Ray Anthony: The Peter Gunn Theme


The Peter Gunn Theme


Ray Anthony


Instrumental Gems of the Fifties (Collectors' Choice CCM-080-2)

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Unidentified band featuring Ray Anthony (trumpet) and Plas Johnson (tenor sax)


Recorded: Hollywood, November 1958


Rating: 95/100 (learn more)

When Peter Gunn premiered on NBC-TV in 1958, it was a breath of smoky air. Suave leading man Craig Stevens breezed through the title role of a hip private eye with a sexy, jazz-singer girlfriend. Naturally this clicked with trumpeter Ray Anthony, who knew all about sexpots, having married Mamie Van Doren and costarred onscreen with Jayne Mansfield. Ray's quickie cover of "Peter Gunn" beat Henry Mancini's original to the punch. Oh, Hank gussied his up with French horns, but jazz criminologists weren't fooled. Ray's grittier Gunn had more pop. Maybe it came from hanging out with blonde bombshells. Gussied French horns were no match for Ray Anthony's gleaming trumpet.

Reviewer: Alan Kurtz

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