Count Basie: The M Squad Theme


The M Squad Theme


Count Basie Orchestra


The Complete Roulette Studio Recordings of Count Basie and His Orchestra (Mosaic MD10-149)

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16-piece band featuring Count Basie (piano), Benny Powell (trombone), Frank Wess (flute), Sonny Payne (drums)


Composed by Count Basie. Arranged by Frank Foster


Recorded: New York, September 9, 1958


Rating: 95/100 (learn more)

Count Basie, photo by Herb Snitzer

Pound for pound, the toughest 1950s TV cop was Lt. Frank Ballinger of Chicago PD's M Squad. No, the M didn't stand for Lee Marvin, who played Ballinger. M stood for murder. During its first season the show's theme was nondescript. Then the producers sprang for 2 minutes of mayhem by Count Basie and his mob of heavies blasting away like the St. Valentine's Day Massacre, aided and abetted on the soundtrack by squealing tires and gunfire. Go ahead, listen if you have the guts. Just don't go runnin' your mouth when the coppers pump you. You never heard of me. Got it?

Reviewer: Alan Kurtz

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