Your favorite TV themes: Day 4

Previous installments: Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3

I asked you to suggest your favorite TV themes. You responded with dozens and dozens of shows! Here’s the fourth batch, in the order they were mentioned. Come back tomorrow for more!

“Six Feet Under Theme” by Thomas Newman. Chris Forbes mentioned this tune, written by a member of the famous Newman family, just about every member of which writes film scores. The family includes Thomas’s dad Alfred Newman (The Prisoner of Zenda, Wuthering Heights, The Mark of Zorro, How The West Was Won); brother David (Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, Galaxy Quest, Ice Age); Lionel Newman (Love Me Tender, musical director for the original Star Wars trilogy); and cousin Randy Newman, known both for film scoring and also for his pop music.

“The Adventures of Black Beauty” (“Galloping Home”) by Dennis King. Irish singer/songwriter ODi mentioned this one from the 1970s British TV show. This tune hit #31 on the UK charts in 1974, and it was later used at the end of the first season of Absolutely Fabulous.

“Mission Impossible Theme” by Lalo Schifrin. Mr. Schifrin returns to the list with this theme, which every single kid who ever played spy has sung while running around the house with a fake gun. Schifrin said this about the theme, which is in 5/4 time: “Things are in 2/4 or 4/4 because people dance with two legs. I did it for people from outer space who have five legs.” This made the lists of Chris Kelsey, Don Levy and Joe Dansak.

“Ironside” by Quincy Jones. Q is back for the third time with this theme, which is as iconic for the opening keyboard sounds as for the music. This was apparently the first TV theme with a keyboard part. I’ve never seen Ironside, and as I was Googling it I was thinking, “Please don’t let this be about someone in a wheelchair,” which of course it is. Ah, the 60s. Jazz great Oliver Nelson also worked on this series. Chris Kelsey and Taylor Haskins mentioned this one, with Taylor writing, “I must say ‘Ironside’ does often challenge ‘Sanford’ for the title…either way, Q wins.”

“Beretta Theme” (“Keep Your Eye On The Sparrow”) by Dave Grusin and Morgan Ames. Originally an instrumental, the song was revamped with lyrics sung by Sammy Davis Jr. The music was performed by Latin rock band El Chicano, who had their first hit with a remake of a tune by jazz composer Gerald Wilson. Like all good TV themes, this song hit #1 in the Netherlands. Thanks to Chris Kelsey for this one.

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