TV theme songs that rocked the ’80s

By Carol Anne Szel

The “A-Team” movie, which premieres this Friday, is an extension of the hit 80s TV show. We conjure up images of Mr. T. draped in gold chains and that infamous Mohawk hairdo. For those of us who remember, it was a time when cable was fresh, a large chunk of television seemed light and breezy, before the expansion which brought us intense dramas on yet-to-be premium channels.

TV theme songs rang out in an importance that seems to have faded these days.  Who can remember the theme song to the young Tom Hank’s comedy “Bosom Buddies?”  Billy Joel’s tune “My Life” (But the Piano Man didn’t lay down the vocals for the TV version of the song.  Rumor has it he wasn’t happy with the arrangement. )

Every time we heard the theme song we ran to the set as to not miss our show.  “The Wonder Years” with Joe Cocker knocking out “With A Little Help From My Friends.”  The legendary “Love and Marriage” penned years before by Sammy Cohen and Jimmy Van Heusen and made famous by Frank Sinatra.  The Golden Girls “Thank You for Being a Friend” which ended up as a #25 song on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart.

These themes set a pace for our lives.  When we hear them we know what we’re getting.  Memories.  Although many of them run in constant rotation on Nick and TBS these days!  There are collectible compilation albums.  They’re rare, but they are there. One is, oddly titled, “TV Hits Of The ‘80s – Electronic Symphony Orchestra.” Imagine that??  Another rarity is “Television’s Greatest Hits, Vol. 3:70s & 80s”

Bottom line. They are memories.  Just as songs tell a tale of where we were in our lives, can mark an occasion or an era in our lives.  Television theme songs evoke a time when we were changing.  Remembering a time in the ’80s when we sat and watched “Cheers” and felt welcomed when we heard the welcoming song. Whether it’s Holly Robinson (Peete) singing the “21 Jump Street” theme song, or Ron Dante of “The Archies” singing the “Silver Spoon” opener “Together,” the song remains the same.  Nestled in time with the television of an era and a generation.


For related items that you may enjoy in our Goldmine store:
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• Get a Goldmine back issue of a Boston cover story (August 1, 2008) via digital download
• Check out a fun book on pop music: “The Everything Pop Culture Crosswords Book, Test your knowledge of trivia and trends with 150 pop culture puzzles!”

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