Neal Hefti was an American jazz trumpeter, composer, tune writer, and arranger. He was perhaps best known for composing the theme music for the Batman television series of the 1960s, and for scoring the 1968 film The Odd Couple and the subsequent TV series of the same name.
He began arranging professionally in his teens, when he wrote charts for Nat Towles. He became a prominent composer and arranger while playing trumpet for Woody Herman; while working for Herman he provided new arrangements for Woodchopper's Ball and Blowin' Up a Storm, and composed The Good Earth and Wild Root. After leaving Herman's band in 1946, Hefti concentrated on arranging and composing, although he occasionally led his own bands. He is especially known for his charts for Count Basie such as Li'l Darlin' and Cute.
As the actors Adam West and Burt Ward slid down to the Batcave during the title sequence of the twice-weekly 1960s series Batman, they emerged as Batman and Robin to the accompaniment of one of the best-known television themes of all. Built around a simple 12-bar blues, Neal Hefti’s “Na-na-na-na Na-na-na-na Batman!” theme was sung in school playgrounds across the world, and became the most-recorded song of 1966.
Hefti was a brilliant composer and arranger who created the scores for many other television shows and films, notably the two Neil Simon movies The Odd Couple and Barefoot in the Park. His score for Harlow included the song Girl Talk which has become a jazz standard.