I sometimes wonder if there are others like me out there who miss the golden age of television. Growing up watching "The Wonderful World of Disney" every Sunday night. Waiting anxiously to see what disaster Lassie would help prevent this week. Not to mention Saturdays with Roy Rogers and Tarzan.
When I was older and my television viewing became a little more sophisticated I looked forward to shows like Mary Tyler Moore, Carol Burnett and Bob Newhart. These shows were funny without being cruel or demeaning to their characters. Nothing like the comedies of today. As I look at the television guide today and see it littered with reality shows showcasing the worst behavior humans have to offer as entertainment, I can't help but miss the shows of my youth.
Back in the old days, shows used to have theme songs. These were catchy little songs that I can still sing to this day. Just a few bars of any one of them and the show they represented pops right back into your head. They were a clever and very effective marketing tool. I can still sing the entire "Green Acres" song, Hungarian inflection and all.
That all being said, I have compiled my ten best television theme songs list. See if you remember them and if they are also on your list.
1. Cheers. Where Everybody Knows Your Name by Gary Portnoy. Who doesn't want to go where everyone knows their name? This is a great theme song. You can't hear it without being back at the Cheers bar with Sam, Norm, Carla and the gang.
2. Justified. Long Hard Times to Come by Gangstagrass. I include this one because it is one of the few shows that feature a theme song these days. When I hear the first few beats of the song, there is Timothy Olyphant as Raylan Givens walking down that lonely railroad track. The song conveys the gritty world of Harlan, Kentucky and the tone of Justified. It does its job and it can stay in your head for days.
3. All in The Family. Those Were the Days sung by Jean Stapelton and Carrol O'Connor. Anyone who grew up in the seventies recalls Edith and Archie sitting at the piano belting out Those Were the Days. Didn't need no welfare state. Everybody pulled his weight. Those were the Days. The song fit Archie Bunker perfectly and who could forget Edith's off key voice singing in delight.
4. Friends. I'll Be There For You by the Rembrandts. The perfect theme song for this show about 6 friends. This show was about 6 people who were more like family than just friends. They didn't spend thirty minutes deriding each other and having a laugh at each other's expense. You got to know and love each character and embrace them will all their flaws as they struggled through life together.
5. Mary Tyler Moore. Love Is All Around by Sonny Curtis. Another one I can still sing to this day. It was the single working girls anthem during the seventies. You might just make it after all. This show was a trailblazer in its time. It depicted a single, working woman who was happy and successful. Mary was a modern woman. She even addressed some controversial subjects such as premarital sex and birth control.
6. The Jeffersons. Movin on Up by Janet Dubois. Took a whole lot of trying just to get up that hill. This show about a black family that worked their way up to the big time, was another seventies favorite. Their theme song told their story with a few lyrics. Their struggle and their eventual success through hard work. It dealt with racial themes including bi-racial marriage, a controversial subject in the seventies.
7. The Addams Family. Addams Family Theme Song written by Vic Mizzy. This song with its finger snapping and harpischord is just fun. Their creepy and their kooky. Mysterious and spooky. The theme song was better than the show. What can I say.
8. Scooby Doo. Scooby Doo Where Are You sung by Larry Marks. I can almost guarantee that everyone who was a kid in the seventies can sing this song. If we can count on you Scooby Doo, I know we'll catch that villain. And they could always count on Scooby Doo!
9. The Flintstones. Meet the Flintstones by Hoyt Curtin. The Flintstones was the first prime time cartoon. The Meet the Flintstones song wasn't used until the third season. It was The Honeymooners in the Cave Man era. Have a Yabba Dabba Doo time!
10. The Beverly Hillbillies. The Ballad of Jed Clampett by Paul Henning. Come and listen to a story about a man named Jed. A poor mountaineer barely kept his family fed. Thus began the Clampett family's journey to Beverly Hills, where they fit in like a sore thumb. This show appealed to the rural audience that built CBS. Along with shows like Andy Griffith and Green Acres, its homespun humor made CBS number one.
These are my ten favorite TV theme songs. There are many others I could have included like Gilligan's Island, The Brady Bunch even Petticoat Junction, but I had to choose the ones I feel best evoked the shows they represented.
Tell me your favorite theme songs or weigh in on my choices. In the meantime I'm so glad we had this time together. Remember that one?
Article Views: 1066 Report this Article