I get to do a lot of fun things in my job, but the best part is always getting to listen to the music I love, performed live by top musicians in beautiful settings. On Oct. 13, the New West Symphony performed an evening of music by the great Henry Mancini, with guest vocalists Monica Mancini (the composer’s daughter) and Joshua Henry at the Soraya in Northridge, Calif. I was asked to pen the program notes for the concert, which included such classics as “Moon River,” “Days of Wine and Roses,” The Pink Panther and such TV themes as Peter Gunn and The Thorn Birds.
For the Steve Martin remake of The Pink Panther, composer Christophe Beck not only embraced the original Henry Mancini theme, he even sought out the original saxophone player, Plas Johnson, to play the solo. I talked to them, and to the composer’s daughter Monica Mancini, for this fun story about that classic tune.