Doug: Redartz is along today as our host, and does he have a fun topic for us. This is one, no doubt, that will be near and dear to all our hearts.
Redartz: Good day, all! Before we start, let me issue a proactive apology: if this topic has been covered previously here, you may all grant me 10 demerits. Memory can be a nebulous thing, but this subject is (hopefully) a bit of fun. Therefore, here goes...
Television Theme Music! The tuneful introductions that open, and often close, our favorite programs; the variety here is as wide as the variety in the shows themselves. Some featured spoken introductions, such as Rod Serling's classic “Twilight Zone” intro. Others were sung, ballad style: think “Gilligan's Island” or “The Beverly Hillbillies”. Some were purely instrumental, as in “Hill Street Blues” and “The Bob Newhart Show”. Some even impacted the public consciousness enough to earn a spot on the Billboard Pop Singles charts (Mike Post's theme from “The Rockford Files”, as well as his above-mentioned “Hill Street Blues” each reached number 10, while “S.W.A.T.” and “Miami Vice” both reached number 1!).
As a boy, the “Batman” theme would get me stoked for the “wham, pow” adventures soon to be filling our black-and-white console screen. In my teens, Cindi Grecco”s “Making Our Dreams Come True” (Laverne and Shirley, of course!) would bring a smile of anticipation for the impending laugh fest. A good theme song will stick in your mind; certainly a show's creators hope this is the case. Often a theme song becomes so indelibly linked with it's show; just hearing a few notes will bring the program to mind. Angelo Badalamente's theme from “Twin Peaks” always does this for me; it so perfectly evoked the mysterious, somewhat creepy feel of the show. With all this in mind, here are a few of my favorite theme songs:
Jonny Quest Theme: greatest saturday morning show theme from arguably the greatest Saturday morning adventure show.
Barnaby Jones: a bit obscure, but a very cool theme tune...
By the way, the CD cover presented above is representative of a series of such collections issued by TeeVee Tunes. The first collections were released originally on vinyl; and were among the last LPs I bought before converting to digital. These CDs are a great source of television themes, ranging from the late 40s up to the 90s ( and a great party soundtrack: at college we played the first collection at a weekend fest, everyone had a blast trying to identify the associated programs and singing along with the lyrics). I'd say a few of the recordings may be remakes, but most are the original versions we knew and recognized.
So, here is my first question to you: What theme songs are your favorites? Which ones are most memorable, which are excruciating to hear even today? Feel free to make your lists!
Incidentally, there were also the variety shows (I sorely miss those...), whose hosts often had their own theme song: Dean Martin and “Everybody Loves Somebody Sometime”, or Sonny and Cher signing off each show with “ I've Got You, Babe”. This brings us to our second question today: imagine you are starring in a show based upon your life . What would be your theme song? What song would be playing as you enter the room, take the stage and let the world see who you are?