Category Archives: Theme Songs

’80s Television Theme Songs: Action/Adventure/Police Shows

Welcome back to our look back at television theme songs. If you missed the previous posts, you can check out some great comedy theme songs in Part 1 and Part 2. Today, we will enjoy some themes of our favorite action/adventure/police shows.

Miami Vice

Obviously, we need to start with the ultimate ’80s TV show. When you mention Television in the ’80s, the first thing that pops into most people’s minds is Miami Vice. It had action, excess, fashion, Don Johnson, and, of course, the soundtrack of the ’80s. Just to name a few music artists who either appeared on the show, provided music, or both were: The Power Station, Glenn Frey, Willie Nelson, The Fat Boys, Gene Simmons, Sheena Easton, and Phil Collins.
So, with all that star power, there needs to be an awesome theme song. And Jan Hammer came through by writing and performing the definitive ’80s theme song. Even though it was an instrumental, the Miami Vice Theme topped the Billboard Charts in 1985. It also garnered two Grammy Awards. I must admit that it’s not my favorite song on today’s list, but there’s no denying it’s place in ’80s history.

My favorite part of Tuesday nights, began with this:

In 1972, a crack commando unit was sent to prison by a military court for a crime they didn’t commit. These men promptly escaped from a maximum-security stockade to the Los Angeles underground. Today, still wanted by the government, they survive as soldiers of fortune. If you have a problem… if no one else can help… and if you can find them… maybe you can hire… The A-Team.

One other note about this song. If you ever have an earworm (a song stuck in your head), you will get rid of it by listening to the theme from The A-Team. I swear that this really works.

Magnum P.I.
This is another one of my favorite themes of the ’80s. While I enjoy Tom Selleck on Blue Bloods these days, I really miss his Thomas Magnum. What a great show!

The Dukes of Hazzard
Speaking of missing people, I also miss the late, great Waylon Jennings. Not only did he write and perform the theme for The Dukes of Hazzard (“The Good Ol’ Boys”), he also narrated the show. This song reached #1 on the Country chart in 1980, and peaked at #21 on the Billboard Hot 100. Yeeee Haaaaa!!!

The Greatest American Hero
“Believe It or Not”, the hits just keep on coming! Joey Scarbury’s hit would peak at #2 on the Billboard Hot 100, and was in the Top 40 for 18 weeks. Oh, and the show was pretty awesome too!

The Fall Guy
The Fall Guy‘s theme, “Unknown Stuntman”, is sung by the show’s star, Lee Majors.

Hardcastle & McCormick
We get two awesome songs for the price of one here! The original theme for Hardcastle & McCormick, “Drive”, was composed by Mike Post and Stephen Geyer and sung by David Morgan.
However, for the first part of Season 2, the theme song was changed to “Back to Back”, also composed by Post and Geyer but sung by Joey Scarbury (yes, that Joey Scarbury from The Greatest American Hero).
But, after many complaints, the original “Drive” theme song was brought back. I do prefer “Drive”, but I do like “Back to Back” a lot. I think that it was better than a lot of other theme songs. Take a listen, and see which you prefer. Here is “Drive”:

And here is “Back to Back”:

21 Jump Street

Here is another outstanding theme song. It is performed by Holly Robinson, who also starred in the show.


Just like The Dukes of Hazzard, this was another great show that began in the ’70s and ran through the beginning of the ’80s. It does have a little ’70s sound to it, but I love it.

Hill Street Blues
We have reached the final song for the day, so let’s be careful out there. This critical darling and audience favorite of a show also had an iconic theme song. It was written by Mike Post, and reached #10 on Billboard’s Hot 100 in November 1981.

And just as in the comedies, we have the “problem” of there being many more theme songs we need to cover. It looks like we will have another round of this in the upcoming weeks. Tomorrow we will cover some evening soap operas and dramas. And Friday, we will check out cartoon theme songs. Geez, I think we could do an entire week with just cartoon theme songs alone!
Well, I hope you enjoyed these songs today. Please let me know what you think, and tell us what some of your favorite shows or theme songs were.

’80s Television Theme Songs: Sitcoms, Part 2

Welcome back as we continue to take a look back at our favorite television theme songs. Today, we will have another round of sitcoms. If you missed the first round, you can check out Part 1 of this series.

Now, let’s Return to the sitcoms of the ’80s.

Family Ties
This is a classy song called “Without Us”. It is performed by Deniece “Let’s Hear It for the Boy” Williams and music legend, Johnny Mathis.

Laverne and Shirley
One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight.
Sclemeel, schlemazel, hasenfeffer incorporated

This classic theme song was titled “Making Our Dreams Come True,” and performed by Cyndi Grecco. This song was released as a single in 1976, and became a hit, charting at #25. She followed up with another single, “Dancing, Dancing”. It did not chart, so “Making Our Dreams Come True” made Cyndi Grecco a one-hit wonder.

Mork and Mindy
This is a fun instrumental theme song.

Bosom Buddies
The theme song for Bosom Buddies was Billy Joel’s classic hit, “My Life“. The theme song version is performed by a studio musician named Gary Bennett.

Who’s The Boss?
There were three versions of this show’s theme song, “Brand New Life”. It was performed by Larry Weiss (1984-86), Steve Wariner (1986-90), and Jonathan Wolff (1990-92). Here are all three:

Larry Weiss (1984-86)

Steve Wariner (1986-90)

Jonathan Wolff (1990-92)

Gimme a Break
Show star Nell Carter performed this theme song.

My Two Dads
Here is another theme song sung by one of the show’s stars. And no, it’s not Paul Reiser who sang this! It is performed by Greg Evigan, who many of us remember from B. J. and the Bear.

Just the 10 of Us
“Growing Pains” had one of my all-time favorite theme songs. It’s spin-off, Just the 10 of Us had a theme song that was not to shabby either. It is “Doin’ it the Best I Can” performed by Bill Medley, who we know as one of The Righteous Brothers, and of course from the Dirty Dancing theme, “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life“.

This theme, “Then Came You”, is performed by Steve Nelson and Gail Lopata Lennon

Perfect Strangers
We’ll wrap up today’s list with one of my favorite songs from today. This song is titled “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Me Now”, and was performed by David Pomeranz. It was written by Jesse Frederick and Bennett Salvay, who had composed the themes for Full House, Step by Step and Perfect Strangers spin-off Family Matters.

Well, that does it for today. There are probably even more sitcoms that we can include. But, tomorrow we will move on to some of our favorite Action/Adventure shows. We’ll have to come back to some more sitcoms in the upcoming weeks. Does anybody have any other sitcom themes we haven’t gotten to yet?

’80s Television Theme Songs: Sitcoms, Part 1

Remember when television theme songs were more than a few seconds? They showed the premise of the show and introduced the starring characters. Sure, some of them may have been corny (especially on some sitcoms), but the opening theme was just about as good as the show itself. This week, let’s Return to the ’80s, and enjoy some awesome theme songs that we miss. There are so, so many that we can’t possibly have them all in one post. Instead, we will make this a series this week, and break it up into different categories.

Today, we will start with sitcoms. Again, there are so many great sitcom themes that there will be multiple sitcom posts. So if it looks like there are some missing, chances are that they will be covered later in the week. These are listed in no particular order.

Happy Days
The original song was Bill Haley’s “Rock Around The Clock”. Then from 1976 through 1984 the show had its own original song written by television theme writers Norman Gimbel and Charles Fox, who also wrote the themes for Wonder Woman, Laverne and Shirley, and Love Boat. The song was sung by Jerry McClain and Truett Pratt, who were also known as Brother Love.

Golden Girls

This song was “Thank You for Being a Friend”, and was written by written by Andrew Gold. It was actually a #25 hit on the Billboard charts in 1978. You can see him perform it here.
The television theme version was recorded by Cynthia Fee (who is also known for her 1984 duet with Kenny Rogers, “I Don’t Want To Know Why“).

The Facts of Life

“The Facts of Life” theme was written by Growing Pains dad Alan Thicke, Days of Our Lives star Gloria Loring and Al Burton, and was sung by Gloria Loring.

Silver Spoons

The show’s theme song titled “Together” was written by Rik Howard and Bob Wirth. It was sung by The Archies’ alumni Ron Dante.

Punky Brewster

This theme song is “Every Time I Turn Around”, and was written by Gary Portnoy and Judy Hart Angelo and sung by Portnoy. Here is the version from seasons 3 and 4. To see the first season version, check out the Punk Brewster article from May 6 .

Charles in Charge

There were 2 versions of this song, even though the lyrics were the same. They are both good.

Season 1:

The rest of the seasons:

The Jeffersons

This song is “Movin’ on Up” and was written by Jeff Barry and Ja’net Dubois, and performed by Dubois. I dare to not move your hands or feet to this song!

Diff’rent Strokes

Like it’s spin-off, The Facts of Life, this song was written by Alan Thicke, Gloria Loring and Al Burton. This was sung by Alan Thicke.

Growing Pains

This song is “As Long As We Got Each Other,” sung by B.J. Thomas and Jennifer Warnes, and was written by Steve Dorff and John Bettis.
B.J. Thomas had hit songs such as “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head,” and “Whatever Happened to Old-Fashioned Love“. Jennifer Warnes was a very successful duet singer as she had hits with “Up Where We Belong” (with Joe Cocker, from the 1982 film An Officer and a Gentleman) and “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life” (with Bill Medley from the 1987 film Dirty Dancing).

And here’s a full version of the song:


This is “Where Everybody Knows Your Name”, and was written by Gary Portnoy (who also wrote and performed the Punky Brewster theme) and Judy Hart Angelo and performed by Portnoy. I like the long version. The short version usually gets played for the reruns now.

Does anybody else have any favorites? There are more to come this week. In addition to more sitcoms, there are action/adventure theme songs as well as nighttime soaps, and dramas.