Thursday, October 15, 2009

Taking on TV's Top Ten Themes

Thumbs up to for being a fantastic website that gives you all kinds of cool info and stories behind your favorite music. Obviously, thumbs up to Songfacts for posting a transcript of my interview with Wang Chung's Jack Hues! And for sure, thumbs up to Songfacts for celebrating the lost art of the TV theme song with a list of their top ten. All that said, it's now time to attack Songfacts’ picks because that's half the fun of these lists!

"Up your nose with a rubber hose," Songfacts, for completely ignoring Welcome Back. To be clear, I'm not calling you out on this because John Sebastian was a guest on this podcast. Rather, John Sebastian was a guest on this podcast because he's a Rock n' Roll Hall of Famer who also happens to be responsible for arguably the best TV theme of all time. It's not only a great song, but a great song that managed to work in the concept of the show, while still standing on its own enough hit number one on the Billboard charts. It's a no brainer for the top ten, and while I do think it could stake a claim to the top spot, I'm not gonna be the guy to argue against Where Everybody Knows Your Name. Cheers’ theme is a classic right down to its rarely heard second and third versus, and to put all my cards on the table, I have repeatedly tried and failed to get singer/songwriter Gary Portnoy on Just My Show.

Speaking of podcast guests, I had a great chat with Samm Levine (AKA Neal Schweiber) a few years ago and am generally in favor of including Freaks and Geeks on any list, regardless of the category. It’s an interesting outside the box pick, and a solid song that fit perfectly on one of my absolute favorite series of all time. My only issue is that if you go down the road of making previously released songs eligible, I just don’t see how you can leave out With a Little Help From My Friends from The Wonder Years. By the way, speaking of Samm and the song, he just posted one of the best Tweets I’ve ever seen: “Watching Joan Jett sing Bad Reputation live. I feel like I'm back in fake high school for picture day.”

Here’s another oversight: On behalf of women everywhere, why no love for Love is All Around from Mary Tyler Moore? If you need to free up a spot, I’ll speculate that I’ll Be There For You was more of a vote for Friends than for the actual song. A good TV theme? Yes. Better than Those Were the Days from All in the Family? No. Better than Andy Travis’ perfectly told back story in WKRP in Cincinnati’s main theme? Not even close.

Now here’s some credit where it’s due for including some of the greats like Movin’ on Up from The Jeffersons, Good Ol’ Boys from The Dukes of Hazzard and for showing proper respect for the still catchy The Fishin’ Hole from The Andy Griffith Show (the one reason, far greater than hailing a cab, that I wish I could whistle).

So where’s Just My Show’s top ten list? Way too stressful! It’s much easier to criticize other people’s. Nice job SongFacts! Keep up the great work!

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