Give Now

Night Lights Classic Jazz

Jazzy Retro Cinema Trailers (A.K.A. Snipes)

Remember the jazzy little trailer that used to announce a General Cinema feature presentation?

A bit of diversion post while awaiting the imminent post of this week’s Night Lights show, Live at Cafe Bohemia:

Today I went to see Public Enemies, and sat through the usual simultaneous snooze/barrage of previews and commercials beforehand. On my way home, I found myself remembering the catchy little trailer that used to announce feature presentations, back in the General Cinema days of my childhood. Dig that jazz harpsichord!

Then there’s this “Prevues of Coming Attractions”, with a rather groovy late-1960s/early-1970s psychedelic/funk-jazz vibe to it:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=seURdnLNo-Q

I have no idea who wrote the music for these, though I’d like to find out (a fast and none-too-deep Google search didn’t turn up any ready information). Anyway, the videos are some fun for nostalgia trippers (guilty party right here) and another reminder of how jazz remained so present in the popular/commercial-music culture of those decades, even as it gave way in popularity to rock.

Updates To This Post

1. Musician and Organissimo jazz-discussion wizard Jim Sangrey IDs “Prevues of Coming Attractions” as being written by the British composer Keith Mansfield, who evidently did some work for trumpeter Maynard Ferguson in the 1970s. The tune is called “Funky Fanfare” and you can hear a longer version of it here:

2: This kind of thing always becomes addictive. Here from the land of TV comes Henry Mancini‘s theme for the NBC Sunday Night Mystery, which featured a rotating cast of Columbo, McCloud, McMillan & Wife, etc. My parents were regular viewers of this series and got me hooked too… partly because I always loved the opening:

Relevant Resources

  • For more Mancini and TV crime-jazz, check out the previous Night Lights show, A Profound Gas: Peter Gunn.
  • If you want to go all hardcore on ‘snipes,’ TV billboards and themes, and Keith Mansfield, here’s the thread I started over at Organissimo.
David Brent Johnson

Born in Indianapolis, Indiana, David Brent Johnson moved to Bloomington in 1991. He is an alumnus of Indiana University, and began working with WFIU in 2002. Currently, David serves as jazz producer and systems coordinator at the station. His interests include literature, history, music, writing, and movies.

View all posts by this author »

Stay Connected

What is RSS? RSS makes it possible to subscribe to a website's updates instead of visiting it by delivering new posts to your RSS reader automatically. Choose to receive some or all of the updates from Night Lights Classic Jazz:

Support For Indiana Public Media From

About Night Lights

Search Night Lights

where to hear night lights

This Week On Afterglow

Songs Of The Season: Autumn 2014

a road in autumn woods

Afterglow takes a musical stroll through the leaves with Chet Baker, Mark Murphy, Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald, and other serenaders to autumn.

Read more »

Afterglow is WFIU's weekly program of jazz and American popular song hosted by David Brent Johnson.

More from Afterglow »