Mike Hammer Music

This thread is for the purpose of exploring the various pieces of music used for themes to various presentations of Mickey Spillane’s detective.

My earliest memory of such music is from the radio drama where Ted De Corsia was Hammer’s voice and Streetcar Named Desire - Main Theme was the music. (I just recently located this YouTube clip and decided to see if any of you have a fondness for the music or Hammer or Spillane or whatever.)

The TV show used Harlem Nocturne; it was an okay enough version, but the ultimate example is that released by The Viscounts in 1958. The tune fits in well with the moodiness of the big city, especially at night.

Roger that! The Viscounts / Harlem Nocturne

In case it wasn’t known before now, Harlem Nocturne was composed by the same guy who gave us The Andy Griffith Show-theme song

For a fascinating 10-part interview with this prolific man, check out Earle Hagen - Archive Interview Part 1 of 10

I love Harlem Nocturne; great moody song. And I laughed my ass off when it popped up in “Tango and Cash” as the part of the soundtrack that introduced Kurt Russell in hooker drag.

It does make for some good stripper music! And for my money there aren’t many other tunes that scream “Big City” any better. Offhand, others that have a similar feel, even if not quite as gritty and grimy, include:

Street Scene
Rhapsody in Blue
Slaughter on Tenth Avenue
Naked City (TV show)
Manhattan Serenade (ought to be familiar from The Godfather).


Well, I have a Harlem Nocturne station on Pandora, and it plays lots of semi-similar stuff. The last two songs it played were “Romance” by Billy May and “On The Sunny Side Of The Street” by Johnny Hodges. Also lots of Count Basie…TRM