Wednesday, June 26, 2013

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Edwin Astley and his Orchestra

Artist:Edwin Astley and his Orchestra
Song:Secret Agent Man
Album:The Saint/Secret Agent: Original Music From The TV Series

Most folks should be familiar with the Johnny Rivers hit Secret Agent Man. The series was originally called Danger Man with music composed by Edwin Astley. He wrote music for several other British TV shows and recorded his own version of Secret Agent Man. I don't know who the singer is. Astley  was born Apr. 12, 1922 in Warrington, Cheshire, England. His daughter Karen Astley married Pete Townshend of The Who. Astley started out in the 50s as an arranger for the popular British bandleader Geraldo and performed with his own band The Ted Astley Orchestra in the north of England. He started working for Lord Lew Grade's ITC Entertainment in the late 50s. His first TV theme was for The Adventures Of Robin Hood. Astley's two best known shows are The Saint and Danger Man. Danger Man starred Patrick McGoohan. CBS first broadcast the show in 1961 but brought it back in 1965 as Secret Agent. Astley's original theme for Danger Man was called High Wire and it is on this CD. But when CBS retitled the show Secret Agent they hired the team of P.F. Sloan and Steve Barri to write a new theme song. They hired Johnny Rivers to sing it and that recording reached #3 on the Billboard Hot 100. Astley released his own recording of Secret Agent Man and it was released in 1966 on LP. I couldn't find out who sings this. You can get it on this Collectables CD that has music from Secret Agent and The Saint. Astley went on to compose the music for the 1969 BBC documentary series Civilisation. Astley retired in the 70s and died on May 19, 1998 at age 76. Jools Holland was a big Edwin Astley fan and produced the TV special Astley's Way in 2001. Here's a video for Secret Agent Man by Edwin Astley and his Orchestra.

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