Monday, April 29, 2013

TV THEMES - Let The Elimination Rounds Begin!!!

Wow!  I felt like I was MC-ing "The Voice" there for a second!!!    

As promised, we're heading into the home-stretch of our Favorite Television Themes Survey.  

With over 12,000 votes cast so far we've got a pretty good idea as to who many of the top contenders are. As such, today we eliminated all titles that still had single-digit votes ... at this point there was no way these were going to catch the leaders. (In fact, eleven titles have now passed the 200-vote mark ... and ONE title just surpassed 300 votes!  WOW!)  So as not to disrupt our vote count tally, we have taken all of those single-digit votes and redistributed them equally amongst the 148 television titles that still remain on the list.  

Today we begin our Final Elimination Round ... the polls will close at the end of this week.  We'll then tabulate next weekend and prepare the final results.  When all is said and done, we'll be announcing Your All-Time Favorite Top 50 Television Themes on Wednesday, May 8th.  Scott Shannon will count down The Top 20 Favorites on The True Oldies Channel that same day ... so be sure to tune in for that.  (More details as we get closer to this date.)

Today's list includes most of the borderline themes that desperately need your votes in order to stay in the running. (Yes, folks, just like the REAL television season, MOST of these tunes are in serious jeopardy of facing cancellation!!!)   

We have listed these titles alphabetically for your consideration. We are asking you to vote again (just like in most Chicago elections!) by picking your Top Three Favorites from this list. (We will repeat this practice twice more during the week with other alphabetical lists, ultimately narrowing things down to our winners.)  

This means that no new nominations are being accepted beyond this point ... the Top 148 Finalists have now been determined.  

Remember to vote for your Top Three Favorites in each of the elimination rounds ... and please list them in "rank" order ... (or we will!!! lol)   

These themes need your support ... 

Which are YOUR Top Three Favorites??? 

The Adventures of Superman
The Banana Splits
Beany and Cecil
Ben Casey
The Benny Hill Show
The Bob Newhart Show
The Bugs Bunny Overture
Captain Kangaroo
Casper the Friendly Ghost
Chico And The Man
The Courtship of Eddie's Father
Daniel Boone
Dark Shadows
The Dating Game
Dr. Kildare
Dr. Who
Eight Is Enough
The Fresh Prince Of Bel Air (told you this one wouldn't make our Top Ten list!!!  lol)
The Fugitive
Full House
George Of The Jungle
Get Smart
The Golden Girls
Gomer Pyle, USMC
The Green Hornet
Hawaiian Eye
The Heights
Hogan's Heroes
The Honeymooers
Howdy Doody
Huckleberry Hound
I Dream Of Jeannie
The Jetsons
LA Law
Magilla Gorilla
The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis
Married ... With Children
The Match Game
Merrie Melodies
Mighty Mouse
The Mod Squad
Mr. Lucky
Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood
The Muppet Show
The Office
One Day At A Time
The Outer Limits  
The Partridge Family
Party Of Five
The Patty Duke Show
The Pink Panther
Roy Rogers
Scooby Doo
Sesame Street
The Simpsons
The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour
The Sopranos
Soul Train
Star Trek
That '70's Show
The Three Stooges
Three's Company
Top Cat
The Untouchables
Where The Action Is
Woody Woodpecker
The X Files
The Young and the Restless

This may be your last chance to save some of your favorite shows ... so vote NOW!!!  

(Please email your votes to

Meanwhile, here are some more of your recent TV Theme Comments ... 

I have to add my two cents to this tv themes list.
Hawaii Five O should be way up there. 

I don't think I've seen mention of the theme from S.W.A.T., written by Barry DeVorzon 
Mission Impossible 
All in the Family 
Get Smart 
From the cartoons, Bugs Bunny and Tweety Pie 
Pink Panther 
The Muppet Show 
Sesame Street 
Alice M.    

>>>Sadly “Early One Morning” from “The Friendly Giant” does not qualify. (Let me know when you want to take a vote on the worst TV themes) MF Ping
And I thought I was the only kid watching "The Friendly Giant." I still hear that theme song in my head pretty often, and although I don't really play, I sit down and play it just for the memory. (MF Ping's self-description is similar to mine as well.)
David Lewis  

The Bonanza Theme? That would be the instrumental version, right? The 45 with Lorne Green singing the words came out around 1963(?) I think; with 'Ringo' on side B. And frankly, if they had ever used the video they shot, of all four Cartwrights singing the theme each week, the show (enjoyable as it was) would have never lasted the first season. (Cowboys cannot apparently sing AND mount their horses simultaneously)   
Shelley J. Sweet-Tufano   
Actually "Ringo" was the A-Side ... and #1 Hit at that (in late 1964)! (I've always maintained that Beatlemania had at least a LITTLE something to do with this!!!) One of my most prized possessions as a kid growing up was the "Ponderosa" cast album. It hindsight, it was AWFUL! But worth it for the full color front cover. I even had autographed pictures from all four cast members ... big deal for me who, with two brothers growing up, often "played" The Cartwrights on the weekends. Naturally, I was Adam (since I was the oldest) ... middle brother Mark reluctantly played Hoss (he was the chubbiest of the three of us after all ... also offended because he had to shop in the "husky" section of the store back then!!!) and youngest brother Dave (whose middle name just happened to be Joseph ... how cool is that?!?!?) was Little Joe! We all had our toy guns and holsters and would try to find the most mountainous terrain (good luck in the Chicago suburbs in 1963!) to fight bad and evil every weekend. (I even dressed all in black ... 'cause Adam did! It's funny, because I ONLY remember Adam Cartwright dressing in black ... but as I watch the reruns today I see that he wore any variety of colors back then!) Great childhood memories! (kk) 

Here's my Top Ten -    
10. Theme from I Spy  
9. My Three Sons
8. Hawaii 50
7. Theme from Dallas
6. Theme from Rawhide
5. Theme from Mission Impossible
4. Ballad of Paladin
3. Theme from MASH
2. Theme from Bonanza
1. Theme from The Man From U.N.C.L.E.
I don't think anyone has even mentioned my number one choice. I loved it.
Bill T.   
We may not have mentioned it ... but (counting yours) 65 people have voted for it! Thanks, Bill. (kk)   

Seems I'm the only one to remember 'Cannonball' also. About a trucker (Paul Birch), and his sidekick (William Campbell), getting involved in all kinds of trouble. William Campbell went on to appear with Elvis Presley in 'Love Me Tender'.
George Van Win   
Yep ... first vote for "Cannonball" ... but, if it makes you feel any better, nobody has voted for the far more popular series "Cannon" either!!! (kk)   

Hi Kent,
Q: What TV theme reached # 1 on Billboard in 1962 but has so far been absent from readers’ favorite TV themes’ lists.
A: “Stranger On The Shore” by Mr. Acker Bilk. It was used as the theme for a BBC TV drama of the same name.
Best wishes,
Mike Edwards  
Jeez ... if we start letting in BBC Series we'll NEVER narrow this list down!!! (lol) Doesn't mater ... we've already reached the elimination rounds ... and all single digit votes have now been eliminated ... and redistributed equally amongst the remaining titles. (kk)   

Hi Kent,
The name of the "Perry Mason Theme" by Fred Steiner is actually "Park Avenue Beat" -- odd, because Park Avenue is in New York and the TV series took place in Los Angeles.
Over its multi-year run there were three slightly different versions of the theme music: 
(1) Seasons one and two; (2) Seasons three through eight; (3) Season nine. 
A real "Perry" fan can tell the difference! 
Henry McNulty
Cheshire, Connecticut   
Regardless of the version, the Perry Mason theme is doing VERY well ... 123 votes as of this morning ... and still counting! (kk)  

Hey Kent, 
Sounds like everyone's having fun with this one!!! 
You had mentioned about theme songs that weren't written specifically for certainly shows like "Happy Days, Married With Children", etc ... but fit in perfect with the theme of the show! 
It got me to thinking about two British Shows with themes   that fit in perfect with the content of the shows. 
- Benny Hill - (Yakety Sax by Boots Randolph) ... who can forget the sped up chase scenes at the end of the show and not associate this song with The Benny Hill Show. 
- Monty Python - (The Liberty Bell by John Philip Sousa) Again, a theme song that fit in perfect with the content of the show! 
Did you ever think John Philip Sousa thought "Hey, they'll be talking about me in 2013 on a web site called "Forgotten Hits" ... lol
Wow ... when I saw votes being cast for "The Benny Hill Show" I just assumed they were for "Mah-Na Mah-Na" ... but you're right, the theme song was more closely associated with "Yakety Sax"! (Hmmm ... I wonder if in 2213 anybody will be talking about the poll we did here in FH this year!!!) kk    

Here's a TV theme nomination for you.  
I came late to this, so all my favorites have already been mentioned, sometimes several or many times.
However, I'll submit a theme song by one of my favorite uber-obscure groups, the Will-O-Bees. They did the theme for "The Ugliest Girl in Town," which ran for not even one full season in 1968. The show sounds
agonizingly stupid: A guy pretends to be a female model to help a friend out, and then becomes a hit. (I never saw it myself.) Young Mrs. Doubtfire, anybody?
The song, however, reminds me of the New Seekers and unlike a lot of TV theme lyrics, is reasonably clever. It might as well get at least one vote.
-- 73 --
-- Jeff Duntemann
Colorado Springs, Colorado

I actually DO remember this show (although I don't think I ever watched it) ... seems to me there was a similarly titled tv-movie starring Stockard Channing, too (which actually wasn't too bad ... kind of a retelling of "The Ugly Duckling" story as I recall.
While I had never heard the song before, I agree that it DOES sound a little New Seekers-ish ... but even MORE like Spanky and Our Gang ... especially their hit "Lazy Day" from the previous year ... hauntingly so, in fact! Worth sharing both with our readers ... one as an "oddity" ... and the other as a truly Forgotten Hit. (Too late to nominate your show, however ... hoping you'll come back to the site next week and vote during our elimination rounds.) kk

I enjoyed the videos of T.V. themes you posted today. "The Courtship of Eddie's Father" made me cry. I really loved that show and the song was so sweet. Bill Bixby is one of those stars we lost way too soon.  
Sounds like (for you anyway) Bixby was more of a "hunk" than a "hulk"!!! (lol) Yes, it was VERY sad an unexpected when we lost him. I first knew of him thanks to "My Favorite Martian", one of my favorite '60's shows. (Hey, now there's ANOTHER great TV theme that didn't even get nominated!!!) He did a few Elvis movies, too. I never really watched "Eddie's Father" ... a little too schmaltzy for me ... but I hear that the folks that DID watch it, absolutely LOVED it. (kk)  

I don't know what it was but when this idea of listing the top television themes of all time came about, one of the first themes (record was also released) I thought of was a theme from a western I used to watch religiously back in the late fifties, early sixties on Tuesday evenings at 7:30 PM on the ABC television network. I am talking about THE LIFE AND LEGEND OF WYATT EARP. In fact, I noticed in the paper the other day that actor Hugh O'Brien had a birthday.
The record was obviously THE LEGEND OF WYATT EARP (Cadence out of 1956). It was recorded by Bill Hayes.

The Wyatt Earp theme is one of the ones we had to eliminate due to insufficient votes ... I think it had like three at the time we cancelled all of the "single digit" series. Interesting that Bill Hayes did this tune ... his "Davy Crockett" theme was the biggest charting television hit of all time!  (kk)    

The TV Theme Poll is amazing! I can't wait to see the final tabs on this one.  
Gary Strobl 

Dear Fans and Friends of Small Screen Rock:
Gary Pig Gold's look at those two MONKEES dvd collections has just appeared anew at the Roctober Reviews site (and in the forthcoming issue of Roctober Magazine as well).
Here It Is, for all to read, reprint, re-post, quote from and / or Link to ...

Since we're saluting TV themes ... and since "The Monkees" theme is one of our finalists ... why not take another look at Gary's review of their complete television series, now available on DVD. (kk)   

Here are a few more TV Themes for your list ...
You can't forget these!:
Gary Theroux
Yep, some obscure ones there for sure.  (Believe it or not, we received a few votes for "My Mother The Car" ... but it never got past the single digit stage so has now been eliminated from the voting.  In fact, the ONLY theme shown above that you can actually vote for is "The Benny Hill Show" ... it does show "Yakety Sax" as the theme, however ... part of an earlier discussion.
While browsing around YouTube I also fond this montage of obscure TV themes ... which just happens to kick off with the previously mentioned "Johnny Staccato"!!!  Check it out: Click here: 10 RARE "LOST" CLASSIC '60s TV THEMES - YouTube  

Don't know if you saw this, so here it is:
- Bish
Nope, sure haven't ... it'll be interesting to see how our list compares.  (Looks like this one was done in 2006 ... let's see how people voted seven years later ... I already see a wide range of differences ... several of their choices didn't even make our list!) kk