What’s Your Favorite TV Theme Song?
It’s seems like the art of a great television theme song has gone the way of the pay phone, the drive-in theater and video arcades.
TV Guide has a great article of their top 10 list of television theme songs and that got me to thinking what my top 10 list would look like. There are so many great them songs to choose from, but here’s my top 10.1. The Beverly Hillbillies: The show was a huge ratings success and aired on CBS from 1962 until 1971. The show starred Buddy Ebsen, Irene Ryan, Donna Douglas and Max Baer Jr.. The theme song, ‘The Ballad of Jed Clampett’ was written by the show’s creator, Paul Henning and performed by the bluegrass duo Flatt and Scruggs.
2. The Jeffersons: The show was a spinoff of All In The Family and became a big hit in its own right, airing on CBS from 1975 until 1985. The show starred Sherman Hemsley and Isabel Sanford. The theme song, ‘Movin’ On Up’ was written by Don Great and performed by Ja’net Dubois.
3. The Mary Tyler Moore Show: This was a breakthrough show in the early 70’s, with the show featuring a single woman making it on her own. The cast was great, with Mary Tyler Moore, Lou Grant, Valerie Harper, Betty White, Gavin MacLeod , Ted Knight, Cloris Leachman and Georgia Engle. The theme song, ‘Love Is All Around’ was written and sung by Sonny Curtis.
4. Cheers: This was “must see TV” from 1982 to 1993. It was our home away from home from away. The show featured the friendships and relationships of those who frequented a downtown Boston bar, Cheers. The show starred Ted Danson, Shelley Long, Nichols Colassanto, Rhea Perlman, George Wendt, John Ratzenberger, Woody Harrelson, Kelsey Grammer, Kirstie Alley and Bebe Neuwirth. The theme song, ‘Everybody Knows Your Name’ was written by Judy Hart Angelo and Gary Portnoy and was performed by Gary Portnoy.
5. Happy Days: The sitcom set in Milwaukee aired from 1974 to 1984 on ABC. The show starred Tom Bosley, Ron Howard, Marion Ross and Henry Winkler. The opening theme song is season 1 and 2 was the Bill Haley & Comets’ 50’s hit ‘Rock Around The Clock’ then in season 3, the theme song changed to ‘Happy Days’ and it became a top five hit for Pratt & McClain in 1976.
6. Gilligan’s Island: The show only ran on CBS from 1964 until 1967, with just 98 original episodes. The show starred Bob Denver, Alan Hale Jr., Jim Backus, Natalie Schafer, Tina Louise, Dawn Wells and Russell Johnson. The theme song, ‘The Ballad Of Gilligan’s Isle’ was written by the show’s creator, Sherwood Schwartz, and by George Wyle. The song was performed by The Wellingtons. A little-known fact is that this show had TWO versions of the opening, see if you can find the difference in the lyrics!
7. Married With Children: This was a groundbreaking show for the then-new television network FOX. The show aired 11 seasons from 1987 until 1997. It started Ed O’Neill, Katey Segal, Christina Applegate, David Faustino, Amanda Bearse, David Garrison, Ted McGinley and Buck the Dog. The show’s theme song is the iconic ‘Love and Marriage’ performed by Frank Sinatra. I still watch reruns every morning!
8. All In The Family: This is another groundbreaking television show that was set in Queens, N.Y. The show aired on CBS from 1971 until 1979. The cast was phenomenal with Carrol O’Connor, Jean Stapleton, Rob Reiner and Sally Struthers. The show created many spin-offs: The Jeffersons, Maude and Gloria. The theme song ‘Those Were The Days’ was written by Lee Adams and Charles Strouse and performed by Carrol O’Connor and Jean Stapleton.
9. The Andy Griffith Show: The show aired on CBS from 1960 to 1968, and starred Andy Griffith, Ron Howard, Don Knotts and Frances Bavier. The show was set in Mayberry, North Carolina. The show’s theme song ‘The Fishin’ Hole’ was composed by Earle Hagen and Herbert Spencer with lyrics written by Everett Sloane. The whistling was done by Earle Hagen.
10. Friends: The show aired from 1994 until 2004 on NBC and starred Jennifer Aniston, Courtney Cox, Lisa Cudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry and David Schwimmer. The opening song was the huge radio hit by the Rembrandts ‘I’ll Be There For You’, the song was a No. 1 song for eight weeks in 1995.
There are so many other great television theme songs that aren’t on my list. What theme songs would you add as your favorite?