John Cacavas (13 August 1930, Aberdeen, S.D. - 28 January 2014, Beverly Hills, Calif.) was an America composer and conductor.
John and his siblings attended local schools; he displayed an early talent for music, forming a local band at age 14. He studied musical composition at Northwestern University.
Cacavas was probably best known for his television scores, notably Kojak, for which he was the chief composer, and for which he composed the second main title theme, used throughout the show's fifth and final season. Cacavas's television credits also include Hawaii Five-O, The Bionic Woman, Mrs. Columbo, and Buck Rogers in the 25th Century. While he has extensive credits in television series and television movies, such as Perfect Murder, Perfect Town, he has comparatively few credits for film scores, most notably two entries in the Airport series: Airport 1975 and Airport '77. He was also responsible for the eerie score for Horror Express, a film starring Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing. Scoring music for the 1981 television movie Hellinger's Law reunited him with Kojak veteran Telly Savalas.
More recently, Cacavas wrote the theme song for the 2005 video game Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories. The song March Popakov Remix was sampled by DJ Danger Mouse and is used frequently in the game.
He was also well known for his hundreds of arrangements of works for wind band.
Cacavas published his autobiography, entitled It's More than Do-Re-Mi: My Life in Music, in 2001. He lived in Beverly Hills, California, and London, England.
Works for Winds
- Allsports March (as arranger) (1949/1959)
- American Sea Rhapsody (1975)
- Americana Two-Step
- Bisham Grange Overture
- Burnished Brass and Army Blue (1963)
- A Carmen Celebration (as arranger) (1875/2010)
- Ceremonial Overture
- Ceremony for Winds (1960)
- Christmas Festival
- Christmas Music for Voices
- Christmas Music for Winds (1964)
- Days of Glory (1963)
- Do You Hear What I Hear/Snow Bells
- Fanfare March and Celebration
- The Fourth of July (1991)
- Grand Prix (1973)
- Heat Is On
- Highlights from "Hello, Dolly!" (as arranger)
- Highlights from "Sophisticated Ladies" (as arranger) (1981)
- Knightsbridge March (as arranger) (1933/1970)
- La Bella Roma (1965)
- La Polka de Paris
- La Rosita (as arranger) (1923/1965)
- Malagueña (arr Cacavas) (as arranger)
- Matador (1955)
- A Merry Brassy Christmas (1998)
- Overture from "Brigadoon" (as arranger)
- Pageant (1985)
- Parada Española (1968)
- Parada Mexicana
- Premiere Concertante
- Rockford Files, The (as arranger)
- Salute to the Colors
- Selections from "E.T." (The Extra-Terrestrial) (as arranger)
- Skier’s Waltz (as arranger) (1955/1957)
- Star Spangled Spectacular (as arranger) (1962)
- Symphonic Beatles, The
- Symphonic Prelude (1963)
- Symphonic Scenario
- Triumphal Overture
- Waltz Time for Christmas (2001)
- Waltz Time with Johann Strauss (as arranger) (2008)