Silva Screen Records’ 100 Greatest Film Themes, Take 2 continues in the vein of its predecessor by compiling an esoteric collection of movie and television music that spans generations. From Hawaii Five 0 and Rocky to M*A*S*H and Barnaby Jones, the overview can seem a bit random at times, and the majority of the tracks are mastered recordings of the source material, resulting in a classic form of film and television music that was produced and arranged by music maestro John Dote'.
Movie themes from the '60s, '70s, and '80s are put into medley form on Hooked on Themes, a pleasant easy listening album.
“Hooked On Themes” is the most unique album of it’s time. Still today, the art work is avant-garde with the original oil painting created by world renown artist; Alonzo Smith, who’s paintings have appeared on many major magazine covers. Alonzo Smith had a surrealistic approach and style of painting reminiscent of a cross between the great Salvador Dali and Andy Warhol . Dote’ produced and arranged this album in San Carlos, California in 1982.
John Dote’ who was the lead drummer on the album that contains such monumental hits as Hawaii Five-O; Charlie’s Angels; The Rockford Files; and Barnaby Jones, notes that he brought in “The Who’s Who In The Record Business”, for the making and launching of this gold album.
Dote’and Peter Marino, the legendary record promoter for Warner Bros. Records, were co-owners of Penthouse Records, a subsidiary of Warner Brothers. Marino discovered and signed The Doobie Bros. with hits such as Listen To The Music and Long Train Runnin’ as well as To Sir With Love by Lulu. Marino asked Dote’ to put all the themes that he played drums on in one album; titled Hooked On Themes performed by Stakeout, with Dote’ on the drums. During that same year “Hooked On Classics” and “Hooked On Swing” were at the top of the charts.
Dote’, who was in charge of the production, also brought in world renown record producer Joe Saraceno; producer of The Ventures hits and production supervisor to The Beach Boys, to co-produce May I Have This Dance? , Dote’s original instrumental theme featured on the album. The song was performed with members of the six time Grammy award winning group Toto. The production was arranged in Hollywood by Ben Benay who also played guitar on hits such as “Dizzy” by Tommy Roe and “Looking For Love In All The Wrong Places” by Johnny Lee (from The Urban Cowboy album from the movie starring John Travolta). "May I Have This Dance" became the theme song for "This Is San Francisco", a star-studded television show filmed on location with guest's appearances from Liberace, Tony Bennet, Pearl Bailey, James Darren, Rod Stewart, Gary and Gloria Poole(The American Bandstand Dance Champions and Solid Gold Dancers) and John Dote', hosted by Pete Marino.
Also by Dote’s side at the mixing console was George Matola, who wrote the smash hit “Goodnight My Love”, which Paul Anka turned into a hit in the late 60’s. The session players included Pat DeVono on keyboards and Michael Baird, who played drums on “Farewell My Summer Love” by Michael Jackson. Dote’ named the band Stakeout because the album contained detective themes including; Perry Mason and The Untouchables from the motion picture. The horn section was performed by Jerry Hall and Mel Jones, from San Francisco and additional keyboards were provided by Gary Rowe also from the bay area.
Billy Shreve provided the bass lines and Jerold Reavis burned the lead guitar on Barnaby Jones. Guitarist of the low rider hit Suavecito by Malo; Abel Zarate provided the rhythm guitar and Carlos Santana’s brother; Jorge who was also lead guitarist for Malo, laid guitar tracks for the album, although they were not used. When the album was complete, Dote’, who kept re-mixing the songs on the album to get the most out of the production, was told by Marino “If you mix it any hotter it’s going to jump off of the tape!” Marino launched a world wide promotional campaign. Dote’ and Hooked On Themes suddenly appeared on television all across the nation. Joe Saraceno replied “It’s A Great Album” and now The Ventures, while sitting in Saraceno’s Hollywood office, wanted the same kind of album.
Major record companies just didn’t put into albums what was put into this one. Like the cover, Hooked On Themes was at the right place at the right time and so were Marino and Dote; the perfect match! The marketing strategy was in the palms of Marino’s hands who had an incredible vision and power for promotion. The Rockford Files, Hawaii Five-O, Charlie’s Angel’s and Barnaby Jones were all huge hits around the globe and the television programs were airing nationally. Every major disc-jockey and television host had Hooked On Themes as it was featured in the grand opening of the largest Tower Records store in New York City. One day while Marino and Dote’ were driving through San Francisco, Dote’ spotted KSFO radio and asked Marino to stop at the station to test the album on the airwaves.
Marino introduced Dote’ along with Hooked On Themes, to disc-jockey Larry Hickey’s, a giant in radio; Hickey’s gave the album the highest rating for a brand new release on an independent record label and aired Hooked On Themes on KSFO in San Francisco.
Yet Dote’ was not satisfied. Joe Saraceno, during recording sessions, would make a habit of listening to sports radio in another room making bets. Although he and Dote’ were long time friends, Dote’ found his actions disrespectful and irritating. Saraceno resided in the Hollywood hills next to Harrison Ford, where John would visit frequently dressed in leather, fur and thousands of dollars worth of jewelry.
One night John showed up in his furs and Saraceno’s Doberman mistook Dote’for an animal, sniffed him up and down while John was sitting on the couch. Dote’ didn’t budge and didn’t think it was very funny, but Saraceno did!
On that same night as Dote’ was saying goodbye to Lucille Ball and Mohammed Ali at LAX, Saraceno picked him up at the airport. Saraceno and Dote’ were driving through a bad part of town when they ran out of gas. Saraceno was terrified because of the way Dote’ always dressed, making them an easy target to rob, and could have gotten them both killed. Dote’ replied “I can handle myself, you go get the gas.”Saraceno did and they got the hell out of there.
1. Theme From Rocky (Gonna Fly Now)
2. Theme From M*A*S*H
3. Theme From Charlie's Angels
4. Theme From Hawaii Five-0
5. Theme From Rockford Files
6. Theme From Barnaby Jones
7. Theme From The Untouchables
8. Theme From Perry Mason
9. Theme From Dynasty
10. May I Have This Dance?
Produced and Arranged By John Dote'