WELCOME BACK KOTTER (#23 in 2013)
A lot of TV themes were released as singles over the years, all capitalizing on the popularity and familiarity of these tunes with the teenage audience out there.
But NOT a lot of these tunes went all the way to #1.
“Welcome Back” by John Sebastian, formerly of The Lovin’ Spoonful, was an exception to the rule.
The show made a star out of John Travolta, who played Vinnie Barbarino, one of Mr. Kotter’s Sweathogs. (Kotter was played by the COMPLETELY obnoxious Gabe Kaplan, today one of the country’s top poker players.)
The show lasted four seasons (Travolta left after the third season … by that time, he was already a successful movie star, having filmed “Carrie,” “Saturday Night Fever,” “Urban Cowboy” and “Grease.”) Out of loyalty to his former fellow actors, he did make a couple of guest appearances, billed as “Special Guest Star.”
The theme from “Welcome Back Kotter” falls from #23 to #29 in this year’s poll ... a bit of a surprise, really, as this song still seems to be extremely popular ... and there was quite a flurry of votes for it when this year's competition began. (Even so, it ended up with 234 votes)