Thursday, August 13, 2015

The 5 Best TV Theme Songs of All Time

Do these photos trigger happy memories of good TV theme songs?
If you are of a certain age, you remember when TV theme songs actually meant something. Unlike many of today's themes that air for ten seconds or less, these classics would play for at least a minute before the show would begin and the song would stick in your head for days to come. Very few shows do that today and many (like the CSI franchise) have borrowed music from other sources. While we all have our favorites for one reason or another, here are five of the very best with the actual songs:
 

Mission: Impossible's classic theme song
Mission: Impossible
Composter Lalo Schifrin has said that it took all of three minutes to write the iconic theme song of Mission: Impossible. However, in a recent interview for the New York Post he said that he told a different tale in the 60's: “I was in Vienna and at a press conference and one lady asked me why I wrote Mission: Impossible in 5/4 [tempo]. I said, ‘Everybody knows that there have been beams from outer space coming because of interplanetary flights. The people in outer space have five legs and couldn’t dance to our music, so I wrote this for them.' The lady believed it. “All the magazines in Vienna published it . . . my European agent called me and said, ‘What are you trying to do?!’ ”

In addition to this masterpiece, Schifrin has written theme music for many movies and other TV shows including The Man from U.N.C.L.E., Mannix, Medical Center and Starsky and Hutch. Ironically, Schifirin has never won an Emmy for his work. 






The Munsters classic theme song
The Munsters
Though The Munsters theme song is reminiscent to the song, “Baby Elephant Walk,” the song has its own personality. The song was recently included in Fall Out Boy's song “Uma Thurman” though some people think that the music came from the movie Pulp Fiction, in which she danced a scene with John Travolta.

The song, which was nominated for a Grammy in 1965, was written by Jack Marshall who also composed music for the TV shows, The Deputy, The Investigators and The Debbie Reynolds Show. The lyrics of the song were written by Bob Mosher. Wait? Lyrics? Yes, the song did contain lyrics, but they where never heard on the show. However, the lyrics were featured on the 1964 record, At Home with the Munsters. Here are the lyrics that you missed:
 

When you are walking down the street at night - And behind you there's no one in view.
But you hear mysterious feet at night, - Then the Munsters are following you.

If you should meet this strange family - Just forget what some people have said,
The Munsters may shake your hand clammily - But they're not necessarily dead.

Behind their house you mustn't be afraid - To see a figure digging with a spade.
Perhaps someone didn't quite make the grade - With the Munsters, with the Munsters.

If when you're sleeping you dream a lot, - Ghoulish nightmares parade through your head,
And then you wake up and scream a lot, - Oh the Munsters are under your bed.

At midnight if creatures should prowl about, - And if vampires and vultures swoop down.
And werewolves and fiends shriek and howl about, - Oh the Munsters are out on the town.

One night I dared peak through their window screen, - My hair turned white at such a crazy scene.
Because every evening it's Halloween - At the Munsters, at the Munsters.



Josie and the Pussycats classic theme song
Josie and The Pussycats
The theme song for Josie and the Pussycats was better than the show itself and the reason for that is that the voices who sang the songs on the show were not the same who voiced the characters. While working on the actual show, Hanna-Barbera Productions created a real band of females to perform the songs. Produced by La La Productions, 500 female singer finalists were narrowed down to just three: Cathy Dougher for Josie, Patrice Holloway as Valerie and future Charlie's Angel, Cheryl Ladd, for Melody.

The songs were written by producer Danny Janssen (who also wrote for The Partridge Family), Austin Roberts, Sue Sheridan and Bobby Hart (one of the songwriters for The Monkees).

The show was based on the characters from the Archie comic book series of the same name.




Hawaii Five-O classic theme song
Hawaii Five-O
It can be argued that the re-boot version of Hawaii Five-O TV show is hit partially because CBS chose to keep the origin theme song. The TV tune, which won two Emmy awards, was composed by Morton Stevens. Stevens work has been nominated seven other times for work on other television shows including Gunsmoke and Police Woman.

The Hawaii Five-O theme song was recorded by The Ventures and the song reached #4 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song has become the unofficial fight song for the University of Hawaii. In addition, the song has been released twice with two sets of different lyrics: You Can Come With Me by Don Ho and You Can Count on Me by Sammy Davis Jr.

Perhaps the strangest bit of trivia regarding the song is how is it was mistaken for the national anthem of the United States for the Australian movie, The Dish.






The Monkees classic theme song
The Monkees
Don Kirshner, the Screen Gems head of music hired Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart to record four demo songs for the pilot of The Monkees. Though the pair didn't write more music for TV, (they did some music for motion pictures) they actually performed on TV for a variety of shows including Bewitched, The Flying Nun and I Dream of Jeannie.
 

In April of '66, the foursome which were to become The Monkees, began to practice with rented instruments, but apparently, they were far from ready to perform, but there were deadlines to meet.

Almost immediately it was decided that Davy Jones would be the group's lead singer, which didn't sit well with the others - Mike Nesmith, Peter Tork and Micky Dolenz. The actors couldn't help themselves and would often cause each other to crack up while recording. Because of this, they were usually recorded separately and their instrument-playing was at a minimum.
 

When the first album came out, which featured many of the songs played on the first season of the TV show, none of the real musicians were credited for their work. This was something that made Nesmith very upset stating that the show was about a fictional rock band, not a real rock band, but the fantasy story had already begun and soon the four needed to become what they were portraying on TV.




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