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Stan Zabka

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Stan Zabka, USA, “As a soldier, Stan served in World War II alongside his seven brothers. During the Korean War and the Cold War with Russia, he joined NBC’s 301st Broadcast and Leaflet Group, a psychological warfare group made up of media members from NBC and the New York Daily News. The unit was dispatched to Europe, where Stan later became Military News Chief of the American Forces Network.


In a career twice interrupted by military service, Zabka's compiled a record of achievements and peer awards in many diverse fields of the entertainment industry. Returning from Europe as military news chief of the American Forces Network during the Korean War, he continued his music studies in New York and earned recognition as a composer of memorable theme music for various Pulitzer, Christopher, and Emmy-award winning television specials. He's co-composer with Al D'Artega of "Chimes", the original Tonight Show theme, the marching band version of which later became the signature theme of NBC Network Sports for many years. Possibly his best known popular work is "Christmas Eve In My Home Town" which he co-wrote with Don Upton when they were Pages at NBC.”  Stan Zabka is the author of Razz Ma Tazz: My Life in Music, Television and Film.

According to the book description of Razz Ma Tazz: My Life in Music, Television and Film, “From a Depression era home with a rich family heritage emerges a man whose music career, though interrupted by service in two wars, is seasoned to serve in the entertainment industry. His successes and failures, ups and downs, take him from obscurity to the limelight. His music and recordings still captivates millions. “In Razz Ma Tazz, Stan Zabka gives us a glimpse into a very specialized corner of the greatest generation’s journey. Surviving the Great Depression and WWII, Stan immersed himself in the fragile fields of broadcasting popular music, and movies ---seemingly all at the same time. Never a star but always a player, Stan shows us a world few have seen and adds the perspective of an ultimate insider.”


Nick Clooney Distinguished Journalist in Residence The Newseum, Washington, D.C. Stan Zabka writes from his heart about his roots, a model mother and a distant father, along with eleven brothers and sisters. He and seven of his brothers served in World War II. Finishing college, he began his songwriting career in New York as a Page Boy with NBC. Just as his first song was published, he joined an NBC Psychological Warfare bound for Europe during Korea War and the Cold War with Russia. A civilian once again, Zabka traveled with the Johnny Long Orchestra as vocalist before rejoining NBC as an associate television director. During a quarter century with the network, Zabka created themes for its Peabody and Christopher Award-winning shows, notably Chimes, the original “Tonight Show” and “NBC Sports” themes.

He holds an Emmy as a television director, a film producer Oscar nomination, and three coveted music awards from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP). In 2007, the American Forces Network (AFN) honored the noted composer by labeling his first published song, Christmas Eve in My Home Town, “The Soldier’s Christmas Song.” An octogenarian, still going strong as a lecturer, Zabka entertains senior citizens on a regular basis at retirement homes and assisted living venues. Veteran broadcaster Tom Foty hails Razz Ma Tazz as “a warm and engaging biography of real family values and sprinkled with entertaining showbiz tidbits--- from the inner working of the music business and the early days of network television to Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show and later films of Clint Eastwood ---all to the beat of a parade of song titles so important to the life of my friend.”

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