Claim: The lyrics to the 1966 Batman TV series theme song were produced by brass instruments, not human voices.
Example: [Collected via e-mail, August 2010]
Origins: In mid-1966, it would have been hard to find any town in America where, on any given day, at least a few boys weren't running around with towels attached to the back of their shirts in cape-like fashion, shouting "DA-DA-DA-DA-DA-DA-DA-DA" in imitation of the titular character and theme song of that year's smash hit television series, Batman. The show's
A significant factor in the tremendous popularity of the Batman TV series was composer Neal Hefti's catchy and memorable theme music, which was "part serious, part silly; just like the series," combining bass guitar, low brass, and prominent percussion to create a driving, pulsing rhythm that played against animated images of the Caped Crusader and Robin, the Boy Wonder, dispatching a bevy of villainous thugs with their fists to the accompaniment of discordant brass accents and cartoon dialogue balloons reading "SOCK!" "POW!" "ZOCK!" "WHAP!" "BIFF!" and "OOOOF!" The theme's lyrics consisted of a single word, "Batman," repeated eleven times by a chorus of voices:
Some years after the series ended in 1968, the rumor arose that the lyrics (such as they were) to the Batman theme song were produced not by human voices, but by brass instruments. This claim was promulgated by series star Adam West in his 1994 autobiography, Back to the Batcave:
"I wrote the lyrics, too," [says Hefti,] so I get double credit on it. As you know, the lyrics consist of the title repeated six times [sic]. One of the choir members on the recording session wrote on his part: 'Word and Music by Neal Hefti.'"
Burlingame, Jon. TV's Biggest Hits: The Story of Television Themes from Dragnet to Friends. New York: Schirmer Books, 1996. ISBN 0-02-870324-3 (pp. 214-215). Feather, Leonard. "Neal Hefti Bats 1,000 with Batman Theme." Los Angeles Times. 26 June 1966 (p. B28). West, Adam. Back to the Batcave. New York: Berkley Books, 1994. ISBN 0-425-14370-8 (p. 92).