The baffling reason why they almost changed the Perry Mason theme song
Just imagine if the popular theme had that Bernard Herrmann Psycho vibe.
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Today, the theme song from Perry Mason is as iconic as its Emmy-winning star Raymond Burr; however, original composer Fred Steiner says its slinky feel didn't have a lasting appeal for everybody involved with managing the hit show. After Steiner had reworked the theme to fit different title sequences several times, the story goes that someone said they were tired of the theme. Baffling, we know, considering how timeless it is now. It's instantly recognizable, whether it's used for comic relief on later shows like Fresh Prince of Bel-Air or as a hook to add dramatic charge in major films like Kill Bill.
To appease that one bored person's opinion, conductor Lud Gluskin pulled in a major composer to give it a refresh: Bernard Herrmann, likely most famous today for his creepy Psycho theme song.
In an interview with the Archive of American Television from 2012, Steiner says that Herrmann told him his response was simply no, telling Steiner he said, "What do you want me to write a theme for? Steiner's is perfectly good." Generations of fans agree.