In our lives, there are many things that make us recognizable for who we are. Sometimes itís for being in the family that we are, sometimes itís for a collaboration of all the things weíve done in our life to this point, and sometimes people are known for one moment or one event.
Musicians or bands sometimes get one song that makes them famous, then never produce another hit. These people become whatís known as ďone-hit wondersĒ. While that may not be the best category to be in for a musician, it does still represent fame for something, and thatís what we remember them for.
The Internet has given a lot of people, events, and moments in life a ď15 minutes of fameĒ stint. The ability of a video or random moment ďgoing viralĒ has flooded us with so many things that we would have never seen before the rise of the Internet and YouTube. Not that Iím complaining, because I like random things just as much as the next person, if not more so. In fact, I probably wouldnít be writing this column right now if it werenít for something I stumbled upon when online.
The reason I bring this up is that I was lured into an article on the Yahoo! homepage a couple of weeks ago about how the theme song for the show Cheers came to be made. While I found the story to be interesting, the end of article also mentioned how the Cheers theme song had advanced to the Final Four in a search for the greatest theme song of all time. I was immediately intrigued by this ďtournamentĒ of theme songs, and I myself am no stranger to random tournaments to determine the greatest in a category (a.k.a. last yearís Mena Star Breakfast Cereal bracket).
Theme songs can be monumental things, or they can be complete disasters. A good theme song makes you remember the show forever, even if you get to where you canít remember even one plot from one episode. I think thatís the case with me now for shows like Diffírnt Strokes and Simon and Simon. Being a child in the 1980ís, these were two shows I know I watched, but this many years later I canít remember any of the episodesÖ.just the cool theme songs.
Anyways, getting back to this TV Theme Song bracket to determine the greatest theme songs. Based on online voting, the final four theme songs remaining in the hunt at that time were Cheers, M*A*S*H*, Gilliganís Island, and The Jeffersons. What I know about surveys is that the results may not always be what we agree on, but Iím pretty sure that if we all made our ďtop 10Ē list of theme songs, none of our lists would match up. It comes down to what we like and donít like, and when it comes to theme songs, Iíve got my personal favorites for sure.
Before I continue on any more, Iím holding back from including ďentrance songsĒ like wrestlers have, and I wonít include songs you hear at sporting events that teams would run out to. Thatís for another day.
So with these four theme songs supposedly being the final four of greatest ever, Iím okay with three of them. Actually, if I was making my own final four, the Cheers theme song would probably be in the mix, but Iím throwing the M*A*S*H* theme song out of my list. I just never got into watching M*A*S*H*, so maybe that has something to do with it. I never really connected with the characters, didnít really get into the humor, and wasnít a faithful follower of the show. So to hear the theme music doesnít get me excited that another episode is coming on. I know people who really like the show, including my dad and my father-in-law. Nothing wrong with that at all.
I like the theme song to Gilliganís Island, one because itís catchy, two because I can probably sing along with it word-for-word, and thee because I went through a spell of watching the show in the mornings before getting ready for school back in the day. A good blend of goofiness, adventures, and simple acting, which appealed to my sleepy mind through a lot of early mornings. A three-hour tour? You better believe it.
Then we have the theme song to The Jeffersonís. This begins to open the book on a category that I like to call ďenjoyed the theme song better than the show itselfĒ. I remember being young and watching a lot of The Jeffersons. As Iím writing this, Iím listening to itís theme song courtesy of YouTube, and Iím reliving being seven-years old. As a kid, I do remember getting a few laughs from the show, but I was more concerned with the scratchiness of Weezyís voice and the short temper of George. Looking back on Jeffersonís highlights, I didnít realize 25 years ago just how much swag George Jefferson was putting forth with every move he made back then. Major props to George Jefferson for taking swagger to the next level.
So in the category of theme songs that I enjoyed thoroughly, but could have gone either way on the show includes: Simon & Simon, Greatest American Hero, and Golden Girls. Simon & Simon had probably one of the best theme songs in the 80ís, but I think once the song was over, I was ready to walk out of the room. That theme song is so good that if I could play electric guitar, I would want to learn how to play the theme song. Then Iíd just need someone to play the saxophone portion of the song, and we could perform in local venues. Ah yes, we all have dreams.
Greatest American Hero is another great theme song, but my interest in the show itself came and went back when I used to watch it. Regardless, the song lives forever. Iíve even downloaded the song in recent years and put it on a few CDs. So if you think youíve heard ďBelieve or not, Iím walking on airÖ.Ē coming from a vehicle, itís very likely, and youíre not crazy.
Golden Girls is definitely a theme song that once it was over, I was likely changing the channel or walking out of the room. Good song, but the show just wasnít for me.
The next category of theme songs for me are those that were very catchy, and I would sit down and enjoy the show when there was nothing else going on. For me that was The Addams Family, Brady Bunch, Happy Days, and Magnum P.I. Who in the world can resist the snapping of fingers in The Addams Family. Whoever wrote the song must have been some sort of genius at the time. The show was silly and simple enough to keep me entertained, and after the energy produced by the finger snapping, you canít help but be ready to laugh.
Brady Bunch was one of the classic theme songs that you canít help but memorize, and depending on who is in the room with you, you might just sing along with it. That was a show that I enjoyed watching while enjoying an after-school snack. I havenít tried watching the show in about twenty years or so, but Iím giving the theme song a thumbs up regardless.
Happy Days was one of those theme songs that I loved as a kid, and Iím still a fan of today. How can you listen to this song and be in a bad mood? You canít. I put my time in watching Happy Days way back in the day, and whether I would take time to watch it today, Iím endorsing the theme song as one of my top ten-ish.
Magnum P.I. was one of those shows that also produced one of the greatest theme songs from the 1980ís, and would probably trump most any theme song youíll find on television today. I watched my fair share of episodes of Magnum P.I. with my dad, and Iím crediting the strength off the theme song, along with one of the most impressive mustaches in television history for keeping me watching.
Iíll continue my Theme Song thoughts next week....