Posts Tagged ‘Playboy After Dark’

Cy Coleman – Playboy’s Theme

(click song title above to listen)

The soundtrack to ’50s/’60s swingin’ bachelor pad cool…

In the late 1950s, Cy Coleman opened the Playroom, his own nightclub located in midtown NYC. The Playroom quickly became a hangout for the New York celebrity crowd (gents like William Holden and Jackie Gleason were regulars) and the Broadway elite. A frequent patron was none other than Hugh Hefner, who quickly struck up a friendship with Coleman, a bond that would last until Cy’s passing in 2004. At the time, Hef was about to debut his now-iconic television show, Playboy After Dark, and tapped Cy to write the theme, which would go on to become one of the generation’s defining instrumentals and Cy’s biggest hit as a performer. Cy frequently appeared on the program over the years — here’s Cy’s first appearance from October 1959, performing “Witchcraft” (a Top 10 hit for Sinatra).

Put on your smoking jacket and slippers, mix yourself a dry martini, and crank the hi-fi for a little “Playboy’s Theme.”

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Contact & Licensing info:

“Playboy’s Theme” was written by Cy Coleman. Published by Notable Music Co. (ASCAP). Contact: Damon Booth / Administered by Downtown Music Publishing. Contact: Sean McGraw / Master controlled by Universal Music Group.

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Nelson Riddle – Playboy’s Theme

(click song title above to listen)

LENNY BRUCE: “This is a kind of a…an interesting party. You know, I first figured it would be like, sort of a TV typical fake party. But it’s got a good party feeling to it, with some pretty chicks, which is a good composite.”

HUGH HEFNER: “Well, yes…the girls, and we serve real liquor. It does the trick!”

LB: “That’s what grooved me about the show. That it’s an honest…it’s actually a party. So whatever happens at a party, within, you know, limitations…”

HH: “Well, we’re trying to build the personality of the show out of the magazine itself and make the thing sort of a sophisticated weekly get-together of the people that we dig and the people who dig us. Just have ourselves a kind of late night ball”.

It was this week in 1959 that Playboy founder/editor/publisher Hugh Hefner would broadcast his first episode of the new variety television talk show, Playboy’s Penthouse. Hefner would put his personal touch on the show throughout, cruising Lake Shore Drive, party-bound, in his own Mercedes 300SL to the opening credits and an original theme song which was composed and recorded by Cy Coleman two weeks before the premiere episode. The show was filmed in downtown Chicago’s WBKB-TV studios (where decades later Oprah Winfrey began her show) and ran in syndication from 1959-1961 for 44 episodes.

The debut party included Lenny Bruce, Nat King Cole, Ella Fitzgerald, and Cy Coleman who would unveil his newest tune, “The Best is Yet to Come”, which Sinatra would soon record. It was a blatantly color-blind, happy, gutsy, unapologetic swirl of vice on-the-set with some of the greatest recording artists, comics, actors, authors, bunnies, & various other late-night dignitaries canoodling amid the smoke, the booze, and the wall-to-wall cocktail piano.

This week we feature the great arranger Nelson Riddle‘s version of the theme from his 1962 lp, Love Is A Game of Poker. If you don’t swing, please don’t ring!

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Contact & Licensing info:
Original Master controlled by Capitol Records. “Playboy’s Theme” written by Cy Coleman, Published by Notable Music Co. Inc. (ASCAP). Contact: Damon Booth Administered by Downtown Music Publishing / contact:

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The Bonebrake Syncopators feat. DJ Bonebrake – Playboy’s Theme

in 1959 Hugh Hefner made his first foray into television, debuting “Playboy’s Penthouse” – a informal variety show which was set in a “house party” atmosphere. Hef needed to set the tone for this jazzy affair, so he went to his pal Cy Coleman and tapped him to write a theme song for the show. “Playboy’s Theme” would go on to become one of the generation’s defining instrumentals and Cy’s biggest hit as a performer. It has lived a huge life beyond that TV show (and it’s late 60s/early 70s spin-off, “Playboy After Dark”), and has gone on to define “bachelor pad cool.”

DJ Bonebrake, he of the legendary LA punk band X, recently recorded a number of Cy tunes for an upcoming EP release with his band the Bonebrake Syncopators. DJ and the band – Wally Hersom, Jonathan Stout, Dave Stuckey and Jeremy Wakefield – have reinvented the compositions in a way that we know would make Cy proud. Here’s a sneak preview… dig the Syncopators’ “Playboy’s Theme.”

Here is a link to hear Cy’s original recording of “Playboy’s Theme”

Contact & Licensing info:
Master controlled by Notable Music Co /
Publishing controlled by Notable Music Co. / Administered by BMG Rights Management / contact:

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