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TV theme songs/70s

TV theme songs/70s
July 17, 2006 03:19AM
In the 70s TV theme songs could be hit songs. You'd be riding in the car with your family and your dad would crank up "Rockford Files". What a weird concept. It wasn't enough that these cheesy songs were on one of the three existing TV channels once a week but people wanted to hear them on the radio and even buy the single.

These include:
Hill Street Blues - Mike Post (top ten)
Magnum PI - Mike Post
SWAT - Rhythm Heritage (#1)
Dukes of Hazzard - Waylon Jennings
Making Our Dreams Come Drue - Cyndi Grecco
Happy Days - Pratt & McClain (top 10)

I can't think of any others, but, the question is...when was the last time this happened? Could it happen again?

(Speaking of 70s TV - I miss the days when every cartoon was also a rock band. Where is the DVD for Groovie Goolies? Surely they were a big influence. (The Mummies and the Puppies? The Rolling Headstones? Drac was pre-Prince!). They had an LP that's a cool collector's item.)

Post Edited (07-17-06 00:20)
Re: TV theme songs/70s
July 17, 2006 08:29AM
I suppose it could happen again, the "Friends" theme was a hit for the Rembrandts, but I can't think of anything after that...... What's weird now is that rather than getting hit songs from TV shows we just get them straight from the commercials. Who knows what Moby's record sales would be without commercials to sell them.....Other 70s theme songs "Welcome Back Kotter" John Sebastian (a Number 1, I think), and that "Keep Your Eyes on the Sparrow" tune from Baretta by Sammy Davis Jr.

Post Edited (07-17-06 05:34)
Re: TV theme songs/70s
July 17, 2006 01:20PM
the Bodeans had a hit with the" Party of Five" theme, "Closer to Free" in the nineties
Re: TV theme songs/70s
July 17, 2006 01:35PM
the Bodeans and the Rembrandts songs though were written not with the TV show in mind.

I remember hearing the 'Cheers' song on the radio. There was also the theme to 'The Greatest American Hero'.

the flip side of Issac Hayes' "theme from Shaft" had "The Men" which was the theme from a short lived Robert Conrad vehicle "Assignment Vienna". Straight from the 70's cop show music factory but pure Hayes. I loved the SWAT theme song as a kid. Also liked Quincy Jones' "Sanford and Son".

As for now, I doubt it. TV doesn't command the number of viewers like it did in years past. Plus, it seems to me that TV shows nowadays dispense with title music. The only thing I could see working would be the entrance music for pro-wrestlers. Heck, Lemmy sings and writes(?) the music for HHH.
Re: TV theme songs/70s
July 17, 2006 10:02PM
I do remember the theme to "The Greatest American Hero" being at least a Top 20 hit back in '81, because I listened to it on Casey Kasem's American Top 40 ("keep your feet on the ground and reach for the stars" or something like it). I also remember listening to the Ban du Soliel suntan lotion commercials that were broadcast on the show during the summer months (the White Stripes song "The Nurse" from the last album kinda sounds like it.

Re: TV theme songs/70s
July 18, 2006 11:08AM
Jeez, I just saw a copy of the soundtrack of "The Heights" in the CD bargin bin of a local mall store
Re: TV theme songs/70s
July 18, 2006 03:34PM
That WAS a nice tune:

"Bain de Soleil for the San Tropez tan..."

Post Edited (07-18-06 18:56)
Re: TV theme songs/70s
July 18, 2006 04:11PM
Wow, someone else remembered! That's one commercial I miss hearing
Re: TV theme songs/70s
July 18, 2006 05:40PM
Ah, but does anyone else remember Yucca Dew?
Re: TV theme songs/70s
July 18, 2006 09:45PM
I remember both Bain de Soleil and Yucca Dew. These are jingles, not actual songs?

Coke had hit songs for jingles or vice-versa.

Re: TV theme songs/70s
July 18, 2006 09:50PM
What Coke did in the 60's was to have artists do their versions of the "Things Go Better With Coke" jingle in their own style. I have a CD of different versions of the jingle done by the Box Tops, Lesley Gore, Jay & Americans, etc., etc.
Re: TV theme songs/70s
July 18, 2006 11:47PM
In comparison to TV shows having hit songs, two bands took the "I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing" coca-cola jingle and had a hit song with it:
(Hillside Singers & New Seekers) in the early 70s. Let's see, who has done this recently? Who would?

[and speaking of bands doing jingles, don't forget the Stones version of Rice Krispies' "Wake Up in the Morning"].

Post Edited (07-18-06 20:50)
Re: TV theme songs/70s
July 19, 2006 01:28AM
The last decent theme song I can think of is Nerf Herder's "Theme from Buffy the Vampire Slayer" (which is also the only decent song I can think of by Nerf Herder). I think the Breeders did a version of it, too.

I don't think it was a hit or anything. I just bring it up because Buffy was one of the greatest shows of all time.

COMPLETELY OFF TOPIC (almost): Was watching the pilot episode of LEAVE IT TO BEAVER the other day, which is one of the extras on the first season dvd box, and was surprised and delighted to see that a young Harry Shearer played the prototype for Eddie Haskell (he wasn't Eddie, though - he was an altogether different creep.) Ward was played by the sleazy grandpa from SIXTEEN CANDLES and Richard Deacon made a pre-Fred Rutherford appearance as a dairy executive.
Re: TV theme songs/70s
July 19, 2006 02:44AM
I heard Faith No More doing a jingle for some sort of confectionary, very heartflet, I thought it was some kind of profound ballad at the time.

Snuff (again, where's the entry?) do the theme to 'Whatever Happened To The Likely Lads', 'In Sickness and In Health' and some jingle listed as 'Untitled'(on the album Flibbidydibbidydob) that goes 'Tasty, tasty, very, very tasty, they're very tasty', it rocks the house but I don't know the product.
Re: TV theme songs/70s
July 19, 2006 02:46AM
Another great recent (well, from the 90s anyway) theme song was "Hey Sandy" by Polaris, the theme for THE ADVENTURES OF PETE & PETE.
Re: TV theme songs/70s
July 19, 2006 03:02PM
They Might Be Giants theme to "Courage The Cowardly Dog" SHOULD have been a hit.
Re: TV theme songs/70s
July 19, 2006 06:27PM
As for recent musicians hired to write good TV theme riffs:
Bob Mould's 'Daily Show'
Spencer Blues Explosion's 'Anthony Bourdain'.
Re: TV theme songs/70s
July 19, 2006 12:39PM
In the `80's, I remember Budweiser got some bands to rework their songs into 'This bud's for you'. There was Icicle Works redoing "Whisper to a Scream (Birds Fly)" (don't remember a TV commercial, but I do remember hearing it on the radio) and Oingo Boingo redoing "Who Do You Want to Be?"

There was also a commercial for Colgate or Crest done to Madness' "Baggy Trousers" in the late `80's.

On recent TV themes - I've always like They Might Be Giants theme to "Malcom in the Middle" and speaking of Boingo, Danny Elfman did the theme to "Dilbert" with Steve Bartek and it sounds like it could have been included on the "Nothing to Fear" album.
Re: TV theme songs/70s
July 18, 2006 03:00AM
remember 'the heights'? ah, of course you don't, it was a flop. but somehow it managed a huge hit song that wasn't even its theme. err, i only watched cuz of charlotte ross...mmmmm
Re: TV theme songs/70s
July 20, 2006 02:09AM
That acoustic Uncle Tupelo album has the theme to The Waltons on it as a hidden track. Can't really imagine them having a laugh together at that stage of procedings.
Re: TV theme songs/70s
July 21, 2006 12:26AM
the minutemen do the theme for "Jackass" (yeah I know it wasn't written for the show).
The Blaster's did do the Bud thing too.
The Stones commercial is on You tube.
Re: TV theme songs/70s
July 21, 2006 02:26PM
Great cover versions of tv theme songs:

Husker Du - Mary Tyler Moore Show
Uncle Tupelo - Theme from Movin' On
Manic Street Preachers - Suicide is Painless
Bruce Springstone - Theme from the Flintstones
Ramones - Spiderman
Matthew Sweet - Scooby-Doo
Bob Marley - Buffalo Soldiers (Theme from the Banana Splits)

I think Joe King Carrasco used to do the Munsters theme live, but don't know that he ever recorded it.

Post Edited (07-21-06 11:31)
Re: TV theme songs/70s
July 21, 2006 06:27PM
the who doing the batman theme
Re: TV theme songs/70s
July 21, 2006 06:36PM
how about the Jam doing the Batman theme or the Kinks doing it as part of a medley at the Live at Kelvin Hall album

Post Edited (07-21-06 15:37)
Re: TV theme songs/70s
July 21, 2006 09:27PM
do the Ventures doing "Hiawiia Five-0" count
the Monkees theme
The Cowsills did the "LOve American Style" theme

maybe in the same vein Don Grady played on "My Three Sons" but also had a band called "the yellow ballon". My band used to cover "A Good Man to have around the house" which could have made the Nuggets box set.

Post Edited (07-21-06 18:51)
Re: TV theme songs/70s
July 22, 2006 02:26AM
Don Grady's band wasn't called the Yellow Balloon on the show, though, was it? I believe his band's name on the show was Robbie and the Greefs. But I remember "A Good Man to Have Around the House."

Frankly, I preferred the Honeybees' and their desert island classic "You Need Me" from Gilligan's Island.
Re: TV theme songs/70s
July 24, 2006 11:08AM
FYI, "A Good Man Around The House" can be found as a bonus track on the Sundazed CD reissue of the Yellow Balloon album, along w/several other Don Grady tracks
Re: TV theme songs/70s
July 22, 2006 05:39AM
Was it the Dickies that did the Killer Klowns From Outer Space theme?
Re: TV theme songs/70s
July 22, 2006 05:41AM
It WAS them, but I just realised it was the '80 not the '70s.
Re: TV theme songs/70s
July 22, 2006 08:20AM
The NY Dolls do an absolutely ripping version of the "Courageous Cat Theme" on the "Rock & Roll" compilation...There's also the Banana Splits theme done by a Liz Phair & Material Issue that I remember liking alot.

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