Great TV theme songs

20 04 2009

At nights when I can’t sleep, I think about ridiculous themes and topics.   The one that kept me up last night was great TV theme songs.  All these, in my opinion, are songs that are good independent of (or in spite of in some cases) the TV shows to which they were connected.

I’m thinking of these themes more as songs and less as nostalgia bits, but if you enjoy them because they take you down memory lane, that’s cool.

Barney Miller — Gotta love that fat, funky bass line.

Happy Days — No, I’m not talking about the theme song made the show.  That was a trite piece of garbage.  Some of you may not remember but for the first season of the show, Bill Haley’s “Rock Around the Clock,” an early rock masterpiece.  The clips in the show intro fit the spirit of the song, almost as if it were a video.

Batman — This song is one of the first songs kids try to learn when they get a guitar.  The show was campy, but cool.  The song has been covered by a number of bands, including respectable outfits like The Jam.

The Dukes of Hazzard — When I was 7, there wasn’t a cooler show on TV than the “Dukes of Hazzard.”  It was brilliant.  At 37 the show seems…well…embarrassing.  But theme song, sung by country legend Waylon Jennings, is still cool.  Had it not had such a strong connection to the show, it would have stood on its own as a solid country hit.

WKRP in Cincinnati (outro or closing theme) — That song rocked!  One of the best parts about it, though, was that the lyrics were completely and utterly uintelligable.  I’m not even sure they were sung in English.  Maybe they weren’t “lyrics” at all but simply grunts and groans.  This youtube video nails that.

Miami Vice — Because we were dorks, my good buddy, Mark, and I got together as many Friday evenings as we could for a year or two to watch “Miami Vice.”  Awesome stuff!  We so badly wanted to be Don Johnson that you could almost taste the mousse if you stood close enough to us.  Jan Hammer’s theme song was unquestionably cool…in our minds.  We drove around blasting it from the boom box on his front seat.  Man, we ate a lot of C batteries listening to that soundtrack.

The Munsters — I couldn’t tell you whether the deep brass instrument is some sort of tuba or a saxophone (maybe a tenor sax) but it make a one-of-a-kind sound.  The guitar was a brilliant bit of surf rock.  Too bad I couldn’t find a good copy of the original theme; this appears to be a remake.

Twilight Zone — Some of my funnest memories as a young kid were of staying up entirely too late to watch “Twilight Zone” re-runs with my Uncle Bob.  That show scared the crap out of me when I was a little guy, but it’s probably my all-time favorite TV series.  Everyone knows the eerie theme song.  It’s the little tune we hum or whistle when someone does or says something completely bizarre. I love it so much, I’m giving you the show intro, with Rod Serling’s voice over, and the theme music (instrumental.)

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2 responses

24 04 2009
Dukes Online

Great post. The Dukes of Hazzard theme was awesome! A true trip down memory lane.

24 04 2009
ourboy

You’re welcome. Thanks for stopping by.

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