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Night Lights Classic Jazz

Night Lights’ Theme Songs: Mary Lou Williams And Gerry Mulligan

What's the music you hear each week at the beginning and end of "Night Lights"?

Gerry Mulligan's Night Lights album cover

Photo: album cover art

The title track from Gerry Mulligan's 1963 album NIGHT LIGHTS is heard each week at the conclusion of the program.

From time to time I get emails asking me about the theme music for Night Lights. The show’s opening theme comes from pianist and composer/arranger Mary Lou Williams; it’s called “Miss D.D.” (named in honor of Williams friend, socialite, jazz lover, and future foundation supporter of NPR Doris Duke):

For more about Mary Lou Williams, check out the Night Lights program A Brief History Of Mary Lou Williams.

The program’s closing theme (which also provided the source of the show’s title) is saxophonist Gerry Mulligan’s “Night Lights” (1963 version):

Both the opening and closing themes are available as individual downloads or on CD:

Mary Lou Williams’ Black Christ Of The Andes

Gerry Mulligan’s Night Lights

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.

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