This week’s Top Tune is a theme song written by Cy Coleman at the behest of Hugh Hefner for his new television show, Playboy’s Penthouse. The show was recorded at Chicago station WBKB-TV and set up to look like Hefner’s apartment complete with Playboy Playmate’s, bunnies, musicians, authors, singers, comedians, actors, and plenty of booze. The first episode aired in October of 1959 and ran for two seasons in Chicago including such guests as Cy Coleman, Ella Fitzgerald, Lenny Bruce, Nat King Cole, Sammy Davis Jr., and Anita O’Day. In 1969 the show moved to Los Angeles along with Playboy Enterprises and ran for a few more seasons under the title Playboy After Dark.
Cy’s original version was released by the L.A. based Pacific Jazz label distributed by EMI and was modest hit on jazz radio. Many others have recorded the tune including Lionel Hampton, Henry Mancini, Nelson Riddle. Cy Coleman’s version was featured on many of Capitol Records popular Ultra-Lounge series beginning in 1996 during the swing revival.
The hugely influential conga player, Latin Jazz band leader, salsa singer and percussionist, Poncho Sanchez lays down our favorite version featured here from his 1998 album Afro-Cuban Fantasy, (his 18th for Concord Records). Pasarlo bien!
Contact & Licensing info:
Original Master controlled by Concord Records. “Playboy’s Theme” written by Cy Coleman, Published by Notable Music Co. Inc. (ASCAP). Contact: Damon Booth firstname.lastname@example.org. Administered by BMG Chrysalis / contact: Wendy.Griffiths@bmgchrysalis.com