Through the years, countless TV theme songs became hit records. Perhaps the first such success was the theme to Peter Gunn, a detective show that began in 1958. Henry Mancini was responsible for the song, which he recorded using a collection of studio musicians who later became members of the Wrecking Crew. The music from the show propelled an album of his compositions all the way to the top of the album charts in 1959.
Mancini also arranged a version of the theme song for Ray Anthony’s big band, and that was released as a single and got up to number six on the charts (this is the version most likely to get airplay). Mancini’s version was also released as a single but did not have the same kind of success that his soundtrack album had. In fact, Mancini’s single never even reached the top 100.
Duane Eddy and his twangy guitar had several hit instrumentals in the late fifties, and in 1960 he reached number four with the theme from the film Because They’re Young. Perhaps because of the success of that record, he then recorded a new version of Peter Gunn, but his version only got up to #27.
Duane continued to record and produce music, performing live right up to 2018. He also recorded yet another version of Peter Gunn in 1986 with the backing of the group Art of Noise. The single only got up to #50 on the charts, but it won the Grammy Award for the Best Rock Instrumental of 1986. A mini-story video was also produced for this final version of the song.