TVIf you are of a certain age, you remember when TV theme songs actually meant something. Sure, we've seen a lot of sitcoms that had terrible, generic-sounding theme songs, but many still hold up and are just as iconic as many of the shows themselves. Unlike many of today's themes that air for ten seconds or less, these classics would play for about 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 some have borrowed music from other sources instead of creating anything new. Ironically, many shows that air on premium cable channels or services like Hulu or Netflix still feature the longer theme songs.
While we all have our favorites for one reason or another, I presented five of the very best with the actual songs awhile back and now I bring you five more:
The theme song for Friends, “I’ll Be There for You,” was co-written by the show’s producers David Crane and Marta Kauffman, Kauffman's husband, composer Michael Skloff, and songwriter Allee Willis, along with Phil Sōlem and Danny Wilde, both of the Rembrandts. When Charlie Quinn and Tom Peace from radio station WYHY looped the original song three times and airing it as a full-length track, the song became so popular that the original group "had" to re-recorded the song into a real three-minute song.
Matt Groening, creator of The Simpsons, approached Danny Elfman to write the show’s theme song with hopes of a retro-styled piece. Elfman, who has written music for numerous movies including Edward Scissorhands and Tim Burton’s Batman and The Nightmare Before Christmas as well as TV Themes for Desperate Housewives and Batman the Animated Seris, says that The Simpsons theme is one of his most popular tunes ever.
I Dream of Jeannie
Some fans of I Dream of Jeannie will be surprised to learn that during the show’s first season, it had a different theme song from the one we all know and love. The song was considered to be a “instrumental jazz waltz” written by Richard Wess. Sidney Sheldon (the creator of the show) wasn’t happy with it and had it replaced by the song “Jeannie” which was composed by Hugo Montenegro.
Montenegro is known for writing the main theme to the movie The Good, The Bad and the Ugly. He also wrote TV theme songs for Here Come the Brides, The Outcasts and The Partridge Family. Buddy Kaye wrote the following lyrics for the song “Jeannie,” but they were never used:
Jeannie, fresh as a daisy. Just love how she obeys me, Does things that just amaze me so.
She smiles, Presto the rain goes. She blinks, up come the rainbows. Cars stop, even the train goes slow.
When she goes by, She paints sunshine on every rafter, Sprinkles the air with laughter, We're close as a quarter after three.
There's no one like…
Jeannie. I'll introduce her, To you, but it's no use, sir, Cause my Jeannie's in love with me.
Actress Ja'net Dubois, who played the role Willona Woods on CBS’ Good Times co-wrote the theme song for The Jeffersons with Jeff Barry. Dubois herself sang “Movin’ On Up” along with a gospel choir. The song was later covered by Sammy Davis, Jr. in 1978. The song is so iconic, many people are more familiar with the tune than the actual show from where it comes from.
Cartoon Network's Teen Titans was such a ground-breaking show in terms of style that it shouldn't be any surprise that the theme song was performed by the Japanese pop rock band Puffy (or Puffy AmiYumi in the United States). The group also recorded the show’s spin-off, Teen Titans Go and SD Gundam Force. They once did a cover version of Cyndi Lauper’s “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” with Lauper herself.