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I have been a longtime fan of the “Law & Order” television series. What can you tell me about the composer of the show’s theme song?

Mike Post is considered to be one of the best composers of television music alive today. Born Leland Michael Postil in Los Angeles, California, in September 1944, Post won his first Emmy at age 24 for his arrangement of “Classical Gas” by Mason Williams.

His early work included stints with the surfer band, The Marketts (famous for the theme to the “Batman” television series), Sammy Davis, Jr., Dean Martin, Kenny Rogers and Sonny & Cher (he played guitar on “I Got You Babe”). In 1968, he was named Musical Director for “The Andy Williams Show”.

He and co-composer Pete Carpenter are also responsible for the themes to some of the most acclaimed television dramas in history, including “The Rockford Files” (for which they received a Grammy), “Hill Street Blues” (for which they received two Grammys), “L.A. Law” (for which they received one Grammy), “NYPD Blues”, the “A-Team”, “Magnum, P.I.”, “Wiseguy” and “Law & Order: SVU”.

I recently came upon an old album of children's songs my parents gave me as a child entitled “Whoever Shall Have Some Good Peanuts.” It was by a folksinger named Sam Hinton. I would love to find a newer copy for my children. Is it available anywhere? Also, what can you tell me about Hinton himself?

Samuel Duffie Hinton was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on March 31, 1917, but grew up mainly in Texas. His father was a civil engineer in the oil industry. After Sam's second year at Texas A&M University, the Depression forced his father to move the family to Washington, D.C., in order to take a job with the Department of the Interior.

It was during this time that Hinton and his two younger sisters began singing semi-professionally as the Texas Trio in the D.C. area. In 1936, the Trio went to New York and won a Major Bowes' Amateur Hour competition. Although his sisters were too young to tour, Hinton joined the Major Bowes Transcontinental Revue, a vaudeville troupe.

After touring for two years, he wound up in Los Angeles where his father had relocated with the Interior Department. Sam quit the vaudeville troupe and enrolled at UCLA, finishing his studies in zoology. Although his professional training launched him on a respected career as a marine biologist and curator, teacher, author and illustrator, he maintained a lifelong interest in folklore and folksinging, recording 12 solo albums between 1947 and 1967 for the Decca and Folkways labels.

The album you cite was recorded for Folkways in 1964. Fortunately, when the Smithsonian Institution bought Folkways Records in 1987, it agreed to keep all titles in print. Four of Hinton's Folkways recordings, including “Whoever Shall Have Some Good Peanuts,” are available from Smithsonian Folkways. Hinton died on Sept. 10, 2009.

Can you tell me what bluesman Keb’ Mo’s real name is?

Keb’ Mo’s real name is Kevin Moore. Although born in Los Angeles, California, in 1951, Kevin Moore’s parents were from Texas and Louisiana, so the young boy’s musical education began with Southern gospel.

He began playing guitar when he was 12 and learned the French horn, trumpet, steel drum and bass as a teen. In 1994, he decided to embark on a solo career and released the eponymous, “Keb’ Mo’”.

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What’s the name of that song? Where are they now? What does that lyric mean? Send your questions about songs, albums, and the musicians who make them to Bradford Brady and John Maron are freelance music writers based in Raleigh, NC.

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