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Neal Hefti
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    (October 29, 1922-October 11, 2008)
    Born in Hastings, Nebraska
    Arranged the albums 'Atomic Basie,' 'Sinatra and Swingin' Brass' and 'Sinatra-Basie: A Historical Musical First'
    Recorded the albums 'The Band with Young Ideas,' 'Hefti, Hot and Hearty,' 'The Young at Bop,' 'Leisurely Loveliness,' 'Pardon My Doo-Wah,' 'Light and Right,' 'Definitely Hefti' and 'Hefti in Gotham City'
    Scored the films 'Sex and the Single Girl' (1964), 'How to Murder Your Wife' (1965), 'Lord Love a Duck' (1966), 'Oh Dad, Poor Dad, Mama's Hung You in the Closet and I'm Feelin So Sad' (1967), 'Barefoot in the Park' (1967) and 'The Odd Couple' (1968)
    Composed the theme song for Batman.
    He was fired from his first big band after only two gigs because he could not sight read music well enough.
    When he did not have the money to go to jazz clubs, he would sneak in through the kitchen.
    Despite having a long and distinguished career, he is known to the public mainly for 'na-na-na-na-na-BATMAN!'
    He called Batman 'the campiest thing I've ever seen.'
    Ironically, except for the theme song, the scores for most episodes of Batman were composed by Nelson Riddle.
    Miles Davis said, 'If it weren't for Neal Hefti, the Basie band wouldn't sound as good as it does.'
    In addition to Count Basie and Frank Sinatra, he worked with the bands of Woody Herman, Harry James, Charlie Spivak and Buddy Rich.
    He met his wife when they were both playing with Woody Herman's Thundering Herd.
    He said the Batman theme was difficult to write because he 'had to find something that worked on the lowest common denominator so it would appeal to kids, yet wouldn't sound stupid.'
    The Batman theme won the Grammy for Best Instrumental (1966).

Credit: C. Fishel

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