Ten Favorite Insects and Creepy Crawling Things Songs: Flight of the Bumblebee (#6)
By Four Walls
February 23, 2017 8:01pm CST
Swat that fly! Stomp that spider! I've got the music to bug the bugs by! Here's another one of the songs on my list of favorites that mention some kind of insect, spider, or snake (there is one snake song on the list -- but it's not about snakes) in the title. #6: Flight of the Bumblebee (Green Hornet Theme) - Al Hirt I'm a big fan of The Green Hornet (everything except that horrid Seth Rogen movie version, which I saw about three minutes of and said, "Dang, that's three minutes of my time lost to eternity!"). It began as a radio program in Detroit in the 1930s and went to two movie serials in the early 1940s before becoming the legendary TV show in 1966-67 starring Van Williams and, in his first acting role, Bruce Lee (yes, that Bruce Lee). Now, if you're into trivia (and you want to know just how deeply I dig into things I'm interested in), here's something for you: the Green Hornet and the Lone Ranger were blood relatives. George W. Trendle, the creator (although that's been disputed, and it's alleged that he more or less stole the ideas from staff members at his radio station), of The Green Hornet radio show, also created (see above) The Lone Ranger. The Lone Ranger's nephew was the Green Hornet's father. You're welcome. Not only are they related by blood, but by a great classic theme song. Everyone knows The William Tell Overture as the theme to The Lone Ranger. Similarly, Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov's "Flight of the Bumblebee" was used as the theme song to The Green Hornet. For the TV series, they called on legendary jazz trumpet player Al Hirt to do the honors. And boy, did he! The series was far more serious than its campy counterpart, Batman (although there was a Batman/GreenHornet two-part crossover episode on Batman once, and references to one's show in the other's on a few occasions), and it could have easily continued. However, Van Williams stepped up to the plate for his co-star, Bruce Lee, asking that he be shown in a more developed light than just the servant. (In the original radio show, as well as the movie serials, Kato was a scientist who created many of the Hornet's weapons.) ABC executives didn't like that and, despite good ratings, canceled the show after one year. (And a PS -- Lee was the one who developed the idea that morphed into the TV series Kung Fu, but ABC developed it without giving him any credit. And, as a side note, the TV series co-starred Keye Luke, who played Kato in the movie serials! [I told you I was a Green Hornet fan!]) The series is a cult classic, and it launched Bruce Lee into his short but brilliant career. Additionally, it gave us one of the coolest theme songs of the 60s. Flight of the Bumblebee (The Green Hornet Theme) Written by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov Recorded by Al Hirt From The Horn Meets "The Hornet", 1966 This is some serious trumpet playing!!
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