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July 06, 2008

Composer David Kahn Dies

Created Leave It to Beaver theme

Composer and arranger David Kahn, who composed the theme song for Leave It to Beaver and sang on the Addams Family theme, died July 3 in Woodland Hills, Calif. He was 98.

Kahn began his music career as a saxophonist, which led to singing and touring with big band leaders of the 1930s.

He served in the Air Force during WWII, after which he became an orchestrator, arranging music at Republic Studios and Filmways Television. At Filmways, he arranged and composed background music for television shows, including Mr. Ed, Petticoat Junction, Green Acres and The Beverly Hillbillies.

While there, he sang the classic theme song — along with composer Vic Mizzy — for The Addams Family.

In addition to composing the theme for the television series Leave It to Beaver, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Mike Hammer and Simon & Simon, he was music editor for such feature films as Electra Glide in Blue and National Lampoon’s Animal House.

He is survived by a brother.

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