a pro script reader ponders movies, reading, writing and the occasional personal flashback

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

TV Theme Songs

So I was tagged with this "Name Your Top 10 Favorite TV Theme Songs" meme, but I'm sure mine is pretty much the same as everyone else's; I grew up in the 1970s, when TV theme songs were in their heyday, whether it was new TV series or reruns of the classics (you know, The Brady Bunch, Gilligan's Island, I Dream of Jeannie, etc).

Instead, I thought I'd use it as an excuse to bring up the fact that I actually bought a lot of TV theme songs, as singles.

Which is actually pretty cool, because on the TV show you might get 30 seconds of the song, the single was the full 2-3 minute version. And only a few of these songs, like the themes to Happy Days or Welcome Back Kotter, ever got much airplay.

So the single is like the "deleted scenes" version; you got to hear the full thing -- or at least what the artist came up with as the full thing when asked to manufacture the single version.

So I dug through my box of singles, that my Dad send me last year when he was getting rid of all my crap. My box of singles is a scary look into my childhood -- all you really need to know is that the first single I ever bought was "Convoy" (which I like to think was nice foresight on my part -- how many hit singles become movies?)

There's also a copy of "Afternoon Delight" in there. And "Muskrat Love". Yikes. "Safety Dance". I'm going to stop now.

(There are also a lot of old Beatles and Wings singles in there. Ka-ching!)

Anyhow, though I thought I had more, I did find 3 TV theme 45s in there.

"Theme From S.W.A.T." was done by Rhythm Heritage, written by Barry DeVorzen. It clicks it at an impressive 4 minutes and 7 seconds. Flip side? "I Wouldn't Treat a Dog (The Way You Treated Me)". Nice.

"Making Our Dreams Come True", the theme from Laverne and Shirley. Performed by Cyndi Grecco. Clocks in at 2:29, complete with a funky instrumental break that was nowhere to be found on TV. Flip side "Watching You" (which could be anything from a stalker song to a paean to the joys of watching Laverne and Shirley -- I currently have no way to play these singles, and no memory of this particular song).

And, of course, the best theme song ever --

"The Rockford Files", performed by Mike Post. 3 minutes and 6 seconds of crunchy goodness. Copyright 1974, MGM records. Flip side? "Dixie Lullaby". Again, I have no idea what that was.

There's also a copy of "Shaduppa You Face" in there. God I was a weird kid.


At 3:08 PM, Anonymous pd boy said...

How could your forget the grooviest theme from the late '60's: Batman!

At 8:58 PM, Blogger Patrick J. Rodio said...

I used to love the theme music for a short-lived series (I think it was on ABC) called SUPERCARRIER!

At 10:09 PM, Anonymous Norm said...

I used to watch 90210 every week, but just as far as the "ch-ch" that was timed with Brandon play hitting Steve.

Or was it Dylan? Or that Bryan Austin guy?

Someone play hit someone. I loved that snippet of theme song.

At 8:37 AM, Anonymous kristen said...

i can't remember the rockford files theme. can you sing some if it for us, somehow?

At 10:58 AM, Anonymous Stephen Benson said...

the one i can never forget was when i had the musical epiphany of realizing that the theme song of "gilligan's island" and "stairway to heaven" were the same song. same key, same changes. "stairway to gilligan's island" was recorded by little roger and the goosebumps in san fransisco. they got sued by both led zeppelin (but who could respect a band that would kick out eric clapton AND jeff beck?) and ABC. but it was genius.

At 1:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think this whole "meme" thing is a conspiracy to make bloggers post tiresome lists instead of insightful personal comments.

At 2:17 PM, Blogger Scott the Reader said...

Hey, if chewing over my childhood singles collection isn't insightful personal commentary, I don't know what is.

At 5:23 AM, Blogger Thomas Crymes said...

My favorite of all time is the Miami Vice theme.

After that I have Hawaii Five-O
Then the Rockford Files

And somewhere, somehow, the Greatest American Hero is lurking in the shadows.

At 12:58 PM, Blogger Alicia said...

And did you know that a "schlemiel" is a prankster/dolt and a "schlemazel" is someone with rotten luck. As a kid, I had it explained as the person who spills the soup on someone and the person who gets the soup spilled upon.

At 5:23 AM, Blogger Thomas Crymes said...

Louie DePalma (Danny DeVito) had a definition for schlemiel and schlemazel in a particular episode of Taxi. I wonder if it was the same?


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