The Thursday Ten: Memorable TV Themes, Part 1

Is it that greatest shows have the most memorable theme songs, or is it the other way around? My Two For Tuesday this week has me thinking about TV theme songs, so I wanted to do a list of ten memorable themes. This is, by no means, an exhaustive list; that’s why this is “Part 1.” Nor is it necessarily in any particular order. And I won’t use the two I did the other day.

  • Park Avenue Beat (Theme from “Perry Mason”), Dick DeBenedictis
  • Theme from “Bonanza”, Ray Evans and Jay Livingston
  • Theme from “Gunsmoke”, Rex Koury and Glenn Spencer
  • Theme from “The Dick Van Dyke Show”, Earle Hagen
  • “I Love Lucy”, Eliot Daniel and Harold Adamson
  • Theme from “Dallas”, Jerrold Immel
  • Theme from “Hawaii Five-O”, Morton Stevens
  • Theme from “The Andy Griffith Show”, Erle Hagen and Herbert W. Spencer
  • Theme from “Peter Gunn”, Henry Mancini
  • Theme from “Batman”, Neal Hefti

And that was your Thursday Ten.

What is your favorite TV theme? Leave me a comment…

6 thoughts on “The Thursday Ten: Memorable TV Themes, Part 1

  1. Wow! Lots of good memories there. I love the Bonanza theme. Reminds me of my dad because he used to watch it every Saturday or Sunday. I can’t recall when it was on. As for my personal favourite, I’d have to pick Batman because I’m a comic book nerd. That show was always fun to watch. Very campy, but fun. Not a big fan of whislers so the Andy Griffith theme always annoyed me. Your Peter Gunn theme didn’t work ,but fortunately I have an album in tribute of Henry Mancini so I know and love the theme very much.


    1. Try the “Peter Gunn” theme again when you get a chance. It worked for me.

      Bonanza was on Sunday nights when we were watching it in the late ’60’s, but it moved around NBC’s schedule a few times. That’s true of a lot of Westerns back then.


  2. The theme from Route 66 was a favorite.

    Interesting that the theme from Hawaii 5-0 was so iconic they used it for the ‘new’ series.


    1. They used the song “Route 66” for the show of the same name, didn’t they? Great song; I like Nat “King” Cole’s version of it.

      They did everything they could to make the credits fot the new H50 look and sound like the original, even putting Alex O’Loughlin (the new Steve McGarrett) on the same balcony as Jack Lord. The new show is completely different, though, and calling it “Hawaii Five-O” invites comparisons to the original, and it doesn’t compare favorably. There was something about the old one that was delightfully “square” (the squad working in suits and ties in a place where suits and ties are anathema, the stilted dialogue) that made it work. The new one is more “Simon and Simon” meets “Baywatch.”


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