There’s a holdup in the Bronx, Brooklyn’s broken out in fights. There’s a traffic jam in Harlem That’s backed up to Jackson Heights. There’s a scout troop short a child, Khrushchev’s due at Idlewild. Car 54, where are you?
John Strauss, an Emmy-winning composer and music editor who wrote the theme music for “Car 54, Where Are You?” and “The Phil Silvers Show” (familiarly known as “Sergeant Bilko”), died on Monday in Los Angeles. He was 90.
Mr. Strauss received an Emmy for sound editing in 1978 for his work on the TV movie “The Amazing Howard Hughes,” and a Grammy in 1984 for producing the soundtrack album of the film “Amadeus.”
But it was for “Car 54” that he remained best known. Broadcast on NBC from 1961 to 1963, the show opens with its stars, Fred Gwynne and Joe E. Ross, blithely cruising the city in their squad car (they can be seen playing checkers on the dashboard as they drive), oblivious of the catastrophes erupting throughout the city.