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The People’s Court aka The Big One


If you were around in the 1980s, you know The People’s Court: the first of the courtroom shows with real-life participants. Early reality TV, I guess (thanks a lot).


Its impact crested in 1988 as a memorable plot point in Rain Man:

The urgent, pulsating crime-and-punishment theme music was actually a 1975 cue called “The Big One” by Alan Tew, for the British television series The Hanged Man. Whether it was composed expressly for that show, or as a library cue—I don’t know.


Either way, I always dug it!

Now, my kudos to Quinn Dymalski and his student jazz band for this live performance:

Thank you for following me into today’s obscure corner of our dumb culture.

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Josh Mitchell
Josh Mitchell
May 21, 2023

I have the Hanged Man soundtrack CD and the whole thing's great! It is indeed taken from library cues recorded by a band called Bullet (comprised of session players). More info on discogs: Bullet | Discography | Discogs

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Lukas Kendall
Lukas Kendall
May 21, 2023
Replying to

Awesome, thanks!

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