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« It's a Wonderful New Woman's World (mp3s) | Main | Great Moments in WFMU History #31 »

May 29, 2008


Listener Greg G.

WOAH! This is outstanding, thanks. I hadn't heard the news about Hagen's death. By the way, as you probably already know, he also is the composer of the opening and closing music for Gomer Pyle, USMC.

Jonathan Steinke

Pretty snappy version by Kustomized there.

Matilda Mother

I have no proof, but SUN RA must have also done a version of the song

Krys O.

In tribute, you can listen to R. Stevie Moore's 1970s cover of Theme from Andy Griffith at this link


here i have a version by the viscounts for download...also in another post on the same page i have a "cavalcade of caravan"


Spike Jones did a version too, I believe. If memory serves, it was not a "gag" version, but played "straight," showcasing his band's abilities.


Danny Gatton did a nice semi-gonzo guitar version on his very first album, 1975's "American Music".


We used the Lounge LIzards version as one of our station sign-off themes at WNYU-FM in the early 80's. Very atmospheric music bed to read the FCC required lingo to.


Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet did a version too, originally on a 7" but included on their album "Savvy Showstoppers".

wow, great post, thanks


The Shadowy Men version is called 'Harlem By The Sea' by the way.

Philip Chapman-Bell

And let us not forget Yohko Ishino, belting out Teddy Boy Blues (spun off from an 80s era video game of the same name):
Kind of up-tempo, kind of wtf, definitely Harlem Nocturne.


"Harlem Nocturne" is used as the instrumental section on "Lonely Junkie" by Peter Stampfel & The Bottlecaps on their eopymous first album on Rounder. "Lonely Junkie" is sort of a "Lonely Blueboy" (Elvis) parody and "Nocturne" is pefect in the context! Funny lyrics about dropping his spike into the toilet etc.


What a great post! An Audio Daily Double using "Harlem Nocturne" resulted in an ignominious on Jeopardy for me some years back, which I've chronicled at - and sent readers here for the answer.


does anyone know if henry mancini did a version of this song?

i cant find one anywhere.

Zoel Sylvester

While Googling "Harlem Nocturne" by Earle Hagen, I came across WFMU's biog on Hagen and wonder of wonders, 42 beautiful versions of the song. Really great stuff. You're doing something really terrific here. Please keep it up.
Zoel Sylvester


J.J.Jones also did a great R&B version on the Ebb Label..

Michael Novak

This is a great site for a great song. I have a nice version of "Harlem Nocturne" by a band called the "Jonny Cooper Orchestra," which was around in the late 30s and early 40s, I believe. I'd like to find the year they recorded it and the name of the saxaphone player. Any ideas?


Hi all,
I really like this site, esp this page.
Where can I find the 'Shadowy Mens' version?
I think it is this version which is used in the film 'Comic Book Confidential'. Its similar to the Viscounts version with the tremelo guitar intro, but the main riff is played on guitar also.
Thats where I first heard this tune and it has haunted me ever since.


i need a version from henry mancini...if someone has it pls email me at [email protected]


my theme song

Jim Sweeden

Iam looking for the sheet music of the Viscounts version of Harlem Nocturne.Can anyone help me ?? Contact me at [email protected]

Egeu Laus

Don't forget Edgar Winter!

Barry Greenway

Come on now - what about the MGM recording of David Rose featuring Woody Herman - is there a better version than this?

William Young

The 25th Anniversary of KBCO's Blues at the Red Rooster Lounge is coming up this weekend -- ah, those high-school nights in the 1980s when I'd lie in bed and await their Harlem Nocturne theme-song intro.

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