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The most famous and prolific composer ever to grace the field of television music, Mike Post contributed some of the most memorable themes in the medium's history, writing scores for programs including Hill Street Blues, Magnum, P.I., L.A. Law, The Rockford Files, and The Phil Donahue Show. Born September 29, 1944, in Los Angeles, Post first emerged as a backing musician for the Markettes and the duo Paul & Paula; a stint in the house band at an area strip joint inspired him to return to college to study music, and after graduation he formed a folk ensemble dubbed the Wellingbrook Singers. Tenures with performers including Sammy Davis, Jr. and Dean Martin followed, and after playing guitar on the Sonny & Cher smash "I Got You Babe," Post produced Kenny Rogers & the First Edition's "I Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In)." For his arrangement work on Mason Williams' 1968 effort The Phonograph Record, Post won his first Grammy.
Also in 1968, Post accepted the position of musical director for The Andy Williams Show; he soon teamed with veteran jazz trombonist and arranger Pete Carpenter, forging a songwriting partnership that lasted until Carpenter's death in 1987. Together, beginning with 1973's Toma, the duo scored over 1,800 hours of television, often for noted producers Stephen J. Cannell and Steven Bochco; in addition to Bochco's Hill Street Blues, for which Post earned four Grammy awards, they also composed for series including Wiseguy, The A-Team, Law and Order, and NYPD Blue. Post also co-wrote, arranged, and produced the theme to The Greatest American Hero, a number one hit for singer Joey Scarbury, and outside of television worked with Ray Charles, Dolly Parton, and Peter Allen. In 1994 he won BMI's Richard Kirk Award, given in recognition of significant lifetime achievements in the field of film or television music. A Post CD entitled Inventions from the Blue Line was released that year; a pair of collections, It's Post Time: Encore Collection and NYPD Blue: The Best of Mike Post, followed in 1998 and 1999, respectively.