The arresting four-note introduction from Dragnet, that is, “Dum Dee Dum Dum,” as it were, is considered to be the second most recognizable after the one to Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony. The theme music for Dragnet, written by Walter Schumann, was known for more than just the theme, as it enhanced the tension of the drama and there would be loud sudden bursts when there was a revelation. The theme was used for the Dragnet radio show and then the TV series, syndication of the TV Series under the name Badge 714, and for the 1987 film Dragnet.
The Dragnet theme has two parts. The first is “Main Title” for the opening (Dum Dee Dum Dum and all that), and then “Dragnet March” is used over the credits at the end. There was a lawsuit by the publishers of the film score for the movie The Killers (1946), written by Miklós Rózsa. The settlement ended up that the composers would share royalties for “Main Title,” which became known as “Danger Ahead,” and Schumann owned “Dragnet March” completely. Such is the music biz…
Anyway, he music inspired several hit records. One was by Ray Anthony and His Orchestra in 1953. It went to #3 on the U.S. Billboard chart and #7 in the U.K.
Another version was Stan Freberg’s parody “St. George and the Dragonet” in 1951. It sold more than one million copies and opened with “The legend you are about to hear is true; only the needle should be changed to protect the record.”
There was also an international hit version in 1987 by The Art of Noise. That was used in the 1987 movie Dragnet. It won the 1987 Grammy Award for Best Rock Instrumental Performance.
For More Golden Oldies Music
The Daily Doo Wop Rec Room has daily featured doo wop music, rock and roll hits, R&B, or rockabilly songs that were hits during the first era of rock and roll (that is, from about 1952 until the British invasion in 1964). After a song is featured, it then goes into the juke box. You are welcome to listen to any of the 40+ selections there. Every weekend, there is a Golden Oldies Juke Box Saturday Night, and the juke box is full of song requests from the 1950s and 1960s.
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