Thursday, March 27, 2008

Thursday Thirteen #38: TV Themes Performed by the Stars Themselves

Thirteen TV Themes Performed by the Stars Themselves

Below are 13 instances of stars pulling double duty in front of the camera and behind the mic. Some of the performers actually had singing experience before becoming TV stars, others not so much. If different from the show name, the song title is included.

Note: I purposely left off performers who appeared in music-based series such as "The Monkees" and "The Partridge Family"

1. Eddie Albert and Eva Gabor (Green Acres)

2. Brandy (Moesha)

3. Nell Carter (Gimme A Break)

4. Greg Evigan (B.J. and the Bear)... in addition to this one, Evigan also sang the theme to another show in which he starred... the awful sitcom "My Two Dads". I can't believe I used to watch that crap!

5. Marla Gibbs (227)- "There's No Place Like Home"

6. Kelsey Grammer (Frasier)- "Tossed Salad and Scrambled Eggs"

7. Linda Lavin (Alice)- "There's a New Girl in Town"

8. Lee Majors (The Fall Guy)- "The Unknown Stuntman"; Does anyone else remember when Lee performed the theme song on an episode of "Solid Gold"?

9. Carroll O'Connor and Jean Stapleton (All In the Family)- "Those Were the Days"; Believe it or not, Carroll and Jean's performance of the theme song hit the Billboard Hot 100 (peaking at #43 in 1971)

10. Queen Latifah (Living Single)

11. Della Reese (Touched By An Angel)- "Walk With You"

12. Holly Robinson (21 Jump Street)- According to Wikipedia, two of Robinson's co-stars (Peter DeLuise and some guy named Johnny Depp) also chimed in with the word "Jump" in the song.

13. Will Smith (The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air)

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Open Grove Claudia said...

This is a fun list - of course. However, Malcolm, I think of Lee Majors as the 6 million dollar man. Wasn't he cool when he was married (and beating up) Farah Fawcett?? Ok, not at all.

Happy TT!

Nicholas said...

I have only seen 3 of those. We used to get Green Acres in England many centuries ago when I was a child. I loathed it! I liked the Frasier closing theme and the All In The Family opening one. Didn't Carroll O'Connor write it?

pussreboots said...

Interesting list. I've seen about 9 or 10 of them. I actually liked My Two Dads -- cheesy as it was. Happy TT.

Holly said...

Great list! I didn't know this for several of them.

I liked My Two Dads too....



SJ Reidhead said...

I knew that!

Great list.

The Pink Flamingo

Robin said...

I haven't even thought about BJ and the Bear in decades!

I loved the way they did the theme song to All in the Family - simple and real.

The Mistress of the Dark said...

You forgot one very important theme song...The Monkees!!!!!!

Here we come...

Walking down the street!

pjazzypar said...

I remember and love most of those themes, especially "Gimme A Break", "Moesha", "There's a New Girl in Town", "Living Single", and "I'll Walk With You".

Anonymous said...

I still remember the FRAISER theme! Oh, how I miss that show.

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

As soon as I saw the topic, I was hoping you'd include Frasier.

But sorry, I don't remember Lee Majors singing. That's sort of a scary thought; I must have blocked it out.

Jay said...

I actually remember all of these. Damn, I must be getting old! LOL

I'd probably go with "Green Acres" as my favorite.

SandyCarlson said...

I can't even imagine that about Lee Majors! There are some mulitalented folks out there--or there were.

Malcolm said...

Open Grove: "The Six Million Dollar Man" was one of my fave shows. I even had the action figure! Although I knew that Farrah caught some beatings from Ryan O'Neal, I didn't know that Lee Majors got in on the action too.

Nicholas: "Green Acres" is a show that I liked as a kid and grew to love as an adult. I really appreciate the surreal humor that permeates the show.

Although they weren't used, Carrol O'Connor wrote the lyrics to the closing theme of AITF (called "Remembering You"). You can see the lyrics by following this link:

Pussreboots: My favorite character on "My Two Dads" was the judge played by Florence Stanley. The one episode that I vaguely remember featured Davy Jones as Malcolm, an old friend of Greg Evigan's character.

Holly: If TV Land or some channel brought back "My Two Dads", I would watch at least an episode or two for nostalgic purposes. Now I've got the theme song stuck in my head: You can count on me. No matter what you do...

Robin: I haven't seen "BJ and the Bear" in over 20 years. I am surprised that CMT (Country Music Television) hasn't shown reruns of it.

Mistress of the D: Aw, you're slipping, lol. In the intro to this post I mentioned that "The Monkees" was left off intentionally.

Pjazzy: Although "Touched By An Angel" wasn't a show that I watched regularly, I really enjoyed it on the occasions that I did catch it. I think it would be cool if they did a reunion movie. I'd watch it.

Ann Bruce: I still catch "Frasier" in reruns on occasion. I think it is one of the few spinoffs that was better than the show that spawned it.

Susan: "Frasier" was a last minute addition. I added it in place of "Eight Is Enough" (sung by oldest son Grant Goodeve).

If you are feeling brave enough to listen to the vocal stylings of Lee Majors, you can find the opening credits to "The Fall Guy" on You Tube.

Jay: Don't say you're getting older, say you are getting better, lol. If you are interested, there is a really good companion guide to "Green Acres" called "The Hooterville Handbook".

Sandy Carlson: If I didn't see Lee Majors' appearance on "Solid Gold" myself, I probably wouldn't believe it.

Homemaking said...

Great TT. Green Acres still plays on pay tv here (cable). Thanks for stoping by my blog to :)

Joely Sue Burkhart said...

Nice, I love this feel-good list! (Brings back lots of memories) I haven't seen Alice in forever. Happy TT!

Lori said...

Hmm, didn't Jolisa (I think her real name is Dawn Lewis) sing one of the "Different World" theme songs?

Lori said...

What a great list that brought back awesome memories. Im still singing the theme from Fresh Prince..I love Will Smith. He is the black version of my son:) I will pay to see every movies he makes. That guy has talent and he is so sweet. I love the fact that he believes in marriage as well. Jada is a lucky girl. Happy TT.

Winter said...

This was great! At first I thought, people sang their own theme songs? I couldn't remember who woulda-coulda. But I remember all of those shows, although really, I should forget some. *shudder* And actually, Lee Majors wasn't that bad. Excellent TT!

Lara Angelina said...

Boy, I couldn't think of a single other show! You completely nailed it!! I had no idea about Lee Majors -- he never struck me as a "singin' kind of guy"!! And Thanks Malcolm -- I'm singing the Green Acres song in my head and I'm NEVER gonna get it out!! lol!
Happy TT!

marcia said...

what a random post cool idea and good research They all seemed justright

Beth said...

What a fun list! That brings back a lot of memories of vegetating in from of the television! lol

[This goes to my old blog - I'm now at ]

Barbara - Layla said...

Oh wow, this TT gets an A+ !!

A great theme, some great memories.

I'll never forget my best friend and I fighting over who got to be "Tom Hansen's girlfriend". She won, I got "Doug Penhall"

Zenmomma said...

How about the gang from the Brady Bunch? They sang the theme (badly) in the later years.

Mrs. Brownstone @ XBOX Wife said...

Ok - I just had a little concert in my head with "me" as the star! Those are all such memorable makes me want to go turn on TV Land!

Pretty Life Online said...

nice catch for TT! I have an awards waiting for you in my site, hope you get time to visit.. Happy TT!

Ivanhoe said...

How cool! I did not know this about half of your people on the list. Happy TT!

Malcolm said...

Homemaking: Thanks for visiting. I still occas. catch "Green Acres" on TV Land.

Joely: I don't know if the channel is available in your area, but ION shows reruns of "Alice". I love it when Mel tells one of the ladies to "stow it" or when Flo says "when donkeys fly".

Old School Lori: I used to think Dawnn Lewis sang the theme song for the first season of "A Different World", now I'm not so sure. Some sources say she is the singer, while others cite Phoebe Snow as the vocalist. One thing I didn't know until yesterday was that Dawnn co-wrote the theme w/ Bill Cosby.

Lori: The theme to "The Fresh Prince..." is very catchy. Will and Jada do seem to be one of the perfect Hollywood couples. As long as they don't get too tangled up with Tom Cruise/Katie Holmes, they should be OK.

Winter: I also liked Lee's version of "The Unknown Stuntman". I thought it was cool how the song mentioned stars such as Farrah, Bo Derek, Clint Eastwood, and Robert Redford.

Lara: There were some other TV themes that qualified, but they didn't make the cut. I have been playing the themes to both Frasier and Living Single in my head for the past couple of days.

Marcia: Thanks

Beth: Glad you enjoyed it.

Barbara: Thanks for the high grade! Can I get a gold star too? By the way, I liked your "who gets Tom Hanson" story.

Zenmomma: I considered including the Brady Bunch kids on this list. My favorite version of the theme is when the Brady Kids first started singing it during the 2nd season.

Mrs. Brownstone: If you're lucky, TV Land won't be showing crap like "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" when you turn it on.

Pretty Life Online: Thanks for the visit. I'll return the favor later today.

fullbodytransplant said...

What a great idea for a TT! Fascinating trivia, makes me enjoy humming the songs even more!

Toni said...

Great TT. Thanks for taking me back and not so much thanks for getting There's a New Girl in Town stuck in my head!!

Have a great TT.

Jane said...

Now that was a COOL T13. I remember most of those but I will have to admit I did not know that Lee Majors sang HIS theme song.
My T13 is up, come on by!

pjazzypar said...

Phoebe Snow did the theme song for "Different World" first season. I am a fan, and Ms. Snow's voice is rather unique. Dawnn Lewis sounds nothing like her in my opinion.

Michelle said...

Great list! Who knew there were that many?!

LOL on Johnny Depp and his one word contribution to 21 Jump.

Happy TT!

Emmyrose said...

Very informative list, although I didn't know much of them :)

Thembi said...

What a fantastic post!

Denise Patrick said...

Wow, what a walk down memory lane. I actually remember some of those shows!

Happy TT!

Laura said...

What a great trip down memory lane! Happy T-13!

BeckEye said...

I love the "Alice" theme song. It's so cheesy. I remember a drunken evening at a diner where I was trying in vain to remember how that song went and it suddenly came to me much later, and I just burst into it really loudly at the table. The people I was with were quite embarassed.

Man, I miss Jump Street.

Morgan Leigh said...

:) Fun list. I like Will Smith.. And some guy named Johnny Depp? You crack me up! :) Happy thursday! :)

Lori said...

Was just singing the theme song to The Fresh Prince last night, for some unknown reason. My teenage son came in the room and asked why I was singing it and when I said I had no idea, he just chimed in and we sang it together. Then I come online this morning and read this TT. It must be a sign. I need me a good Will Smith movie to watch! ;-)

Chris said...

Interesting list. Now I've got about half of those theme songs running through my head at the same time. Thanks! :)

Xakara said...

Lee Majors? Really?

And BJ and Bear and My Two Dads? Would have never had a clue. At least I recognized all of the other ones. :)


Vixen said...

Malcolm, what a great list. We were thinking along the same terms this week (wink). When I was doing my list, my husband actually suggested Solid Gold!

Happy TT

Holly Smith said...

Great idea for this week. Chris loved the show BJ and the Bear, but I never realized that the guy was one of the 2 dads.....Gimme a Break was one of my faves growing up. Also, when I was in school I secretly remembered that the fraction for pi was 22/7 (3.14 whatever....)and I'd hear that song in my head. I recently saw it on a rerun and I still enjoyed it.

Malcolm said...

FBT: Thanks!

Toni: The theme to "Alice" is quite catchy ain't it?!

Jane: I wish that someone was airing "The Fall Guy". I used to watch that regularly back in the 80s.

Pjazzy: I knew I could count on you to straighten out the confusion regarding "A Different World". Thanks!

Michelle: I would love to hear what Johnny Depp thinks of his days doing "21 Jump Street".

Emmy Rose, Thembi, Denise, and Laura: Thanks! I am glad you liked it.

Beckeye: It never occurred to me until reading your comments, but the theme to "Alice" would make a helluva karaoke song! I love your story about bursting into song at a diner... thanks for sharing it.

Given Johnny Depp's superstardom, I am surprised that a cable channel isn't showing reruns of "21 Jump Street".

Morgan Leigh: I'm glad my joke about "what's his name" made you laugh.

Lori: Wooo... that is spooky that you were singing the theme to "The Fresh Prince" last night.

Chris: Wow, your head must be about to explode if those theme songs are going through your head at the same time.

Xakara: I wonder if Lee did an album back then. If so, it's probably worth some coin.

Vixen: I can't wait to see your T13 once I get home tonight. Thanks for stopping by. Now I've got the theme to "Solid Gold" in my head.

Holly Smith: I wish that they would bring back both "BJ and the Bear" and "Lobo" (it's spinoff). They weren't classics, but they did entertain me.

Back in the mid/late 80s, me and my girlfriend at the time would often watch "227", "The Golden Girls" and "Amen" before going out on Saturday night.

Btw, great story about how you remembered pi back in school.

Michelle said...

Oh what a fun list. Whatever happened to great theme songs? Nowadays most shows just have about 5 seconds of instrumental music, if that.

Thanks for visiting my R.E.M. TT!

Nap Warden said...

OK, I consider myself a TV junkie, and I did not know #8!

verabear said...

I watched some of these shows too! great TT :)

Toia said...

Are you kidding me?!? I used to watch all these shows all the time, except for 1 and 6. Who can forget about Fall Guy and BJ and the Bear.....Classics. 227 use to make me laugh. I still watch Living Single and the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air in syndication.

Fun list!!!

Malcolm said...

Michelle: I have been asking myself that same question (about the absence of great theme songs on today's TV shows). It's a shame that it's practically a lost art. Even though his shows (Gilligan's Island and The Brady Bunch) weren't great, Sherwood Schwartz knew how to write memorable theme songs.

Last night when I was preparing something to eat, I thought of another R.E.M. tune that I really enjoy: Imitation of Life.

Nap Warden: It looks like Lee Majors side career as a vocalist is catching a lot of people by surprise. Thanks for visiting.

Toia: I used to watch "Living Single" every Thursday night when it aired on FOX. During the last holiday season I caught a few episodes on the Oxygen Channel. Not that I was surprised, but it still holds up.

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