Monday’s Music Moves Me: TV Themes From the ’50’s and ’60’s

There’s an expression in baseball, “threw him one in his wheelhouse,” when a pitcher throws a pitch to a hitter that he can not just hit, but that he can hit a long way. Well, when Alana came up with today’s theme, “TV Themes from your childhood,” she threw one in my wheelhouse. If you go to the search box in my right column and search for “TV themes,” you’ll see all the posts I’ve done with theme songs in them.

I went a little nuts with the theme and stopped myself at 15, not that I couldn’t have gone all night with this. I think I’ve done almost all of these before, so consider this my “greatest hits” list.

  1. Bonanza Sunday night at our house always included Bonanza, starring Lorne Greene, Dan Blocker, Michael Landon and, for a time, Pernell Roberts. This show will live on forever in reruns, for good reason: It was good TV.
  2. Riverboat This is one that I don’t remember running the first time, but which I’ve recently been introduced to by local station 57.2, WATC TOO. This show starred Darren McGavin and, at least for the first season, Burt Reynolds in his first TV role.
  3. Perry Mason (“Park Avenue Beat”) Another classic TV show which starred Raymond Burr, Barbara Hale, William Hopper, Ray Collins and William Talman. I think of Grandma Holton when I see this, because she loved it and we’d watch together sometimes. It was also the favorite TV show of Ayn Rand.
  4. The Man From UNCLE Must-see TV, 1960’s style. Starred Robert Vaughan, David McCallum, and Leo G. Carroll, with a notable list of guest stars.
  5. The Saint Based on the novels of Leslie Charteris and the movies featuring George Sanders as Simon Templar, also known as “The Saint,” it starred Roger Moore in the title role.
  6. The Avengers (original theme) Theme song from the first several seasons, when it starred Ian Hendry (the first season), Patrick Macnee, and the gorgeous Honor Blackman, who left the show to play Pussy Galore in the James Bond film Goldfinger. This theme was written by jazz great Johnny Dankworth.
  7. The Avengers (new theme) ABC (American Broadcasting Company) in the US picked up the show from ABC (Associated British Company) in the UK, filmed the episodes in color and added a new theme, written by Laurie Johnston. Macnee was joined by the lovely Diana Rigg and the equally comely Linda Thorson in the Sixties, and by Gareth Hunt and the amazing Joanna Lumley in the 1976 reboot.
  8. Sciene Fiction Theater This ran from 1955 to 1957 as a syndicated series and WGN in Chicago re-ran it during the Sixties. We really didn’t watch this, but I remember the theme song, which sounds like it should be the theme to a romance or a soap opera.
  9. Alfred Hitchcock Presents The theme was Charles Gounod’s “Danse Macabre,” appropriate for The Master of the Macabre.
  10. Mr. Lucky Like Peter Gunn, this was a Blake Edwards production with music by Henry Mancini. Unlike Peter Gunn, it only lasted one season. Hell of a theme, which Mancini took to #21 and was covered by Vince Guaraldi.
  11. Mister Ed From the sublime to the ridiculous, this Filmways presentation (as they say at the end of the clip) aired in syndication its first season and on CBS thereafter. It starred Alan Young and “Bamboo Harvester” as Ed.
  12. Green Acres A victim of CBS’s “rural purge” in 1971, this show starred Eddie Albert and Eva Gabor and a cast of crazies that included Pat Buttram as the devious Mr. Haney and Hank Patterson, first Barbara Pepper and then Fran Ryan as the Ziffels, who had a pig they treated as a son.
  13. Pistols and Petticoats Another show we didn’t watch frequently, it starred Ann Sheridan, Ruth McDevitt and Douglas Fowley. It was only on for part of the 1966-67 season, which might explain that.
  14. The Real McCoys I remember watching this when we lived in Indianapolis in 1958-1959. It starred Walter Brennan as the family’s patriarch and Richard Crenna as his son and focused on the changing relationship between them.
  15. The Big Valley A show that starred Miss Barbara Stanwyck as the matriarch of the Barkley family, looking more beautiful than she did in her younger days. It also starred Richard Long, Peter Breck, Lee Majors and a young Linda Evans as her adult children.

If you’re really into vintage TV, YouTube user RwDt09 has really done a fantastic job of reconstructing TV schedules and assembling videos that are a composite of the shows’ opens. I can (and have) spent hours watching his videos. Definitely a channel to subscribe to.

That’s Monday’s Music Moves Me for June 18, 2018.

Monday’s Music Moves Me is sponsored by X-Mas Dolly, Callie, Cathy, Alana, Michelle and Stacy, so be sure and visit them, where you can also find the Linky for the other participants.


Monday’s Music Moves Me: Movie and TV Themes

Alana is the spotlight dancer for this week, and her suggested theme is “Movie and TV Themes.” Thank you choosing an easy one for me, Alana! I’ve created many playlists of TV themes and featured them on the blog here, and I’ve also created at least one playlist with movie themes (for an earlier M4). So, to pull today’s list together, I was able to go through the lists and pick my “faves.” Hope you enjoy them.

  1. Henry Mancini, “Charade” Henry wrote the music while Johnny Mercer composed the lyrics (which we don’t hear here). From the 1963 movie of the same name, which starred Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn.
  2. Shirley Bassey. “Goldfinger” Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley wrote the lyrics and John Barry the music, and Dame Shirley gave us an iconic performance on this theme from the 1964 movie starring Sean Connery, Gert Frobe, and Honor Blackman.
  3. Emil Newman, “Laura” They originally wanted to use Duke Ellington’s “Sophisticated Lady,” but director Otto Preminger, probably not wanting to pay royalties, nixed the idea. David Raskin wrote this instead, and I’m glad he did, because it’s just beautifiul. From the 1944 movie starring Gene Tierney, Dana Andrews, Clifton Webb, Vincent Price, and Dame Judith Anderson.
  4. Vincent Bell, “Airport Love Theme” They made Arthur Hailey’s 1968 book into a movie in 1970, complete with a star-studded cast that included Burt Lancaster, Dean Martin, Jacqueline Bisset, Jean Seberg, and George Kennedy. The theme was written by Alfred Newman (no relation to Emil, above) and was given Vincent Bell’s “guitar under water” treatment.
  5. Gerry Sherman, “Midnight Cowboy” One scene in this 1969 movie earned this movie an “X” rating, which was dumb, because far more graphic things are shown in PG-13 movies today, so its rating was lowered to “R.” This tale of hustlers in New York City starred Dustin Hoffman and Jon Voight. John Barry, who also wrote the music for the “Goldfinger” theme, composed this, and that’s Jean “Toots” Thielemans on the harmonica.
  6. Mike Post, “The Rockford Files” Mike Post wrote the theme songs for many TV series, as I discussed in a previous post. This was for the late-’70s series starring James Garner that I think has been on somewhere in the world ever since it was filmed.
  7. The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, “Park Avenue Beat” You probably recognize this as the theme for the long-running TV series Perry Mason starring Raymond Burr and Barbara Hale. The music was written by Dick DeBenedictis.
  8. Nelson Riddle & His Orchestra, “Theme from Route 66 CBS didn’t want to have to pay royalties to Bobby Troup to use his classic song, so they commissioned Nelson Riddle to come up with one. The result was every bit as good, I think. For the show starring Martin Milner and George Zaharias.
  9. Lalo Schifrin, “Theme from Mannix Still one of my favorite TV themes, written by one of my favorite composers. For the 1960’s show starring Mike Connors and Gail Fisher.
  10. Wilbur Hatch, “Theme from Here’s Lucy Lucy’s show after she and Desi Arnaz split and she married Gary Morton ran from 1962-1968. Wilbur Hatch directed the Desi Arnaz Orchestra during the run of I Love Lucy and wrote the theme, and all the music, for this show.

And that’s Monday’s Music Moves Me for February 26, 2018.

Monday’s Music Moves Me is sponsored by X-Mas Dolly, Callie, Cathy, and Stacy, so be sure and visit them, where you can also find the Linky for the other participants.


The Friday 5×2: TV Themes, Part Whatever…

It’s been a long while since I did a TV Themes post. I had to go back through the playlists I created (which you can find here, here, here, and here, and there are probably others hanging around I just haven’t found). Over time, some of the videos I chose have dropped off YouTube (or were pulled off), so as I went through the themes I had, I thought of ones that weren’t there, and put them in.

  1. Danger Man In the US, this was Secret Agent, starring Patrick McGoohan as John Drake, and the theme was different.
  2. The Honeymooners Jackie Gleason, who was an immensely talented man, and an immense man in general, wrote this one as “You’re My Greatest Love.”
  3. The Jackie Gleason Show Another Gleason composition called “Melancholy Serenade” served as theme song for his 1960’s variety show. We would watch this with Dad on Saturday nights.
  4. The Munsters This is a version with the rarely-heard lyrics.
  5. Rawhide We talked about Frankie Laine the other day on Two for Tuesday.
  6. MAS*H I could have sworn this was on one of the playlists, which means it was probably eliminated when someone deleted their account. Anyway, the song is “Suicide Is Painless” from the original movie.
  7. The Avengers The original theme for this show, when it was in black-and-white and starred Patrick Macnee and Honor Blackmon. It was written and performed by Johnny Dankworth. Earlier this year, I pitted this theme against the one used during the Diana Rigg and Linda Thorson years in a Battle of the Bands, and this one didn’t win. Nevertheless, I like this one.
  8. Hawaii Five-O Another one that must have been deleted since I built the playlists, because I can’t imagine I would have left it off.
  9. Alfred Hitchcock Presents Composed by Charles Gounod as “Funeral For A Marionette.”
  10. The Tonight Show Theme The one played by Doc Severinsen and the NBC Orchestra during the Johnny Carson years. Written by Paul Anka as “Toot Sweet,” it’s also called “Here’s Johnny!”

I’ve come to the conclusion that I really need to rebuild these lists, or at least figure out what I have before I try another one of these. If you want to suggest more themes, be sure and look through the ones I have first.

And that’s the Friday 5×2 for November 10, 2017.

Monday’s Music Moves Me: TV Game Show Themes

I have a semi-regular feature here called “TV Themes.” I forget what I’m up to by now, so this is either volume seven or eight or something. I used to be good about building playlists of them, and have several out there: the main list, Part 5 dedicated to Mike Post, Westerns, and themes by Snuffy Walden.

Anyway, today’s list is all about game shows. I have ten here, but they’re short, I promise.

Mary and I have been watching a lot of old game shows lately. A local station plays reruns of the original Password, What’s My Line?, and You Bet Your Life, and Buzzr plays reruns of To Tell The Truth, What’s My Line?, and I’ve Got A Secret every night from 9 to 11 (we miss the second hour because we’re watching Hogan’s Heroes). And, of course, we still watch Wheel of Fortune (with the sound off; Mary doesn’t like the sound of the wheel) and Jeopardy! We no longer get the Game Show Network, because we don’t have cable, but we used to watch a lot of those shows as well. I watched a lot of game shows when I was younger; it’s a genre that seems to have died now that most people are working and not at home in the morning and afternoon. The Price Is Right soldiers on with Drew Carey as host, and there’s a reboot of Let’s Make A Deal with Wayne Brady in Monty Hall’s place. But that’s it. Sponsors, who used the shows as advertisements, recognize that no one’s watching the shows anymore, so they’ve been replaced with endless talk shows, which are much cheaper to make.


The Price Is Right

The Match Game (“Swingin’ Safari”) (the NBC version that ran from 1962 to 1969)

To Tell The Truth

Password (1961 version)

What’s My Line? (1968 and 1972 version)

Concentration (“Fast Break,” theme from 1973-1978)

Wheel of Fortune (1989-1992)

The Joker’s Wild

You Bet Your Life (“Hooray For Captain Spaulding”)

And that’s your Monday’s Music Moves Me for September 12, 2016. Did you watch game shows as a kid? What were your favorites?

Monday’s Music Moves Me is sponsored by X-Mas Dolly, Callie, Stacy, Cathy, and Naila Moon, so be sure and visit them, where you can also find the Linky for the other participants.


TV Themes, Part Whatever: Themes By W. G. “Snuffy” Walden

In between having to do all the “grownup stuff” (pay taxes) and all my preparations for the A to Z Challenge (he highlight of my blogging year, and hopefully yours, too), I realized that I have a blog entry due today. So, I did what I usually do when that happens: I said “Let’s do TV Themes!”

Several weeks ago, Cheryl Wright, who blogs at Plucking of my Heartstrings, and I were talking about TV themes, and the name William Garrett “Snuffy” Walden came up, who’s written theme songs and incidental music for a number of TV shows and movies. He has been nominated for a number of Emmy awards for his music for TV, including the five themes I’ve chosen for today.

  1. The West Wing: Walden won the Emmy for this song in 2000.
  2. Early Edition: Walden received Emmy nominations for Main Title Theme Music and Music Composition for a Series for this show in 1997.
  3. My So-Called Life: Nominated for Main Title Theme Music in 1995.
  4. Huff: Nominated for Outstanding Main Title Theme Music in 2005.
  5. I’ll Fly Away: A nomination for Main Title Theme Music in 1992.

I just realized that we never watched any of these shows….

Anyway, there’s your Friday Five for March 18, 2015.