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For the life of me, I thought "Spanish Flea" by Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass was used as a game show theme. I remember Spanish Flea being played on The Dating Game; but I think [b]astorian[/i] is right, that it was incidental music.
Recently, I visited Alpert at his Malibu home to discuss his life in the arts for my interview series produced for NYU Jazz Studies. Alpert, born and raised in Southern California, began playing trumpet inspired by the burgeoning cool jazz movement of the 50s.
Realizing early on that his favorite artists like Miles Davis, Chet Baker, Gerry Mulligan and Stan Getz gained early commercial success by finding their own musical style, Alpert set out to do the same.
But in 1961, he heard something new while attending a bullfight in Tijuana, Mexico where the crowd's excitement fueled by a mariachi band captured his attention.
After seeing a mariachi band at a bullfight in nearby Tijuana, Mexico, he revamped the tune to match the style, and dubbed the result "The Lonely Bull." Alpert had already formed his own label, Carnival Records, with partner Jerry Moss, and had released a vocal solo single as Dore Alpert; he used this label, later renamed A&M, to release the new single.
I don't think "Spanish Flea" was ever the theme song of either "Newlywed Game" or "Dating Game," but I think "The Dating Game" used it as incidental music while the bachelorette made up her mind, and while the announcer described the wonderful vacation to Burbank or Inglewood that the lucky couple would get to go on.
I mean, this is almost worth digging up some money to start a smarmy "Dating Game" type show, just so I can use "Spanish Flea" as the theme.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the A&M Records release of Whipped Cream and Other Delights by Herb Alpert's Tijuana Brass.
The phenomenal success of Alpert's group born from a demo recording he produced in his garage sparked the start of a lifelong journey from bandleader and record producer to expressionist artist and philanthropist.