Back in the good old days, TV shows had theme songs that you simply could not get out of your head. These tunes were unforgettable, and chances are if you hum a few bars to someone this person will have that tune playing in his or her brain all day.
Here are ten of the best TV show theme songs that you will be playing in your head long after you finish reading the list!
#1 Top Ten Best TV Show Theme Songs You Can’t Stop Playing in Your Head
“Book ‘em Danno” was Steve McGarrett’s tag line at the end of the popular 1960’s and 1970’s television program, after a criminal was caught. Steve Morton’s instrumental theme song played during the show’s introduction, which featured the Pacific Ocean, Hawaiian beaches, Hawaiian natives and each star of the program in a close-up.
#2 Top Ten Best TV Show Theme Songs You Can’t Stop Playing in Your Head
The Brady Bunch
Six Brady kids, two parents and Alice, were all featured in their own panel during the opening of one of the most popular family television shows of the early 1970’s. During the first season, the opening song was sung by The Peppermint Trolley Company (love that groovy hip name). Subsequent seasons were sung by the Brady Kids themselves, and viewers could see them grow up, as the opening sequence changed each year.
#3 Top Ten Best TV Show Theme Songs You Can’t Stop Playing in Your Head
Who doesn’t need friends? The hit NBC series, which premiered in 1994 and launched the careers of it’s six stars had one of the catchy theme songs of the 1990’s. This top ten television theme song was performed by The Rembrandt’s and turned into a top 10 single for them. The opening credits featured the cast in coordinated black and white outfits dancing in, out and around a city fountain.
#4 Top Ten Best TV Show Theme Songs You Can’t Stop Playing in Your Head
Ayyyyyyyy! We’re gonna rock around the clock tonight! The classic Bill Haley and the Comets song was featured in the opening credits for the first two seasons of this top ten television theme song. But just like Chuck, the oldest Cunningham child, it vanished and was replaced by the song “Happy Days” sung by Pratt & McClain. This song was also a Billboard charting single in 1976.
#5 Top Ten Best TV Show Theme Songs You Can’t Stop Playing in Your Head
Laverne and Shirley
Most of American did not know what a “schlemeil” or a “schlmazel” was in 1976, but they were curious to learn after seeing the opening credits to Laverne and Shirley. (by the way, a schlemiel is a clumsy person and a schlmazel is the person unlucky things happen to). The adventures of two single women working for Schotz brewery made for a very funny show and a catchy top ten television theme song.
#6 Top Ten Best TV Show Theme Songs You Can’t Stop Playing in Your Head
The Facts of Life
“You take the good, you take the bad, you take them both and there you have the facts of life”. Premiering in 1979, this long running television series was a comedy that focused on serious teen issues. Featuring four teenage girls and their caretaker, Blair, Jo, Natalie and Tootie were guided through life with the help of Mrs. Edna Garret. Issues such as adoption, cancer, and class differences were addressed in a fashion that taught lessons that still hold up today. The opening credits change through the years as viewers watch the girls grow from girls to grown women.
#7 Top Ten Best TV Show Theme Songs You Can’t Stop Playing in Your Head
One had to suspend their imagination when watching this campy 1960’s television comedy. Who brings a wardrobe change for a three hour tour? While The Professor and Mary Ann were not featured in the black and white opening credits of the first season, they were in subsequent seasons when the show was filmed in color.
But one questions always bothered viewers…if the Professor could make anything out of a coconut, why couldn’t he fix a hole in the ship?
#8 Top Ten Best TV Show Theme Songs You Can’t Stop Playing in Your Head
This gentle song, “Where Everybody Knows Your Name” became a Billboard hit when it was released as a single in 1983. The theme song to the popular NBC show “Cheers” tells the entire story of the crowd who gathered at Cheers on a daily basis. It told of the simple human need to be wanted, “where everybody knows your name, and they’re always glad you came”.
#9 Top Ten Best TV Show Theme Songs You Can’t Stop Playing in Your Head
One Day at a Time
In the 1970’s, Norman Lear was known for his sitcoms that pushed the envelope and questioned the mores of the day. While it seems innocuous by today’s standards, when it premiered in 1975, “One Day at a Time” made waves. Featuring Bonnie Franklin as a thirty-five year old divorcee with two teenage daughters trying to make it on her own, it is a snapshot of the 1970’s women’s movement. The opening credits featured the family of women moving into their own place and trying to take life one day at a time.
#10 Top Ten Best TV Show Theme Songs You Can’t Stop Playing in Your Head
Hill Street Blues
This haunting instrumental was played during the chilling opening credits to this it NBC police series that ran for seven seasons. Alternating police cars rushing to a crime scene in the dead of winter, then cutting way to the actors and then back again, this song became a top ten Billboard hit in 1981.
These are my top ten best TV show theme songs that I can’t stop playing in my head. There are many other great shows that had memorable opening tunes, something that is lacking in the land of the tiny screen today.
What are your favorites?