R.I.P. Bob Cobert, who composed the cool, eerie music of Dark Shadows

His 'Dark Shadows' soundtrack made history — and charted in the Top 20.

Image: The Everett Collection

A good deal of Dark Shadows' ambiance can be credited to Bob Cobert. The composer imbued the gothic soap opera with music that both evoked classic horror scores and looked to the future with its spacey sounds. No wonder that ABC released an official soundtrack album for the show, under the weighty title of The Original Music From Dark Shadows with The Robert Cobert Orchestra Featuring Jonathan (Barnabas) Frid and David (Quentin) Selby.

The record was the first soundtrack to a daytime soap opera ever released. It also rocketed into the Top 20 on the Billboard album chart in 1969. Dark Shadows was that popular. The music was that cool.

In fact, the soap opera itself helped drive album sales by creating a sort of proto-music video. In one episode, Charity Trask and Quentin Collins lustfully make faces as the entirety of "Shadows of the Night (Quentin’s Theme)" plays. The Charles Randolph Grean Sounde then covered an instrumental version of "Quentin's Theme" — and that became a hit Billboard single on both the pop and easy-listening charts.

Cobert was so masterful at scoring vampire television that he was later commissioned to compose the score to the 1972 TV movie The Night Stalker, which later spawned the cult series Kolchak: The Night Stalker.

Cobert excelled in the realm of game shows, too. He wrote the theme songs to Password, Blockbusters and The $25,000 Pyramid.

The composer died on February 19, as reported by Variety. He was 95.

Listen to the Dark Shadows theme and "Quentin's Theme" below.

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TVChel 8 days ago
I am a serious Dark Shadows fan! I once attended one of their Fan conventions and ten thousand fans were there! Got to meet David Selby who played Quentin
weseld1 1 month ago
And Dark Shadows was one of the inspirations for Blackmoor, the ancestor of Dungeons and Dragons, so the legacy lives on...
merrileem 1 month ago
I was in high school with open campus. I used to schedule study hall for the last period of the day just so ai could hurry home and see Dark Shadows. Yeah, I was in love with Barnabus!
MrsPhilHarris 1 month ago
Loved that show. I would love to see it again.
Jim MrsPhilHarris 1 month ago
The complete series is available for free as a Prime member with Amazon. I've been enjoying watching it again for over a year and half now. I still have about 300 episodes left.
MrsPhilHarris Jim 1 month ago
Good to know.
Jeremy 1 month ago
I was really, really hoping he'd hang in there, meaning that he'd live to be 100! He didn't make it!
ndebrabant 1 month ago
I have that album. Bought it in 1969
harlow1313 1 month ago
The Dark Shadows theme certainly infected me. When I hear it today, It brings back the weird feeling the show gave me when I was a ten year old boy. Music creates bookmarks in time.
walligans 1 month ago
Boy, do I miss that show!! A little corny today, but fun!!
BrittReid 1 month ago
Eerie music for sure. Great sound. Dan Curtis made Dark Shadows and The Night Stalker. Bob was the exact composer for both. RIP.
RobCertSDSCascap 1 month ago
His stirring and ethereal music will live on!
Thanks, Bob!
RIP
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