With TV ratings declining year after year, networks have gotten rid of theme songs in an effort to squeeze in just one more commercial. However, they’re overlooking just how a powerful a hook the theme song can be, especially to the long-term remembrance of a show.
Besides if Louie does it, everyone should be doing it.
227 (NBC, 1985-1990) There’s No Place Like Home - Performed by Marla Gibbs, Written by Ray Colcord
Although Jackée Harry actually won an Emmy in 1987 for her performance as the outlandish character Sandra, it’s this theme song, sung by the show’s star Marla Gibbs that truly stands the test of time.
Alright then. What do you need to know about 227?
Umm … it revolved around the people that lived in an apartment building, the aforementioned 227. Uh, there was a crazy old lady. Regina King played the main character’s daughter. Um. It wasn’t nearly as good other similarly themed shows, like The Cosby Show (black people) or Melrose Place (apartment building). OK, if I’m being honest this show probably isn’t really worth watching this late in the game. But from what I remember, I liked it better than Amen, which I think aired on the same night.
But yeah, sorry for even bringing it up. My mistake.
Caroll O’Connor - Remembering You Written by Roger Kellaway, Lyrics co-written by Caroll O’Connor
Here is a cool full-length rendition of the closing credits to All in the Family. As O’Connor explains in the track, the show’s opening credits get all the glory, but its closing number is just as strong and memorable.
So for no reason, he asked if he could write lyrics.
Here is the first in a hopefully long list of posts spotlighting the dying art of the TV Theme Song.
Growing Pains (ABC, 1985-1992) As Long as We’ve Got Each Other - written by John Bettis and Steve Dorff
The version above was recorded by B.J. Thomas & Dusty Springfield and was released as a single in 1988, but according to Wikipedia, there are actually nine different versions of this theme song. That lists even includes a Halloween-themed track used for a special two-part Halloween episode in 1990. Oh TV sitcoms and your special Halloween episodes, how I love thee.
But to continue, the first season used a B.J. Thomas solo-version, while much of the series used a duet version that featured Jennifer Warnes alongside B.J. Thomas, not Dusty Springfield. This particular version was shortened and used for the show’s fourth season, probably in an attempt to help that song’s radio release.
Additionally, an acapella version, featuring the gospel group Take 6, was used for a couple seasons, and would eventually be brought back and for the dramatic series finale.