One of the things that makes a lot of classic TV shows so much fun to watch is their very own theme songs. Yes, there was a time when some of these songs would, through their lyrics, tell viewers at least a little bit about the show. We know that you probably have your favorites. Some are simply solid jams that you even hum to this very day. Here are the seven best classic TV theme songs.
‘The Beverly Hillbillies,’ The Ballad of Jed Clampett
From the first scene in The Beverly Hillbillies‘ classic TV theme song opening, you hear the voice of Jerry Scoggins crooning about Jed. The lyrics even talk about “black gold, Texas tea” and heading out to Beverly Hills. Bluegrass legends Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs provide the music.
‘The Mary Tyler Moore Show,’ Love Is All Around
Sonny Curtis provides the music and vocals to this theme for The Mary Tyler Moore Show. This classic TV song starts out with a melody before Curtis comes in with the lyrics. They match well with the show’s opening scenes. Who can forget seeing Mary throwing her cap into the air?
‘M*A*S*H,’ Suicide Is Painless
You’ve heard this theme song a few times but without the lyrics. When you hear the opening notes of this theme song, you see choppers in the air heading to the 4077th. That’s right! It comes from M*A*S*H. But it originally showed up for the Robert Altman-directed movie M*A*S*H.
‘Welcome Back, Kotter,’ Welcome Back
John Sebastian of the music group The Lovin’ Spoonful put this snazzy song together. It found its way to be the theme song for Welcome Back, Kotter, a 1970s ABC sitcom starring Gabriel Kaplan. Yes, this also is where everyone pretty much was first introduced to John Travolta.
‘The Jeffersons,’ Movin’ On Up
If you have tuned into The Jeffersons, then you hear this song pretty much from the first scene. Janet Du’Bois sings the show’s theme song. By the way, if her name sounds familiar, that’s OK. You’ve probably seen her as part of the Good Times cast. George and Weezy are still movin’ on up to the East side.
‘Baretta,’ Keep Your Eye on the Sparrow
Robert Blake starred as Baretta in this 1970s cop show. He always had his friendly cockatoo around as well. As for the theme song, this show lucked out in getting the legendary Sammy Davis Jr. to sing it.
‘Hawaii Five-O,’ The Best Classic TV Theme Song
Now this classic TV theme song does not have words, but it’s one of the most recognizable themes in TV history. The Ventures performed Hawaii Five-O and it became a hit for the group. As for the song’s use on the CBS show, we see Jack Lord dramatically turn and look into the camera…and that gets the show going.
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