Mike Post (born Leland Michael Postil on September 29, 1944) is a Grammy and Emmy award-winning composer of music best known for his scoring of numerous TV theme songs in the United States. He was born in Berkeley, California.
Post's first credited work in music was cutting demos using two singing sisters, Terry and Carol Fischer; with Sally Gordon, they went on to become The Murmaids (their first single, "Popsicles and Icicles" was a #3 hit song in 1963).
Post also provided early guidance for the legendary garage rock band the Outcasts while in basic training in San Antonio, Texas; he was the songwriter and producer for both songs on the band's first single, released in 1965, and also arranged a local concert where they served as the back-up band.
He won his first Grammy at age 23 for Best Instrumental Arrangement on Mason Williams' "Classical Gas", a #2 hit song in 1968.
Post also worked with Kenny Rogers and produced the first three albums he recorded with his country/rock group the First Edition (between 1967 and 1969). Post also produced Dolly Parton's hit album 9 to 5 and Odd Jobs in 1981. Much later, in 1997, he produced Van Halen's Van Halen III album.
One of his first jobs in television started when he was 24, as the musical director on The Andy Williams Show. Another early job was writing the theme music for the short-lived detective series Toma in 1973, but his big breakthrough (together with co-composer Pete Carpenter) came in the following year with his theme song for The Rockford Files, another series by producer Stephen J. Cannell. The theme also got cross-over Top 40 radio airplay and earned a second Grammy for Post. Post subsequently won Grammys for Best Instrumental Composition for the themes for the television shows Hill Street Blues in 1981 and L.A. Law in 1988 as well as another Grammy in 1981 for Best Instrumental Performance for the Hill Street Blues theme.
Post won an Emmy for his Murder One theme music, and had previously been nominated for NYPD Blue, among others. He has won BMI Awards for the music for L.A. Law, Hunter, and the various Law & Order series. The theme for The Greatest American Hero is one of the few television themes to reach #1 as a single record on the Billboard charts.
Other TV music works include The A-Team, Baa Baa Black Sheep, Blossom, CHiPs, The Commish, Doogie Howser, M.D., Hardcastle & McCormick, Hooperman, Hunter, MacGyver, Magnum, P.I., NewsRadio, Profit, Quantum Leap, Renegade, Riptide, Silk Stalkings, Stingray, Tenspeed and Brown Shoe, The White Shadow, Wiseguy, the BBC series Roughnecks, and Law & Order.
In 1994, Mike Post released a CD, called Inventions from the Blue Line. The CD contains several of his well-known cop-show themes as of then, featuring NYPD Blue and also including Law & Order, Silk Stalkings and Renegade. In the liner notes, he discusses his late father, Sam Postil, and the admiration for law enforcement officers that Sam instilled in Mike. He also refers to police in the traditional nickname of "blues", as in The Thin Blue Line (referring to the police in general and to police camaraderie). One of the tracks is called "The Blue Line", which Post calls "the comradery [sic] theme".
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