry Five On Broadway", Walter Schumann, composer, 1953 is when
it was published. I remember playing it in the late '50's in a German Band!
Dum, De Dum Dum!
Bob Romans
-----Original Message-----
From: Bill Haesler <bhaesler at nsw.bigpond.net.au>
To: JackleeT at aol.com <JackleeT at aol.com>
Cc: dixieland jazz mail list <dixielandjazz at ml.islandnet.com>
Date: Monday, April 14, 2003 8:42 PM
Subject: [Dixielandjazz] Re: Dragnet theme (was Dancers In Love???)

Dear Jack,
Regarding: .......the composer of the Dragnet theme was Walter Schumann, not
Many thanks for the correction.
I should not have believed MY sources (which I seem to have misread) without
Using Google, to confirm your advice (sorry), I came across the following
interesting facts regarding the Dragnet theme.
OKOM content?
Don't write a smash hit tune!
Very kind regards

Open Theme: "Dragnet Main Title", aka: "Danger Ahead"
[the Dragnet Main Title was a very familiar motif, which became very well
A recording of the Main Title open and closing credits march was made by Ray
Anthony with a "jazzed-up" (or "jitterbug") mid-section. Arranger Dick
is believed to have written this historic arrangement for the Anthony band,
which was one of the first times a TV theme had success in the pop music
After Anthony's recording rose high on the Billboard sales chart (Billboard
position #2), a similarity was noticed between the short "dum-de-dum-dum"
Dragnet opening, and a cue written by veteran film composer Miklos Rozsa, in
score for the 1946 film "The Killers".
According to the Internet Movie Database, the motif in question "can be
prominently in the restaurant shootout scene toward the end of the film."
Although the Universal picture had been scored six years earlier, and
had aired on radio since 1947 with no complaints, after the Dragnet Theme
achieved success on the record charts, the publisher who brought
Music--contended that composer Walter Schumann had access to "The Killers",
since he was on the same film lot scoring Abbott and Costello pictures.
It is not clear how a person busy scoring comedy pictures would have time or
inclination to go around the studio, listening to other cues.
But one of the bases for plagiarism is having the opportunity to hear it.
Schumann was somewhere on the studio lot, that was considered enough
for legal purposes.
So Robbins Music sued Schumann for plagiarism. Although the conscious intent
copy was doubtful, a jury was convinced by the publisher's lawyers, and so
awarded a judgement to Robbins Music. As part of the settlement, Miklos
name was added to Dragnet cue sheets, under the cue title "Danger Ahead" --
name used in Rozsa's score for "The Killers". Walter Schumann, in frail
did not live much longer after that.
According to contributor T. Perrone, the arranger of the famous1953 hit
recorded by Ray Anthony's band with it's jitterbug-style middle section, was
Dick Reynolds -- whose version was selected over arrangements by two others
had been commissioned by Ray Anthony to adapt and expand the famous TV Theme
into a popular arrangement which was the length of a record side (approx. 2
- 3 min.)]

Composers: Miklos Rozsa (ASCAP), and Walter Schumann (ASCAP)
Original Publisher [of "Dragnet Original Music":]
Schumann Music Company (ASCAP), sole selling agent: Alamo Music Co.,
administered by: Chappell & Co. of New York, NY

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