Album Cover Art Wednesday: The Horn Meets The Hornet

On a break from grubbing for beads in the streets. I saw a local newscaster (I don’t remember who) discussing Super Bowl half-time shows and how at one early Super Bowl the show consisted of a “trumpet player.” That was true, but it was New Orleans’ own Al Hirt who was a much-loved figure in this city until his death in 1999. And Hirt had a popular nightclub in the Quarter from 1962-1983, so the world could come to him. Things like this make me pull out what little hair I have left: use the Google and learn something instead of being ignorant. Ignorance is not bliss and we’re awash in newbie ignorance in this town.

Now that I’ve ranted, let’s move on to this rather peculiar 1966 LP. It features Al on the cover with Van Williams, teevee’s Green Hornet. Bruce (Kato) Lee is nowhere to be seen. Hirt was selected by composer/arranger Billy May (a past ACAW honoree) to record the theme song for the Green Hornet.  The album consists of Al Hirt doing space-age jazz versions of that and some other popular teevee theme songs.

The Horn Meets The Hornet

Since Bruce Lee didn’t make the LP cover, heeeere’s Kato:


Finally, since we’re buzzing about The Horn Meets The Hornet, here’s the entire album:

2 thoughts on “Album Cover Art Wednesday: The Horn Meets The Hornet

  1. wow, Al looks pretty svelte on that cover.

    I’m tempted to start collecting the TV theme albums. my first favorite record was the Ventures covering Batman and other toob toons.

  2. When that horrible Green Hornet movie came out a year or two ago, SyFy re-ran the Green Hornet series in back-to-back-to-back episodes. As a good boob-tube child of the 60s, I faithfully watched the original broadcasts, but I’d forgotten quite a bit.

    The series was a spin-off of the Batman TV series, which reveled in high camp. In contrast, The Green Hornet was supposed to be a little more serious. The premise was interesting: The Hornet’s alter ego was crusading newspaper publisher Britt Reed. He had an investigative reporter on his staff who was forever getting close to figuring out who the Hornet was. Reed’s executive assistant knew his secret identity, as did the District Attorney.

    A further complication was that the police thought the Hornet was an outlaw (in spite of his assistance in solving crimes and bringing criminals to justice). So, while the police on one hand were always closing in on one side, Reed’s own employee was closing in on the other. The executive assistant and the district attorney served as foils to keep the reporter and the police at bay.

    The show itself had a surfeit of riches to exploit: The jazzy theme and background music served up by Al Hirt, the martial arts prowess of Bruce Lee, and the fact that the villains weren’t the cartoon villains of Batman, but regular persons. The half hour format required a lot of skulking around the docks or some abandoned warehouse (so as to have some jazzy background music), and Bruce Lee executing roundhouse kicks and karate blows to random bad guys. In addition, the Hornet’s rolling arsenal, the sleek Black Beauty car had to figure in every now and then. There was just too much to do in the half hour format, so every hunch had to pay off, every clue had to lead to the bad guy. There was no time for dead ends.

    It might have worked better as a full hour program, a drama with some light, campy grace notes in homage to its predecessor, and a slightly slower pace with red herrings and false leads. As it was, the show failed to click with the audience and lasted only one season, but there were some pretty good individual episodes.

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