Dave Kahn

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Television composer and arranger Dave Kahn was born October 14, 1910, in Duluth, MN. Upon relocating to Hollywood, he got his start scoring B-films like The Long Night and The Golden Mistress for small…
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Television composer and arranger Dave Kahn was born October 14, 1910, in Duluth, MN. Upon relocating to Hollywood, he got his start scoring B-films like The Long Night and The Golden Mistress for small independent studios before ghosting for composer/publisher Raoul Kraushaar's Omar Music Service, which provided incidental music to untold numbers of series during the fledgling years of television. Although his compositions were often credited to Kraushaar or the pseudonymous "Melvyn Leonard," Kahn nevertheless earned a reputation as a versatile and often inspired writer, and in 1952 he was appointed to work on the smash Hopalong Cassidy. Stints with Alfred Hitchcock Presents (for which he arranged Charles Gounod's theme song "Funeral March of a Marionette") and General Electric Theater followed, and in 1957 he was assigned to write the theme for a new family sitcom titled Leave It to Beaver, and even though he was denied access to the pilot episode, the finished result -- dubbed "The Toy Parade" -- remains a television classic; Kahn's light, lively theme remains the quintessence of suburban bliss, capturing childhood idylls with uncommon accuracy. In 1959 RCA Victor issued an LP compiling Kahn's work for the detective thriller Mickey Spillane's Mike Hammer. A jazz-noir version arranged by Skip Martin later followed. During the 1960s Kahn tenured as music supervisor for a series of hit comedies including Petticoat Junction, The Addams Family, and the immortal Green Acres. He later returned to feature film, serving as music editor on pictures including the 1978 blockbuster National Lampoon's Animal House. After returning to his greatest success via the 1983 reunion movie Still the Beaver, Kahn entered retirement.