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07 May, 2011

TV Theme Songs

TV theme songs have always held a special place in my heart, lodged somewhere between 1980s WWF wrestlers and Daisy Duke. It's probably because I'm a TV-aholic. Back in the day the themes were pretty long. Most would be around a minute, which is a huge amount of time. Nowadays most of them are as short as :10 to allow more time for the actual show content. Look at the comparison between Happy Days (ABC's hit show of the '70s) and Modern Family (ABC's hit show now).

I have plenty of favorites. In the 70's it was The Brady Bunch, Happy Days, The Muppet Show, Laverne and Shirley and Gilligan's Island. All catchy tunes that were easy to sing. The themes for MASH and Hawaii Five-0 were cool instrumentals. In the 80's some of the themes were main stream hit songs on the radio, like the ones for Miami Vice, The Greatest American Hero, Hill Street Blues and Cheers. Most recently the theme for Friends had an extended run on the billboard charts. I love the themes for The Odd Couple and The Jeffersons, but they didn't crack my top 5. Without further ado, here now are my top 5 TV theme songs.

#5 The Theme for Taxi

I think the reason I like this one so much is it's simplicity. I watched this show a lot in syndication at 11pm and at that time of the day I didn't need anything blaring at me. Plus, the song gives you a sense of comfort, like the gang of the garage did. It just feels like a perfect fit.

#4 The Theme for The Mod Squad
Mod Squad was the first cop show I watched on a regular basis. It seemed very dramatic and the music to the theme really sold me on the drama. With everyone running through the streets it seemed like chaos would ensue at any moment and the music took the tension to another level. On a related note, I always wanted to be Linc.

#3 The Andy Griffith Show
It's my dad's favorite show, so I've seen every episode dozens of times. Every single time I hear this song I either smile, feel a little bit better or just start whistling it myself. It's an all-time great.

#2 WKRP in Cincinnati Theme
As I was listening to these songs and got to this one my wife started singing it and said "Some songs you never lose." She's right and this is one of them. The song itself smacks of nostalgia with the line "just think of me once in a while..." As someone who lives in the past lane, this song is right up my alley. Also, I had about 39 Loni Anderson pictures on my wall in high school, so it gets boner, I mean bonus, points for that.

#1 The Barney Miller Show
This song is just cool. It makes me play air bass, air guitar and air trumpet. If they ever made a Rock Band TV Theme Shows (hey, that's a great idea!!! somebody get that done) I would play this song over and over and over.
What are your favorites? Share them in the comments box.

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