What is Mike Post net worth?
Mike Post is a songwriter and record producer who has a net worth of $75 million. Mike Post is best known for his prolific career creating musical themes for television, including popular shows such as “Law & Order”, “The A-Team”, “LA Law”, “Hill Street Blues” and “The Rockford Files,” among many others. Post also produced Mason Williams’ single “Classical Gas” and produced albums for Kenny Rogers, Dolly Parton and Van Halen.
Earnings “Dun Dun”
One of the most incredible financial anecdotes in Hollywood history concerns the now famous “dun dun” sound that has become a signature of the “Law & Order” franchise. According to legend, a day just before the premiere of the first “Law & Order” in 1990, series creator Dick Wolf called Mike Post (who had recently completed the credits music) with a last-minute request. As Post will later explain:
“He called me afterwards and he said, ‘hey look, do you know those cards?’ I said “has the location and the timestamp?” He said, ‘I need a sound for that.’
Post initially told Wolf to have someone in the sound department figure out what he wanted. Wolf begged Post to create the sound personally:
“Can’t find something? Please find something really distinctive. You look. It will end up being important.”
The final “dun dun” which is now world famous, was created when Post mixed the following sounds
- A prison cell door slamming
- Ahammer hitting an anvil
- Drum sounds
- The sound of 100 men stomping on a wooden floor
But here’s the most important and lucrative fact: if someone from the sound department team had created the sound, it would have been part of the production costs. Because Mike Post composed “dun dun”, it is technically treated as a piece of music and therefore subject to royalty payments… EVERY TIME IT PLAYS. In an interview with the Television Academy Foundation, Mike Post said:
“I call it ‘ching ching’ because I make money with it.-Mike Post
A well-placed source told me off the record that Mike Post has done more than $50 million during his career off “dun dun” alone.
Mike Post was born as Leland Michael Postil on September 29, 1944 in Berkeley, California and grew up in the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles. He took up music at a very young age and began taking piano lessons at the age of six. By age 15, Post was playing clubs in Los Angeles. For his education, he went to Grant High School. After graduating, Post played with various rock bands and briefly served in the house band at a topless club in San Francisco. He soon formed the folk ensemble Wellingbrook Singers and toured the United States.
Post got his start in the music industry working with all kinds of Los Angeles artists. His first major credit was cutting demos for singer sisters Terry and Carol Fischer in the early 60s. He continued to work with them when they added Sally Gordon and became The Murmaids. In 1964, the band had their hit single, “Popsicles and Icicles”. Also around this time, Post provided advice to garage rock band The Outcasts and was the songwriter and producer of the band’s first single. His biggest commercial success to date came towards the end of the decade, in 1968, when he produced the instrumental piece “Classical Gas” by Mason Williams. Reaching number two on the Billboard Hot 100, it also earned Post the Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Arrangement.
TV music theme
Post is best known for his extensive work in creating musical themes for television shows. After serving as music director for “The Andy Williams Show” and writing the theme music for the short-lived ABC crime series “Toma,” he made his breakthrough in 1974 with his theme music for the NBC crime series “The Rockford Files,” which he co-composed with Pete Carpenter. The piece became a top ten US chart hit and won another Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Arrangement. Post scored another top-ten hit — and two more Grammys — for his theme to the crime procedural series “Hill Street Blues” in 1981. Later that same decade, he won another Grammy, this time for his theme music for the legal drama series “LA Law”.
At the zenith of his television career, Post was the go-to songwriter for all the shows created by Dick Wolf, Steven Bochco, Stephen J. Cannell and Donald P. Bellisario. Throughout the 80s and 90s, he wrote the theme music for shows such as “NYPD Blue”; “Murder one”; “Hunter”; “Team A”; “To bloom”; “Magnum, PI”; “News Radio”; “Quantum Leap”; “Silk Stalkers”; “Wiseguy”; “Renegade”; “The Commission” ; and “Hardcastle and McCormick”. He also created the franchise theme “Law & Order,” which features the iconic “dun, dun” sound effect, and the ABC series theme “The Greatest American Hero,” which reached No. 2 on Billboard. Hot 100. Outside the United States, Post has composed music for the BBC’s “Roughnecks” series.
As a producer, Post produced the first three albums Kenny Rogers recorded with his band The First Edition between 1967 and 1969. Later, in 1980, he co-produced Dolly Parton’s hit album “9 to 5 and Odd Jobs,” which remained at number one on Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart for ten consecutive weeks. Among his other credits, Post co-produced Van Halen’s 1998 hit studio album “Van Halen III.”
As part of the Mike Post Coalition in the 70s, Post released the single “Afternoon of the Rhino”. The song charted on the UK Singles Chart at number 47 in 1975. The same year, Post charted in the United States with his cover of the instrumental piece “Manhattan Spiritual”. In later releases, he released an album in 1994 called “Blue Line Inventions”, which contains a number of his best-known TV themes.
The Pete Carpenter Scholarship
In 1989, Post partnered with the BMI Foundation to establish the Pete Carpenter Fellowship in honor of the late musician, who co-composed with Post on numerous television themes and soundtracks. Awarded annually, the fellowship is a residency for budding composers in television, film, and video games.
Previously, Post was married to Patty McGettigan. After their divorce, he married Darla Eyer, with whom he has two children named Aaron and Jennifer.
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