You couldn’t have been a horror fan that grew up in the late ’60s and early ’70s and not know the music of Bob Cobert. With the amount of work that writer/director/producer Dan Curtis was kicking out during that time, Cobert was right there through almost all of it, creating some incredible and memorable scores. Sadly, we heard the news that Mr. Cobert passed away back on Feb. 19th from pneumonia. He was 95.
My personal favorite has always been the theme he did for The Night Stalker (1972), but there are also so many other great ones, such as Dark Shadows, both the series and the two films. He pretty much worked on almost all of Curtis’ productions, which earned him a Grammy nomination for his composition Quentin’s Theme from Dark Shadows series and a Emmy nomination for his work on Curtis’ epic miniseries War and Remembrance (1988-89).
For a composer to create a theme that is remembered as much a the movie or series itself is a high compliment for any musician. Cobert seemed to do it over and over again. He may have left his planet, but he has left us hours and hours of fantastic music that we can listen to over and over, bringing those images back in our brains again and again.
Our thoughts go out to his friends and family in this difficult time. Rest in Peace, Maestro.
You couldn’t grow up watching TV in the ’70s and not know of the work of Dan Curtis. His work had a huge impact on my life, from The Night Stalker (1972), The Norliss Tapes (1973), Trilogy of Terror (1975), and so many other made-for-TV movies. Oh yeah, and there was that series Dark Shadow that you might have heard of. Needless to say, if it was from Curtis, you know it was going to be worth your time. And now, thanks to director David Gregory, we’re going to have a chance to learn a little bit more about this amazing man.
Set to be released next month, this feature length documentary covers Curtis and his work, hearing from a ton of people that worked with him and were fans of his work, such as Ben Cross, Roger Davis, Jonathan Frid, Whoopi Goldberg, John Karlen, William F. Nolan, David Selby, Barbara Steele, Kathryn Leigh Scott, Bob Cobert, and many more.
While he definitely worked outside the horror genre a few times, like writing, producing, and directing the Emmy Award Winning mini-series War and Remembrance (1988-89), he made such an impact with horror fans with his films. And they are still as entertaining now, decades later, as they were then. Kudos to Gregory for helping bring light to this talented man that was use to working in the shadows.
Born Oct. 26th, 1924
If you were a fan of Dan Curtis and his early TV work, then you are well aware of the work of Bob Cobert, even if you don’t recognize the name. He is probably best known for working on the famous Curtis TV series Dark Shadows, that ran from 1967 to 1971. He also worked on the two feature films based on the series, House of Dark Shadows (1970) and Night of Dark Shadows (1971), as well as the 1991 revival. But he also did a ton of different made-for-TV shows in the early ’70s with Curtis. Titles like The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1968), The Night Stalker (1972), The Night Strangler (1973), The Norliss Tapes (1973), Scream of the Wolf (1974), Dracula (1974), Trilogy of Terror (1975), Burnt Offerings (1976), and so many more.
Working outside of the horror genre, he also composed the music for Curtis’ war epics The Winds of War (1983) and War and Remembrance (1988), as well creating his fair share of game show themes!
Cobert’s music had its own unique style that was recognizable, memorable, and always added to what we were watching on screen. Those films and shows would definitely had lost something without had it not been for his music.
The Television Horrors of Dan Curtis
By Jeff Thompson
Published by McFarland & Company, 2009. 200 pages.