Your favorite TV themes: Day 5

Previous installments: Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4

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

“Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman” by ??? Chris Kelsey suggested this theme. I haven’t yet determined who wrote it. Earle Hagen (The Andy Griffith Show) and Bobby Knight are both listed in IMDb as having written music for Norman Lear’s classic soap opera parody, though neither is credited with the theme. The Wikipedia entry doesn’t shed any light, either. In 1977, The New Marketts did a disco version of the theme, with the writing credited to “B. White.” Listening to the strings at the start of the theme, it sure does sound like the hand of Barry. Unfortunately, that “B. White” is the pen name of British composer Robert Charles Kingston. So, for me at least, the composer of the theme is a mystery. If you know the answer, please comment below.

“The Sopranos” (“Woke Up This Morning”) by Alabama 3. This song was written by British band Alabama 3, whose original name was First Presleyterian Church of Elvis the Divine (UK). Because why not? Their songs have appeared in many TV shows, including Torchwood, Criminal Minds, Being Human, and The Simpsons. “Woke Up This Morning” is the song that made driving through New Jersey cool. Well, that and every Bruce Springsteen song. And no, I don’t know why a dance band from England is named after the state of Alabama. Thanks to Editilla The Pun, Dmitri Matheny and Joe Dansak for listing this song.

“Three’s Company” by Joe Raposo. Every single one of you knows Joe Raposo’s music. In addition to this song, he wrote the THEME TO FREAKIN’ SESAME STREET, and also “C Is For Cookie” and “Bein’ Green.” He wrote music for The Electric Company, Shining Time Station and The Ropers, too, and Frank Sinatra recorded four of his songs on Ol’ Blue Eyes Is Back. Michael Feinberg mentioned this one.

“Law & Order” by Mike Post. Fender Rhodes-y keyboards? Slap bass? Bluesy guitar? That’s right, it’s another Mike Post theme. Post also wrote “the clang,” that sound that happens when the scene changes, and which is arguably even more famous than this theme, which was used for all 147 seasons of the show. Michael Feinberg and Justin McCOy Smith like this one.

“Mary Tyler Moore” by Sonny Curtis There are two versions of this theme. The first was used just for the first season. The second is the better known of the two, and has slightly more uplifting lyrics. This made the lists of Will Thomas, Mike West and Richard Biever.

The Mary Tyler Moore Show Opening and Closing Theme 1970 – 1977 from TeeVees Greatest on Vimeo.

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