Joe HARNELL aka Composer

Click pic to enlarge
Joe Harnell
Aug. 2, 1924 - July 14, 2005
Joe was sweet enough to send me a personal note to post on my site regarding the "V" convention and his work.  Please be sure to check out his website!  Thanks Joe!  We'll continue to listen to and support you and your work! - Ilana

ORDER JOE's BOOK from Xlibris Bookstore


  May 9, 2009 - New York City with Alice Harnell

  More pics at the end of the story!

  1. baby KJ, Alice & Ilana on the same couch in hotel     that we took pics with Joe Harnell 4-1/2 years ago

  2. Twins Tyler & Anna with Alice & Ilana (check out Alice's cool socks!)

  3. Alice & Ilana - totally exhausted from lunch w/ 3 kids!

NEW - 09/05/09 - ABC "V" Composer, MARCO BELTRAMI, was in the USC Film Scoring class when JOE HARNELL was teaching there.  Having worked with Joe and with Jerry Goldsmith, it will be interesting to hear if he incorporates any of the things he learned from his mentors. I cannot think of a better way to honor JOE HARNELL's work.

NEW - 6/19/09 - A beautiful remake with just 2 guitars of Joe Harnell's The Incredible Hulk "The Lonely Man" theme song is available for download from Amazon!

NEW - 5/11/09 -  Words cannot describe what an amazing Mother's Day weekend I had!  Alice Harnell contacted me several months ago stating she was going to be visiting NYC for just a weekend.  My heart began to pound when she asked not only me to lunch, but also invited my mom, dad AND the hatchlings, baby KJ, Tyler & Anna!

Alice flew in to town to take a trip to the Philharmonic with her son, Derek, for Mother's Day.  My family was piled into the mini-van (which feels like a skyfighter because of all the controls.)  As we were driving through the Lincoln Tunnel, Alice called to get an estimate of what time we'd be arriving at the restaurant. 

Dad was driving, so we pulled up to the restaurant's loading zone.  I hopped out and ran into the restaurant.  I immediately spotted Alice and Derek waiting in the lounge area!  Alice looked great and greeted me with the biggest smile and hug anyone could ask for!  It's hard to believe the last time I saw her was with Joe 4-1/2 years ago.  (Please note, the picture below from 4-1/2 years ago of Alice, Joe and me is the very last picture ever taken of Joe.  When Alice told me that, my heart stopped.)

My stress-level is always high when I bring all 3 kids out to eat because it's just chaotic.  I am so grateful that Derek and Alice were helping out!  Derek took a baby, Alice took a baby and my parents took KJ, who had just woken up from the car ride so was very clingy.

We finally were able to settle down into our awaiting table and chairs and order.  Alice had poached salmon.

It was hard to really TALK with the kids taking up most of the attention, but Alice mentioned how she would love if some of Joe's original "V" music was used in the new ABC version.  And if you think about it, it would bring some sort of "closure" to the "V" fans, mixing epic music with a new re-imagined storyline.

Oh no!  Time to change the kids diapers!  The bathroom at the restaurant was a typical NYC bathroom -- very tight, so there was no place for me to do diapering-deed.  Alice graciously offered her room at her hotel!  How could I say no!  Mom and dad hung out in the hotel lobby while Alice, Derek, the 3 kids and I trekked up to Alice's room.  Check this out: Alice's room # was 522!  How perfect with the "22" in it, hmm?! (for those of you who are not "V" fans, "V" is the 22nd letter of the alphabet.)

After the kids were all changed, we all went back downstairs to the hotel lobby and took pictures on the same couch that we took the pic of Alice, Joe and me 4-1/2 years ago...

Needless to say, we had an amazing time and I couldn't have asked for a better way to spend my Mother's Day weekend!  Thanks, Alice and Derek (and mom & dad!)

Baby KJ tugs at Alice to take her outside.

Alice being pulled into the busy streets of NYC.

Alice and her son, Derek.

NEW - 4/28/08 - JOE HARNELL's "Bionic Woman" music is now available on CD!  Visit JOE HARNELL's site and order it NOW!  I already received mine in record time, and let me tell you... it's amazing. Brings back very happy memories!

NEW - 07/14/05 - Joe Harnell passed away Thursday, July 14th 2005 of heart failure in Sherman Oaks,CA. Services will be private. A memorial celebration will be announced at a later date. Contributions may be made in Joe's name to "USC Thornton School of Music, Los Angeles, CA."  From our Creator Ken Johnson: "A good friend, a great talent whose music will live on. "


ilana, Joe & Alice Harnell
NYC 9/24/2004
Click pic to enlarge
This is the last picture of Joe ever taken.

NEW - 9/10/07 - JOE HARNELL (in loving memory) and his amazing wife, Alice, have joined the Charity donation program!  Click HERE to donate through to the Joe & Alice Harnell Scholarship Fund (music)!

NEW - 8/28/07 - New Release of JOE HARNELL's music! THE INCREDIBLE HULK Episodic Collection featuring full original soundtrack recordings for various episodes of the series scored by Mr. Harnell.  Go to to see everything!

NEW - 10/10/04 - I met JOE HARNELL and his lovely wife, Alice, for brunch on 9/24/04!  .

NEW - 01/29/04 - Heard from Joe! His Counterpoint book interview is being re-aired!  THE SHOW AIRS ON CHANNEL 57 AND 104 IN MANHATTAN, NYC on February 19 at 7:30pm.

NEW - 12/03/02 - Joe will be doing a concert called "MOSTLY COLE" with his quartet and a wonderful singer, Lisa Bowman. The program consists of Joe's music, and the second half is devoted to the music of Cole Porter (as well as some anecdotes about his life).  Here are the details: "MOSTLY COLE", 2:00 p.m., Thursday, December 5 (the show is 2 hours long), THE WARNER GRAND THEATRE, 478 W. 6th St., San Pedro, California. No reserved seating - first come, first served (sounds so V'ish!).  Doors open 30 minutes before curtain time.  The theatre is an elegant old movie palace built in the early 20's with 1500 seats, so there should be room for you and almost all of your friends! Email me if you can go!!!

NEW - 05/23/02 - Read what Ken Johnson and Joe Harnell have to say about their work in The Incredible Hulk TV series! Click HERE.

05/04/02 - From Joe: "We just returned from Florida, and the trip was a happy, successful experience in many ways. Here are couple of the headlines: A "while" ago, as a music scholarship recipient studying piano with Bertha Foster, and playing trombone in the U.of M. symphony orchestra under the direction of Modeste Aloo. I also funtioned as a "utility" brass player in the  band at the Hurricane football games ("Here`s to the spi-rit of Mi-am-i U"). I was also actively working at that time playing piano in jazz joints, for dinner music, and dancing, at the hotels on the beach. Wearing my ruffled shirt, and moustache (very light fuzz, that I darkened, and kind of "filled in") I earned the respect of some of the hottest Latin musicians in town. My "Montunas"were cool enough so that the guys called me Jose (Hose-ay)! At that time there were approximately 500 students enrolled at the school. Today , 60 years later there are I`m told, many thousands who come here from all over the world. 

At the invitation of the Dean of the  music school,  William Hipp, I presented master classes in film scoring to the film scoring and composition departments.   All the  music students that attended were  focussed, serious, bright, gifted, and signicantly committed to making a living in music. A similar ethic to what I find in my classes here at the Flora Thornton School of Music at USC. Thank you all at the University of Miami for a wonderful experience. Your music students in a word, were great!

Thinking of what it was like, what happened, and what it`s like today the beauty, size and scope of the University itself is overwhelming.  The buildings housing the Music Department include a number of concert halls, and many  other facilities to  accommodate classes in instrumental music, composition, conducting, courses in cutting edge electronics, spacious rehearsal and practice rooms for symphonic, chamber and choral groups. Also, a wonderful variety of Jazz and big bands, and on and on.  Most impressive was the work of the Program  Director of Media Writing and Production by Dr. Raul Murciano. He has had many years of professional  experience in music and, the Business of music, in addition to his many academic achievements. Raul, basically teaches the requirements of "how to earn a living in the arts". Fortunately, I also re-connected with a highly regarded member of the music school faculty, a familiar face. Another old pro who grew up as I did, in the "trenches", a friend and colleague Jim Progriss.

The physical architecture of the campus, with its beautiful man-made lakes, is not only contemporary  but also in keeping with the tropical setting. Despite a resort-type look, the University of Miami has a most serious program of studies.  The U. of M. has earned a highly respected academic standard among the other great Universities of renown. In addition to my classes, I attended a tribute concert by Luciano Pavarotti to a sold out house of enchanted fans and opera lovers.  The concert was followed by a gala reception celebrating 35 years as director of the Florida Concert Association of my long time friend, Judy Drucker.  Among the participants were appearances by a number of her old pals:  Roberta Peters, Evelyn Lear, Martin Bookspan (the voice of Lincoln Center), and closing the program, me. I spoke about Judy and then played "Fly Me To the Moon," and an original composition, "Memory of a Dream."

Yet again, another memorable adventure and, you CAN go home again! Besides, the weather was great and the food was fantastic!! Love, Joe"

02/28/02 - From Joe: "I hope all is well with you and your family. We are both fine and enjoying the fruits of my recently completed and upcoming projects, which I thought you`d be interested in. My twelfth year of teaching film scoring at USC has just concluded - -as always, it is one of the great rewards of "giving it away" in order to "keep it." Earlier this month, the Italian Saxophone Quartet performed the world premier of my composition, "Laugh it Up," at the Steinbeck Hall in Monterey, California. I've been invited to write another piece for this remarkable group.  And yes, they are from Italy. On February 23 I gave a concert, "Mostly Cole," at the Shannon Center in Whittier.  The performance was a sold-out success!  Everybody had a great time--especially me. In April I'll be off to give several seminars at my alma mater, the University of Miami, on film scoring, and will be able to re-visit some of my old haunts (if I can still recognize them, after all these years). Love, Joe"

12/27/01 - Read Part II of an amazing essay by Robert Gross' on Joe's music. Rob hung out with Joe the other week in Calif!

12/06/01 - Joe Harnell was be the guest speaker at the Pacific Pioneer Broadcasters "Nostalgia Night" on December 6, 2001 at 7:30 p.m.  The location is on the lower floor of the Washington Mutual Bank at Sunset and Vine in Hollywood at 7:30 p.m. Joe told stories of his life in the music business, including having worked with most of the major musical stars of the 20th century!  Healso had some film clips from his days as musical director of the Mike Douglas Show, and answered questions from the audience. Admission is free.

PERSONAL NOTE FROM JOE: 11/8/01 - A project currently 'in the works' is a CD (or perhaps a set of two ) of The Bionic Woman scores.  There have been requests from all over the world (amazing!) for the music from that show, so that is now on the agenda. Note from Ilana: YAY!!!!!!!!

PERSONAL NOTE FROM JOE: 10/12/01 - Dear Ilana, It was good to hear from you and that all is well in your busy life.  We're fine and I'm in the midst of arranging some new material and rehearsing for a series of events coming up -- some of which are fund raisers for the families of the victims of the WTC disaster. And yes, I am still teaching at USC. There are a couple of updated items on my website, when you get a chance to look at it. Meantime, stay well and stay in touch. Alice joins me in sending lots of love. Joe 

JOE DID BOOK SIGNINGS!  His first one was on Aug. 30, 2001 at the Beverly Hills Public Library at 7pm. Joe performed and answered questions from the audience. The evening was free of charge!  Here's what Joe told me about his experience: "The booksigning went extremely well.  The auditorium was totally full, book and CD's were autographed and sold, I performed, told some stories, read a little from the book and everyone had a good time, especially me.  That was August 30, and it feels like a year ago, with all that has happened to the world since that night."

To see the list of Joe Harnell's upcoming performances, go to his website and click on News!

A Message From Joe -  8/27/01

Thought you'd enjoy reading the following review which is appearing in the current issue of "International Musician" of the American Federation of Musicians.  This is our first published review, with many others to follow. Who knows...if they are all as kind as this one, if you twist my arm, I just might write another book - Joe

8/27/01 - Read an amazing essay by Robert Gross' on Joe's music.

6/17/01 - Joe's book Counterpoint has finally arrived!  You can order it via Amazon or via phone at 1-888-795-4274 x276 to speak to an orders associate.  Allow 2 - 3  weeks for paperback delivery, and 3 - 4 weeks for hard cover.  The prices are $16.00 for paperback, and $25.00 for the hard cover edition.  There is also an E-Book version for $10.  These are Joe's memoirs and includes a multitude of professional experiences and personal stories, as well as lots of photographs.

Joe contacted me on 2/11/01 with the following information!:

"At my  USC film scoring class Tues.2/13/01(from noon to 2 p.m,) I`ll be presenting a special guest,Ken Johnson. We will discuss his career as a Writer, Director, and Producer in the course of his vast experience in film and T.V. He created many television series including the NBC mini-series "V", HOT PURSUIT, CLIFFHANGERS, SHADOW CHASERS, the innovative hit series ALIEN-NATION, THE BIONIC WOMAN, THE INCREDIBLE HULK, THE LIBERATORS and also, a number of movies. By the way, all of the above allowed Alice and me, my four sons, as  well as a couple of ex- wives to make it possible to enjoy the good life ! (Thank you Kenny.)  This Tuesday my class will focus on the background, development, production, and the recordings of my score for the NBC mini series 'V'."

"Not having been to a convention like this before, I was surprised and very pleased to see the enthusiasm and participation of the fans who attended the "V" convention in Los Angeles.  Those who arrived in costume had obviously taken great care to be as authentic as possible to the original characters.  I was extremely gratified to learn of so many people who had heard, and loved, my score for "V," and who, even after 17 years, still remember it well!  (I guess the periodic re-runs have helped keep it fresh!)  A bit of "V" trivia:  although, as we know, the show was an outstanding production, the only Emmy nomination it received was for my score. There are CD's of the score for sale on my website  under the category 'CD's'  I look forward to the next "V" get-together, and would be delighted to be one of the speakers."

Joe Harnell