BMI proudly celebrated preeminent television composer Mike Post at the 70th annual BMI/NAB Dinner held earlier this week at the Wynn Encore in Las Vegas. Post was honored with the BMI Board of Directors Award for his incomparable contributions to the world of television music as a composer, musician, arranger and producer. The roster of iconic television programs Post has enriched with his signature music includes such titles as Law & Order, NYPD Blue, The Rockford Files, Magnum P.I., Hill Street Blues, L.A. Law, The A-Team, Doogie Howser MD, Murder One, Quantum Leap, Wiseguy, among others. Many of his iconic themes have become chart-topping hits, earned him GRAMMY and Emmy awards, and established him as a titan in his field. His outstanding body of work has made him a quintessential recipient for this accolade.
Post initially made a name for himself as a versatile session musician, playing for stars like Sammy Davis, Jr., Dean Martin and Sonny & Cher. He gradually honed his skills to include producing and arranging, after working with Kenny Rogers in The First Edition, and then on Mason Williams’ The Mason Williams Phonograph Album, which included the single “Classical Gas” that earned Post his first GRAMMY. At just 24, Post was named Musical Director for The Andy Williams Show, becoming the youngest musician in television history to hold such a title. From this auspicious start, Post began working with an arranger named Pete Carpenter for a show called Toma, while striking up a collaborative relationship with television producer/writer Stephen J. Cannell, who led Post and Carpenter through a succession of hit series that included The Rockford Files, Baa Baa Black Sheep, Hunter and Magnum P.I. The partnership between Post and Carpenter also earned the pair a GRAMMY after the theme from The Rockford Files became a Top 10 single. Carpenter passed away in 1987, inspiring Post to establish “The Pete Carpenter Fellowship” for aspiring film, television, and video game composers in collaboration with the BMI Foundation in 1989. It was through Cannell, meanwhile, that Post started working with Steven Bochco, ushering in a period of creative collaboration that yielded further successes, such as Hill Street Blues, L.A. Law, and NYPD Blue. At the dawn of the ’90s, Post started composing music for an ambitious new police procedural series by producer Dick Wolf called Law & Order. That groundbreaking show went on to become the longest-running hour-long primetime TV series, spawning several spin-offs, all punctuated by Post’s impactful, iconic score.
The annual BMI/NAB dinner is hosted by BMI’s Board of Directors and recognizes the mutually supportive partnership between the songwriting community and the broadcast industry. Past recipients of the BMI honor include Carrie Underwood, Dolly Parton, Willie Nelson, Graham Nash, Paul Simon, Carlos Santana, and John Williams, among others.