Tuesday, April 26, 2005


I have making lists all of my life. I have lists that only last for a day or less-grocery lists, lists of items to look up on the web, etc. Then I have lists that I have been keeping for years-my names list, favorite pet names, books I have read and movies that I have seen. I kept a list from the time I was in grade school until I graduated from college of the movies that I had seen. Then for some inexplicable reason I through it away. I can still see the green cover of the notebook I had this list in . I resurrected the list last year. Thank goodness for the Internet Movie Database.

I was a very sick kid and some of the ways that I amused myself was reading, looking at exotic places on my putty-colored viewmaster and watching lots of television ( I had my own television at a very young age). Here is a list of some of my favorite television theme songs in no particular order:

1. Peter Gunn-I was very young when this detective show was on television. However, I can remember dancing my little heart out to this theme song whenever the program came on. I just looked it up and it was on from 1958-1961. Henry Mancini received an Emmy nomination for the theme and won 2 Grammys for the album. What can I say. It's Henry Mancini.

2.Bewitched-I had a bedtime when I was a kid and this show was already on for a couple of years before I was allowed to stay up and watch it. I loved this show. Elizabeth Montgomery was delightful and I loved Agnes Moorehead and Maurice Evans. Another catchy instrumental. This one by composer Warren Barker.

3. Rawhide- A young, good looking Clint Eastwood stole the show portraying Rowdy Yates. This is another one that I watched on and off. Loved this theme song-"rollin,rollin, rollin keep them doggies movin, Rawhide". The theme song was song by Frankie Laine. There was just something about his big, clear voice that lent itself to this sort of song. Dmitri Tiomkin was the composer for this song and he also did the music for the Western Rio Bravo and High Noon-"Do not forsake me oh my darlin'".

4. F Troop- This screwball comedy was not ever one of my favorite shows, but the theme song told a story and I always liked that. Plus, it's such fun to sing along with the lyrics. The song was written by Irving Taylor.

5. The Mod Squad-Another jazzy instrumental. This one by Earle Hagen.

6. Mission Impossible-I loved this show. My family and I were a big fan of shows that had black characters. Believe me there weren't that many blacks on television in the 60's. Greg Morris as Barney was great. I wish this program would come out on DVD. I am a huge fan of detective shows, etc., but I don't think any of the shows today with all of their computer magic and special effects can ever touch the writing and acting that was on this show.

Lalo Schifrin was the composer for this wonderful theme. Here is a bit of trivia about the song. According to Robert H. Justman in his book "Star Trek: The Real Story", this show's famous theme was not the first one written. Lalo Schifrin had written a main theme, but creator and executive producer Bruce Geller decided that it was inappropriate. Instead, Geller used some chase music Schifrin had written for the end of the first episode. That throwaway musical cue became one of the most famous and recognizable television show themes in history.

7. S.W.A.T.-(S)pecial (W)eapons and (T)actics Unit. I actually wasn't that much of a fan of the show, but I loved the theme song. "d'na-na, d'na-na, d'na-na d'na-na duh-uhn!" It was this sort of funky, disco instrumental tune. I think Eliot Goldenthal was the composer for this song. I'll have to do some more checking. ( I really need to learn how to set this blog up to receive comments so that people can correct me when I make an unintentional faux pas)

8. Airwolf-I liked the helicopter in this show. That and the theme song. This had a very 80's vibe-lots of big sounds, but with jazzy undertones. Composer Sylvester Levay.

9. The Flintstones-this is one of my favorite cartoons. I don't have a lot of patience for cartoons these days, but I can always make time to watch an episode of The Flintstones. I just loved Wilma and Betty. I basically thought Fred was a loud and uncouth bore, but I loved the other characters. The music was written by Hoyt Curtin, who also composed the background music for every episode. The lyrics were written by those geniuses Willima Hanna and Joseph Barbera. There were quite a few good tunes on this show. The Drive-In Song and the song that Ann Margrock(?) sang to Pebbles come to mind.

10. Jonny Quest-My favorite cartoon of all time.
This was another Hoyt Curtin/Hanna-Barbera collaboration. Some say that Hoyt Curtin was more of the creative force behind this theme. Nice instrumental.

There are many others that I liked-Medical Center, Hawaii-50, The Avengers and Northern Exposure.

Even though this is a movie I would feel remiss if I didn't note my all time favorite theme song-drum roll please-the theme song to the movie Magnificent Seven. This epic song was composed by Elmer Bernstein.

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