Category Archives: Sitcoms

R.I.P. Alan Thicke (March 1, 1947 – December 13, 2016)

2016 has been absolutely brutal! I know that every year major celebrities, we grew up with, die. But, it seems like there have been an excessive amount of huge names that we lost this year. Alan Thicke is now the latest. Sadly, he passed away yesterday. What makes this even worse is that he suffered a heart attack while playing hockey with his 19 year old son Carter, and died at the Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center in Burbank, California. He was 69.

Obviously, we all know Alan Thicke from his role as Jason Seaver in the awesome family sitcom, Growing Pains. He was an awesome dad. He was funny and cool, but could still be strict. He was a great role model, and Alan Thicke really made this character shine. My earliest memory of him was in the second episode of the series when he went to a Bruce Springsteen concert with his son Mike (Kirk Cameron). Coming out of the concert, they were stopped by a television reporter who asked if they were father and son, and Jason embarrassed Mike by giving him a noogie on live TV.

Starring in Growing Pains was not his only television credit at the time. The multi-talented Thicke was also a TV theme song composer, along with his then-wife Gloria Loring. The songs he composed were iconic. He composed the themes for Diff’rent Strokes and The Facts of Life.

He also composed game show theme songs, such as The Wizard of Odds (on which he also sang) The Joker’s Wild, the original theme to Wheel of Fortune, and several others.

He also wrote the song and appeared in the television show, Animal Crack-Ups from 1987-1989.

Thicke co-hosted the Walt Disney World Very Merry Christmas Parade (now the Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade) with Joan Lunden from 1983 to 1990, when he was succeeded by Regis Philbin.

Over the years he has guested on several shows. Most recently, he had a guest spot on the new smash hit show, This Is Us.

Alan Thicke seemed like a class act, and all-around good guy.He will be sorely missed.

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’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“.

Webster
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?

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’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:

Cheers

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.

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