“Sewer Lady”: Musically Unsanitary

Neil Hefti’s soundtrack to the Batman TV series is top-flight 60s instrumental music – playful and imaginatively-produced.  “Sewer Lady,” from the 1966 album, Batman Theme and 11 Hefti Bat Songs, was inexplicably overlooked by RCA for single release:

RCA Victor would release the “Batman Theme” 45 in late 1965 in the US and in Europe the following year – here’s the 45 picture sleeve for the Netherlands market:

Batman 45 - Netherlands1966 would see the release of Dickie Goodman’s affectionate sample-laden tribute, “Batman and His Grandmother” (who, at story’s end, gets drafted – reverse spoiler alert).

RCA would later issue “Batman Theme” as a single in the UK and Australia with “Holy Diploma, Batman – Straight A’s!” as the B-side in 1988.

“Batman Theme”: Mod + Brass

Les & Larry Elgart get the mod brass thing happening in their take on the Neil Hefti classic:

Batman Theme – Les & Larry Elgart

[Pssst:  Click the triangle to play “Batman Theme” as interpreted by The Brothers Elgart.]

“Batman Theme” closes side one of 1966 Columbia album, Sound of the Times.

Elgart LP

Album review from the July 9, 1966 edition of Billboard:

“Les & Larry Elgart are right in the groove with some swinging contemporary dance music.  There’s “Michelle,” “Taste of Honey,” “Batman’s Theme” and more in the go-go vein.  It’s fine for the youngsters, and the Elgart name will help with the adults who want to cavort like youngsters.”

Lee Hazlewood: Lesser-Known Legend of Surf & Twang Guitar

Even if only for his pioneering production work with one of my guitar heroes, Duane Eddy (e.g., using a gigantic grain tank as an echo chamber), let it be known that Hazlewood, while himself not a hotshot guitarist, co-wrote some of Eddy’s best tunes (including half of his excellent 1965 album, Duane-a-Go-Go), as well as penned a fair number of surf classics for other artists:  “Baja“; “Movin'” and “Batman” for The Astronauts, plus all of Al Casey’s best instrumentals – “Surfs You Right”; “The Hearse“; “Surfin’ Hootenanny”; and “Guitars, Guitars, Guitars.”

Is Hazlewood’s 1961 instrumental – five years before Neil Hefti’s “Batman Theme” – the first musical tribute to the Caped Crusader?

Clink on link to hear Lee Hazlewood’s “Batman” as interpreted by The Astronauts

Hazlewood