"The music just flowed from him, and he would take off one hat and put on another and go on to the next show." (Mrs. Hagen)

Earle Hagen: July 9, 1919 - May 26, 2008 (88 years old)
Born: Chicago, Illinois
Died: Of natural causes in Rancho Mirage, California

Skilled musician and Emmy winner, Earle Hagen, wrote the music for over 3,000 television episodes. (CNN) He is accredited by many for being one of the forerunners for original television music, especially during the baby boomer generations who see him as a idly humored melodic composer. "He was one of the first guys to be tune-like in his scoring," said Mike Post. (AJC) "There is no question in my mind that Earle Hagen is one of the most important composers in the history of television, if not the most important," said Jon Burlingame, author of the 1996 book "TV's Biggest Hits." (Jazz News)

"During his long musical career, Hagen performed with the top bands of the swing era, composed for movies and television and wrote one of the first textbooks on movie composing." (Associated press) That textbook would be, "Scoring for Films."

Hagen's musical career started when he began playing the trombone while in junior high school in LA. "He became so proficient that he graduated early from Hollywood High School and at 16 was touring with big bands. He played trombone with Benny Goodman and Tommy Dorsey and arranged for and played with Ray Noble's orchestra. (Associated press)

Interesting notes:
Hagen made up his own middle name, Harry, after his favorite uncle. He taught trombone lessons during the summer and only charged his younger students a box of golf balls. "Hagen's marriage to Sidwell, who died in 2002, lasted 59 years. In addition to his second wife, who is also a singer and whom he married in 2005, he is survived by two sons, Deane and James." (AJC) Hagen loved to travel and included many ethnic "notes" in his musical pieces.

CNN May 28, 2008 broadcast
Jazz News: http://www.allaboutjazz.com/php/news.php?id=18862
AJC: http://www.ajc.com/news/content/news/stories/2008/05/28/OBIT_HAGEN.html

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