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Obit: Vic Mizzy: Addam's Fam. theme and more

pdq 21 Oct 09 - 11:00 AM
Desert Dancer 21 Oct 09 - 10:16 PM
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Subject: Obit: Vic Mizzy: Addams Fam. theme and more
From: pdq
Date: 21 Oct 09 - 11:00 AM

Vic Mizzy, who wrote 'Addams Family' theme, dies

Vic Mizzy, a songwriter who composed the catchy themes for the 1960s sit-coms "The Addams Family" and "Green Acres," has died. He was 93.

Associated Press Writer


Vic Mizzy, a songwriter who composed the catchy themes for the 1960s sit-coms "The Addams Family" and "Green Acres," has died. He was 93.

Mizzy died Saturday at his home in Bel Air, his manager Jonathan Wolfson said. He said he didn't know the cause of death.

He wrote songs that were recorded by Dean Martin, Doris Day, Perry Como and Billie Holiday in the '40s and '50s. His hits included "Pretty Kitty Blue Eyes," "My Dreams are Getting Better All the Time," and "With a Hey and a Hi and a Ho-Ho-Ho."

But his most famous work was the theme to "The Addams Family," a tune accented by finger snaps and opening with the cleverly quirky lyrics: "They're creepy and they're kooky, mysterious and spooky, they're altogether ooky: the Addams family."

Mizzy sang the song himself and overdubbed it three times to give the impression of multiple vocalists. He also directed the title sequence where he asked actors who played members of the Addams family to snap their fingers in a bored way.

The enduring tune is often heard during sports game to rally the home team.

"He was smart enough to demand to own the song, which was unheard of at the time. So any time you go to a Lakers game and they play that song, he made money," Wolfson said.

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., Mizzy learned to play the piano as a child. In his teens, he teamed up with Irving Taylor and began writing songs and sketches for variety shows. They won a pair of radio contests and toured the East Coast vaudeville circuit. While served in the U.S. Navy during World War II, the pair wrote several hit songs, including "Three Little Sisters" and "Take It Easy."

Mizzy later composed and wrote songs for television and film, most recently a song for "Spiderman 2" which ended up on the DVD version of the movie.

He is survived by a brother, daughter and two grandchildren.


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Subject: Obit: da-da-da-dum (snap-snap)
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 21 Oct 09 - 10:16 PM

Vic Mizzy, Songwriter of 'Addams Family' Fame, Dies at 93

Vic Mizzy, whose infernally catchy themes for the television comedies "The Addams Family" and "Green Acres" are as entrenched in the memories of Americans who grew up in the 1960s as any pop tune or protest anthem, died on Saturday at his home in Los Angeles. He was 93.
In a musical career that stretched over eight decades, from radio shows to "Spider-Man 2," Mr. Mizzy wrote pop hits, novelty songs and movie scores, but his most enduring compositions were the two humorous theme songs he created in the mid-1960s. Asked in 1964 by his friend David Levy, the head of programming for NBC, to provide music for a new comedy called "The Addams Family," based on Charles Addams's sinister cartoons, Mr. Mizzy came up with a da-da-da-dum beat followed by two finger snaps. The parody of beatnik ennui fit with the show's satirical, proto-hipster humor. The theme, sung by Mr. Mizzy, was so distinctive that it remained popular far beyond the series's two seasons.

Just one year later, Mr. Mizzy wrote the theme song for "Green Acres," a comedy about Manhattanites returning to the land, which ran from 1965 to 1971. Once again he combined a gallumphing rhythm (similar to the "Addams Family" opening but faster) with lyrics that stayed in the mind:

Green Acres is the place to be
Farm living is the life for me
Land spreading out so far and wide
Keep Manhattan, just give me that countryside.

As with the "Addams Family" theme, Mr. Mizzy was also involved in the direction of the title sequence.
Mr. Mizzy continued working well into his 80s, releasing a compilation of his work, "Songs for the Jogging Crowd," on his own label, Vicster Records, in 2003.

The director Sam Raimi asked Mr. Mizzy to write a theme for the 2004 film "Spider-Man 2," which was eventually used on the DVD release.

None of his output, however, could overshadow those snapping fingers in "The Addams Family." And that was fine with Mr. Mizzy. "That's why I'm living in Bel Air," he said last year on the CBS program "Sunday Morning." "Two finger snaps and you live in Bel Air."

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