TV theme tunes

Whether they’re memorable for all the right, or wrong, reasons, which television theme tunes are you thinking of right now?

For my own glee, here’s The Littlest Hobo, which was much better than Lassie in terms of both music and canine exploits. (Did you ever see Lassie carrying a gun?)

How about the frenzied drumming on Stingray? That beautiful moment of fast-fingered guitar-playing on Thundercats? The plodding banjo on Skippy?

In terms of suitability, with its Halloween-esque piano, ‘sirens’ and ticking clock, I can’t think of anything better than 999, a programme about real-life accidents, rescues and reconstructions. It always sent me to bed on a Sunday night mentally rehearsing all possible escape routes, should the house catch fire.

For sing-along-ability, who can forget Happy Days? To evoke action and adventure, The A-Team; for quirky crime capers of the slower variety, Murder, She Wrote.

Other notables include Match of the Day, The Magic Roundabout, Hawaii Five-0 and perhaps the jolliest piece of music ever recorded: Benny Hill’s theme tune.

Oh, and just how scary was the original Dr Who?

Just so that you know, I’m going to be pre-occupied for the next two weeks, so please don’t be alarmed if The Blog appears to be slightly temperamental during this time, or if it even closes temporarily at some point. It will take longer than usual for your comments to be published.

Author: FEd

Features Editor of David Gilmour's official blog, The Blog ('Features' previously being its rather naff title), affectionately - or lazily - shortened to 'FEd'.

91 thoughts on “TV theme tunes”

  1. Not only was this is the first thing that popped into my head, but I’ve also been known to spontaneously begin singing this song for no apparent reason! :))

    A horse is a horse
    of course, of course
    and no one can talk to horse, of course,
    that is, of course,
    unless the horse
    is the famous Mister Ed.

    Go right to the source
    and ask the horse,
    he’ll give you the answer that you’ll endorse.
    He’s always on a steady course.
    Talk to Mister Ed.

    People yakkity yak a streak
    and waste your time of day,
    but Mister Ed will never speak
    unless he has something to say.

    A horse is a horse,
    of course, of course
    and this one will talk ’til his voice is hoarse.
    You’ve never heard of a talking horse?
    Well listen to this,
    “I am Mister Ed!”

    My kids were (and grandson is) easily amused by my singing this song, as well as by my fine rendition of The Tattooed Lady! πŸ˜›

    Do you think Simon’s answer will be the theme from Happy Days? I can’t imagine it being anything else!

  2. Littlest Hobo? Good one Fed, I’m impressed.

    Fat Old Sun, classic.

    You going away for two weeks. Behive okay and we’ll try here! πŸ˜›

    How about Dragnet, and those who may remember in N.A. Commander Tom in the morning and afternoon.

    The Flintstones, Deputy Dawg, Bugs Bunny, Hercules, Dudley Dooright, Johnny Quest, American Bandstand with Dick Clark, The Munsters, Addams Family, and my fave, Get Smart!

  3. I still like melodies composed by Laurie Johnson as for The Avengers and The Professionals (especially the guitar of the later theme)…

    Hawaii 5-0 had also a great theme tune as you all will remember!

    Best regards,
    Taki

  4. The Persuaders, listening to that hypnotic instrumental (John Barry) while watching those beautiful cars they drove, Aston Martin and Ferrari Dino, was like sitting on top of the world.

    Starsky & Hutch (Tom Scotto), that’s when I discovered the power of funky. Good music and good cars… what else?

  5. Batman seems to come to mind immediately. And who could forget those fighting action scenes in that series?

    Stay tuned, same Bat time, same Bat channel and I’ll come up with some more.

    Thanks.

    Andrew

  6. FE’d: Hope you will be having some fun during those two weeks.

    Some of my favorite TV themes:

    – Peter Gunn (Henri Mancini)
    – These are by Mike Post: Hill Street Blues, The Greatest American Hero, White Shadow, Magnum P. I. , The Rockford Files.
    – The Andy Griffith Show

    Can’t forget ‘Rawhide’, ‘Have Gun, Will Travel’, ‘Streets of San Francisco’, ‘Playhouse 90’, ‘It’s Howdy Doody Time’.

    Back with more later.

  7. To All Bloggers!

    I just wanted you all to know…

    Your Features Editor is very drunk in the First Class lounge here at Heathrow and he’s claiming he’s told everyone he’s working on the Blog Software???

    In fact he’s off to Branson’s Necker Island for two weeks with a bunch of friends who look questionable at best.

  8. I’m a big fan of the Bonanza theme tune. I often catch myself singing it.

    I agree with the Happy Days theme tune catchiness (go Simon, go Simon), but for me it was Laverne and Shirley!

  9. Weekend World – I remember that the theme tune was by Mountain.
    Horizon – I think the music was Brian Eno.

    Another serious type programme from the 70s/80s with a great theme tune.

    Forgot the title of the programme and never knew whose music it was… help !!!

  10. My short list: A-Team, McGyver, Stargate SG-1, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Riptide, Simon & Simon (some cool guitar work on this one), Banacek (George Peppard show circa 1980).

    What’s up FEd?

    Bev N.

  11. Happy Days? Urrggh. If there is one program guaranteed to make me turn over within 2 notes of the opening theme, it is that.

    Absolutely hate it with a vengeance, from the theme tune to every single character in it. Everything about it makes me cringe with embarrassment.

  12. There was a BBC Scotland sports programme called ‘Sportscene’ that used ‘Run Like Hell’ as its theme tune a few years back.

    As themes go, Dr Who takes a bit of beating.

    1. As themes go, Dr Who takes a bit of beating.

      Especially when it’s segued into ‘One Of These Days’. πŸ˜‰

  13. From what I remember I preferred the music of Captain Scarlet to Thunderbirds and Stingray. But for kids TV the cartoons usually had the best music. Top Cat in particular was great for singing along to.

    The Sweeney had great music, and Minder, although a bit cheesy, is pretty catchy but the new series wasn’t much cop compared to the ITV 4 repeats of the original.

    On a different note, well done to Liverpool. What a performance, and well deserved, if only to shut Rooney up for a bit.

    Similarly I’m glad that the West Ham-Tevez-Sheffield thingy is finally being sorted out. In a way it’s good that West Ham didn’t do even better in the last few seasons, or they’d have had to pay even more. For that reason, I’m really glad that Liverpool won the FA Cup in 2006.

    (See, it can happen FEd. I admit, I’ve been searching for an opportunity to put that link in. πŸ˜€ Hope everything goes OK over the next two weeks for you.)

  14. Though I really didn’t watch the show, I was always amused by the theme to My Three Sons. A silly little tune it was.

    Then there was Gilligan’s Island, and The Dukes of Hazzard.

  15. Just the fact that you mentioned Thundercats makes me smile.

    Thundercats – HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!

    (Nothing like childhood nostalgia.)

    Thank you very much indeed, good night to you.

    1. Thundercats rocked. 8)

      I’m impressed, FEd, that was a good pick for TV themes.

  16. Well, I’m gonna have to go with the 1967 Spiderman cartoon series. How can you not snap your fingers and tap your toes to that amazing jazz bop composed by Robert Harris, and those infamous lyrics from Paul Webster?

    “Spiderman, Spiderman, Does whatever a spider can…” πŸ™‚

    Darren

  17. Mission: Impossible (the TV show, not the movies) is still one of my favorite theme songs, along with The Honeymooners, The Untouchables, I Love Lucy, Get Smart, The Streets of San Francisco, Batman, Hawaii Five-O, Dragnet, The Green Hornet (Al Hirt’s ultra-cool take on Flight of the Bumble Bee), and Doctor Who, especially when you hear it quoted on PF’s One of These Days! There are more, but my memory banks need a bailout…

    Cheers;
    Bill C

  18. Hmmmm… no cheers for the Mickey Mouse Club theme song yet.

    Who’s the leader of the pack…

    Thanks.

    Andrew

  19. Match of the Day Saturday 14/03/2009, highlights of Liverpool stuffing Man U 4 – 1. Bliss, the theatre of dreams shattered.

    And no, I wont apologise to any Man U fan on this blog.

    Damian

  20. Good evening.

    I’m loving your enthusiasm on this post, FEd. πŸ˜›

    May I mention some others:

    Grange Hill (both first and second)

    BBC Grandstand (THE most happy music ever created)

    Animal Hospital (that fifth note from the saxophone must have killed the musician!)

    Hope you have a marvellous two weeks, FEd – I look forward to the next chat – have a nice relaxing time.

    1. Love it.

      I’m not sure how many will know of these, but how about the incredibly dramatic theme of Johnny Quest, or the fantastic Mike & Angelo (I think this is an obscure one though, I ADORED it as a kid)?

  21. O, here’s a theme song I don’t care for as well as a show I wasn’t very fond of either. Who remembers Maude?

    So FEd, will sayings from TV shows be next, like “Kiss my grits” or “Up your nose with a rubber hose”?

    Thanks.

    Andrew

  22. Absolutely for me the best is A-Team. Here in Italy, in the 90s, Benny Hill’s is one of the best shows for me, also the soundtrack is fantastic and funny. πŸ™‚

    But about the Telefilm we can not forget another beautiful soundtracks:

    – Supercar
    – Chips
    – Magnum PI
    – MacGyver

    But there are also a lot of other good soundtracks… but so many!

    Bye Bye.

    1. Speaking of ‘Chips’.

      Robert Pine who was the boss of Ponch, etc, has a son named Chris. He is playing the ‘new’ James Kirk in the new Star Trek.

  23. FEd,

    Catchy theme tunes, how about the Robinson Crusoe serial from the 60s and the Flashing Blade from the late 70s?

  24. Hi FEd,

    Don’t get too rowdy whilst out.

    Here is a earlier version of the theme from “The Littlest Hobo” – the one I remember and feel suits the idea of the show.

    Found it on You Tube. This is 1963 version.

    Guess I am dating myself, but anywho..

    Bev

  25. F’Ed, sure hope the fact you’ll be “preoccupied” has something to do with some activity on David’s part. But if I know you, you won’t tell us about it until the time is ripe.

    I love television themes. They’re great little bits of songwriting. One of my favorites is the theme to “The Addams Family” because it is just as silly as the show. I also like the theme to “Cheers,” because as a teacher I can relate to the words:

    “Making your way in the world today takes everything you got
    Taking a break from all your worries sure would help a lot
    Wouldn’t you like to get away…”

    I also like musical themes, like the themes from “Taxi” and “Barney Miller.” Who could ever resist the theme to “Mission Impossible” (I once heard it coming from an upstairs window as I walked along the sidewalk in a strange neighborhood I was not familiar with; it was suitably creepy and made me feel like I was being followed). “The Munsters” is another television theme I’ve always loved.

    I went to hear a jazz trio (guitar, bass and drums), and they started by playing the theme to “I Love Lucy” in the style of jazz. Thought it was really cool, ’till they went on to give similar treatment to the themes from “The Flintstones,” “Batman” and “Sanford and Son.” They closed with an accoustic version (on drums, guitar and standup bass) of the theme from “The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly,” though that is not a TV show.

    1. F’Ed, sure hope the fact you’ll be β€œpreoccupied” has something to do with some activity on David’s part.

      I’m sorry to say that, er, like much of The Blog these days, it has absolutely nothing to do with David.

      Sorry about that.

  26. I nearly forgot about the music from “I Dream of Jeannie.” Am I mistaken, or did Will Smith do a rap version of that a few years back?

    1. I think it was but I do know that there was a version of Suzanne Vega’s Tom’s Diner that was set to the I Dream of Jeannie.

      Thanks.

      Andrew

  27. I thought My Three Sons was a good one, too. It made me laugh. My favorite, though, is Northern Exposure. I still have the CD. They used a lot of great tunes on that show, but the best one was the theme.

  28. I’ve always loved the theme music to the BBC documentary programme ‘Arena’.

    Another one I like, which is a blast from the past, is ‘Van der Valk’. I’m going to be humming it to myself all morning now!

  29. :/ So many tunes and only two links per post allowed.

    So, I will put something Italian… Something no one knows (other Europeans will). Let’s start with cartoons.

    The first link is “Jeeg robot d’acciaio” a Japanese cartoon. The tune is the original Japanese but made longer, with Italian singer and a moog added to give that space effect. Any Italian knows it. The Japanese version became, 5 years ago, the music for a car TV spot.

    Enjoy.

    The second one is again from a robot series “Mazinga Z”. Every country in Europe made its own version of the original Japanese one. The Italian is interesting because it has been slowed down, re-played, a bridge has been added… Very nice. Compare with the other European versions (English, Spanish etc.) and have a laugh!!!

    Enjoy.

    More to come… :))

  30. Fed, “Giochi senza frontiere” was actually “It’s a Knockout” (why England changed the name? some nationalistic spirit?) πŸ˜›

    This TV show (70s) is something that unites Europeans of my age. When we were kids I think this show helped Europeans to feel part of a big family. A spirit of unity can be created also with these apparently silly shows.

    Look at all the television stations and countries involved!!! πŸ˜‰

  31. Hi

    Happy two weeks FEd… in UK?

    My TV themes I remember Happy Days and love The Littlest Hobo but my beloved is from an Italian TV program: Quark it’s a “aria sulla quarta corda” by JS Bach.

    Have a nice time!
    diana

  32. I’ll throw these ‘TV themes’ into the pot, purely for their tenuous link to this site.

    The Adventures Of Black Beauty
    Randall & Hopkirk
    Man In A Suitcase
    The Saint
    The Champions

    πŸ˜• πŸ˜‰

  33. After reading this the one theme tune that is going round and round my brain at the moment is Steptoe and Son.

    Emmerdale.
    Rising Damp.
    The Avengers.
    Thunderbirds.

  34. Off topic, but of interest to some on this blog.

    I read recently that the top medical adviser in the U.K. is lobbying to raise prices on alcohol as it is too cheap over there right now and it is causing an issue with binge drinking.

    I always thought that pricing is a product of supply and demand. And people will drink alcohol no matter what price is set. It also seems that some of the politicians over there don’t support this recommendation stating that they shouldn’t punish all for the actions of the few. (Quite an amazing comment for a politician. No??)

    Any commentary on this from our U.K. contingency??

    Thanks.

    Andrew

    1. Now, on this issue we should be clear and consistent. But politicians are not.

      In Europe taxes are heavier than in US on products, in many cases. It is not uncommon in Europe to tax products that are considered “unnecessary”, or “luxury” or bad for health. In Italy they constantly raise taxes on Cigarettes (excuse: it is dangerous), alcohol (excuse: it is dangerous and unnecessary), petrol (excuse: none, they just do it..,. in Italy if you see the various components of that tax you still find that an amount is for the devastating effects of WWII or something similar!!!), etc.

      When the NON SMOKERS were happy banning cigarettes and WAR to cigarettes, I often provoked by saying: let’s make illegal everything that ruins health. Example: chocolate!!! It makes sense in this absurd way of thinking. I , obviously, wanted to provoke to have a stop to a way of reasoning that could become dangerous. But reality is worst than fantasy. So , now the proposal is chocolate. And tomorrow?

      Remember that we must defend principles. Once a principle has been stepped over, the consequences in future can be very dangerous. :/

    2. I can see the Logic behind it, having teenage children that have taken the step into adulthood, often meaning experimenting with alcohol.

      As parents we tried to advise them on sensible drinking & the dangers of alcohol but when children are amongst others of the same age that seems to go out of the window, much to our frustration. I’m not sure the pricing of drink would have the desired effect, possibly the opposite as youngsters would see this as glamorising alcohol, making it even more desirable.

      Then I remember that at that age I behaved the same way, many a Friday evening ruined spent talking to the big white telephone vowing “never again”. Eventually I calmed down.

      It’s still a worry when it’s your children, mind you.

  35. Hi again,

    today we have more tunes.

    Again something other Europeans don’t know. In Italy, as I said before, we had only one channel from 1954 (birth of TV in Italy) until the sixties when we got a second, etc. These channels where national. There was no advertisement during the day on any show. Italy developed its own way of delivering advertisements. We created a show, called “carosello”. This was an half an hour show from 8.30 to 9.00. TV spots where actually mini-shows of 5 minutes: cartoons, mini movies, soap operas, etc. The product was only shown at the end of each “spot”. Kids loved the show because there were a lot of animated cartoons in it. So EVERY KID in EVERY FAMILY was watching “carosello” and the rule was “after carosello, to bed”. And that is the way Italians were living!! Amazing if compared to total lack of any educational system of today. Italy was naive and telly was like a discrete company to a family, helping (in a patronizing way, OK) to “educate” people.

    Here is a mix of the tunes of carosello of the 50s , 60s and 70s. πŸ™‚

  36. I like this post (wasn’t it clear?) :))

    Remember I talked about “scacciapensieri” on Swiss TV?

    Well, this is the marvellous and famous cartoon intro with the most irresistible rabbit ever, created by the Italian Bruno Bozzetto.

    Watch it all… it’s IMPOSSIBLE not to laugh out loud. πŸ˜€

  37. Hi FEd,

    For TV themes, there have been some great ones mentioned.

    I like Law & Order’s theme (the original and SVU- not so much the CI theme). Knight Rider was good too- some neat synth work.

    The Dukes of Hazzard was great. Waylon is about as good ole boy as you can get. The original Transformers rocked pretty good, too.

    Then there was MASH – instantly recognizable.

    One of my favorites is the Spongebob theme. I sing that with my kids all the time. πŸ˜€

    This is fun. πŸ˜‰

  38. Hey FEd, do you have anything to do with the DG Facebook page… if so what’s up with the question?

    1. There is a question which says “what is your dream”? on David’s Facebook page. However, it is in quotation marks so I am not too sure if the poster is reciting something or if it is a direct question.

      I’m sure lots of us had fun responding and it brightens up one’s Facebook entries now and then.

      Enjoy your holiday or whatever it may be, FEd.

  39. And the list goes on and on…

    – Bugs Bunny and the Road Runner
    – M*A*S*H
    – Beverly Hillbillies
    – Star Trek (the original series theme)
    – The Carol Burnett Show theme -“I’m so glad we had this time together”
    – The Flintstones
    – AirWolf (starred Jan Michael Vincent)
    – Automan (circa 1986)

    Enjoy your break FEd!

    Bev

  40. Off-topic: One question, does David Gilmour have a Fan page in facebook.com?

    Excuse me for the off-topic.

    1. Oh my God! I feel so stupid, I didn’t notice that someone already asked for it… at least I am not the only one. :!

      It’s a stupid fan page in facebook: The admin is publishing messages like “what’s your dream?”, etc.

      There are too many fans of this page, who click on “I like it” to everything the fake Gilmour says. Really I was one of them, and I was too excited to think for one moment that I could have ANY contact/communication with David Gilmour. But after that, I really thought that was not true… and here you got me. πŸ™‚

      I’m sorry for bad English. I’m from Venezuela.

      Best Regards, and excuse me again the off topic and the repeat question…

    2. There’s no need to feel stupid, my friend (and certainly no need to apologise for your “bad” English, as it is anything but that).

      Thank you for the explanation. I’ve never experienced the joys of Facebook myself, so it’s nice to know what’s been going on. I hope the dreams were good ones.

    3. Thanks to you FEd! I see still more comments about the Facebook fan page. What if you either write a post to explain that there is not any fan page in facebook (or at least a P.D. in the next post or something) or you create one?

      Well… only if you like, of course. πŸ™‚

      Best regards!

      P.D (off-topic again): I was dreaming yesterday about it’d be really nice if anyone could “gift” one or more days/months/years of life to anyone else… So the greatest artists (suck like Gilmour), and good people would be forever with us… Maybe it’d be such a problem too, but who knows…

  41. R.I.P. Natasha Richardson.

    Such a shame and hard to believe.

    I don’t think she ever did any TV but I did enjoy some of her movies.

    Thanks.

    Andrew

  42. Hi everybody,

    I’m not at home these days, so I can’t follow The Blog regularly.

    I loved reading all these comments and I’ve nothing more to add: my favourite TV themes are Happy Days, MASH, A-Team, Chips and Benny Hill.

    It’s great how these tunes could be still connected to some of my/our earliest memories. That’s the power of music!

    I hope you’re enjoying yourself, FEd. πŸ™‚

  43. Sorry about the vagueness, but the “David Gilmour” Facebook fan page is asking questions like “What is Your Dream?” to which it has gotten 2,939 responses since yesterday.

    I know there is a Myspace page, but wondered if the Facebook one is official or not?

    (It has 69,382 fans.)

    1. Thanks for the reply, John.

      69,382? It seems there are many dreamers hanging around Facebook.

      As far as I know, it’s absolutely not official, but it sounds like fun.

  44. Hi FEd,

    Just had to put my two cents in. How about Mighty Mouse and Davey Crocket? Oh, and North to Alaska. Have you heard those?

    Anyways those are the ones I am thinking about.

    Hope your vacation does you wonders.

    I’ll be back for more fun.

    Charie-Kee πŸ˜€

  45. Fed,

    I just want to mention TV theme music that really irritates. The stuff that blasts out of your TV when you have just sat down to relax.

    One that comes to mind is the intro to Time Team. I dread the start of this show.

    Doctor Who is my all time fav.

    wilko

  46. I can’t believe no-one’s mentioned Some Mothers Do Have ’em yet. πŸ˜€

    Oh, and The Addams Family.

    And, making a welcome return, the F1 theme by Fleetwood Mac (The Chain).

    And Mission: Impossible.

  47. :v I was wondering if anyone would remember an old TV show (from the 70s) where Pink Floyd’s Time was the theme song? The show was about the paranormal.

    Once in a while I remember to google it to see what I can find, but I haven’t had any luck.

    Thanks!

    1. Did you ever find an answer to this? I have the same question. I thought the program might be called Sci Fi Theater, but can’t remember. Can’t find anything on a TV theme of Time by Pink Floyd, still searching.

  48. What comes to mind oddly, is the theme used in the Mr. Peabody and Sherman segment of the Rocky and Bullwinkle show. Such a great light hearted marching song. A kids’ show with adult humor. Loved it. πŸ™‚

    Also: Leave it to Beaver. Such an era and corny show. Hilarious to watch now.

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