Category Archives: Theme Songs

R.I.P. Alan Thicke (March 1, 1947 – December 13, 2016)

2016 has been absolutely brutal! I know that every year major celebrities, we grew up with, die. But, it seems like there have been an excessive amount of huge names that we lost this year. Alan Thicke is now the latest. Sadly, he passed away yesterday. What makes this even worse is that he suffered a heart attack while playing hockey with his 19 year old son Carter, and died at the Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center in Burbank, California. He was 69.

Obviously, we all know Alan Thicke from his role as Jason Seaver in the awesome family sitcom, Growing Pains. He was an awesome dad. He was funny and cool, but could still be strict. He was a great role model, and Alan Thicke really made this character shine. My earliest memory of him was in the second episode of the series when he went to a Bruce Springsteen concert with his son Mike (Kirk Cameron). Coming out of the concert, they were stopped by a television reporter who asked if they were father and son, and Jason embarrassed Mike by giving him a noogie on live TV.

Starring in Growing Pains was not his only television credit at the time. The multi-talented Thicke was also a TV theme song composer, along with his then-wife Gloria Loring. The songs he composed were iconic. He composed the themes for Diff’rent Strokes and The Facts of Life.

He also composed game show theme songs, such as The Wizard of Odds (on which he also sang) The Joker’s Wild, the original theme to Wheel of Fortune, and several others.

He also wrote the song and appeared in the television show, Animal Crack-Ups from 1987-1989.

Thicke co-hosted the Walt Disney World Very Merry Christmas Parade (now the Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade) with Joan Lunden from 1983 to 1990, when he was succeeded by Regis Philbin.

Over the years he has guested on several shows. Most recently, he had a guest spot on the new smash hit show, This Is Us.

Alan Thicke seemed like a class act, and all-around good guy.He will be sorely missed.

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Episode 6: Action/Adventure TV Theme Songs

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We are back with a new episode of the Return to the ’80s podcast!!
In this episode, Robert and Paul welcome guest host Jim Vilk (@JimVilk). Do you get frustrated when you are listening to a radio station that plays ’80s music, and they always play the same song over and over for a particular artist, when you know they have other great music? Well, Return to the ’80s has a brand new segment called ‘Listen to This, Not That.’ First up…Rick Springfield.

Also, 2016 continues to wreak havoc on us, as we have 3 deaths to talk about this week.

There is a brand new Remember That Song, as well as ’80s Trivia. Then we talk about the awesome, upcoming ’80s Crossover event. This month, several ’80s blogs and podcasts will be discussing our favorite ’80s Christmas presents. Jim, Robert, and Paul talk about our favorite presents that we either received, gave, or wanted but never got.
Finally, we get into our main topic – ’80s Action/Adventure Television Theme Songs.

Return to the ’80s is now on iTunes, Stitcher, and anywhere else you can download podcasts. So please subscribe and leave us a rating and review. You can email us at returnto80s@gmail.com.


Opening

– Introducing guest Jim Vilk (@JimVilk)

– Return to the ’80s is now on iTunes, Stitcher, and anywhere else you get your podcasts from.

Listen to This, Not That

Listen to This

Not That

Deaths of the Week

Margaret Whitton (November 30, 1949 – December 4, 2016)

John Glenn (July 18,1921 – December 8, 2016)

 

 

Joseph Mascolo aka. Stefano DiMera (March 13, 1929 – December 8, 2016)

Remember That Song

Last song
Here we stand / Worlds apart, hearts broken in two / Sleepless nights / Losing ground, I’m reaching for you

“Separate Ways (Worlds Apart) by Journey

Winner: Kurt Torster

New Song
Neon lights, a Nobel Prize / When a mirror speaks, the reflection lies / You don’t have to follow me / Only you can set me free

If you know the answer, email us at returnto80s@gmail.com, and enter Remember That Song in the subject line.

80s Trivia

Last Question
What color did the ghosts have to be for Pac Man to eat them?

Answer: Blue

Winner: Kurt Torster

New Question: What colors were on the original Rubik’s cube?

If you know the answer, email us at returnto80s@gmail.com, and enter Trivia in the subject line.

80s Crossover Event – Christmas Gifts

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80’s Reboot Overdrive is hosting another ’80s Crossover Event. This time, we are talking about our favorite Christmas gifts. It can be a gift that was given, received, or most wanted and not received. Participants include the following:
80s Reboot Overdrive (@80sReboot)
Rediscover the 80s (@RD80s)
Realweegiemidget (@realweegiemidge)
Killer Kitsch (@killer_kitsch)

Main Topic – Action/Adventure Theme Songs

The Fall Guy (Jim)

The Dukes of Hazzard (Robert)

Hardcastle and McCormick (Paul)
Seasons 1 and 3 (“Drive”)
Season 2 (“Back to Back”)

Magnum P.I. (All)
Alternate theme
Main theme

Simon & Simon (Jim)
Alternate opening

Main opening

Closing credits (with lyrics)

CHiPs (Robert)

Voyagers! (Paul)

The A-Team (All)

Matt Houston (Jim)

Call to Glory (Robert)

The Greatest American Hero (Paul)

Miami Vice (All)


Next Episode: Year in Review/Top 10 Songs of 1980

Come find us at:
https://returntothe80s.wordpress.com/
Find Return to the ’80s on Facebook
Twitter – @returntothe80s
Email: returnto80s@gmail.com

’80s Television Theme Songs: Dramas and Nighttime Soaps

Today, we will continue to take a look at some of our favorite television theme songs. Let’s Return to the ’80s, and check out some themes of Nighttime soaps and Dramas.

Dallas
I must admit, I never watched Dallas in the ’80s. I was not exactly in their viewing demographic. Being a pre-teen to teenage boy at the time that this was on, I much preferred to watch shows with cool cars, and shows with a lot of explosions.
However, I was very familiar with the theme song, and I love it.

Fast forward to current day. Dallas is back on the air with a new generation, as well as several original cast members. I decided to hop on board as soon as it aired, and I love it! Larry Hagman’s J.R. Ewing was one of the most iconic characters of the ’80s. He was one of the original stars who came back on the new version. I was curious to see what all the fuss was about. Man, was I blown away! What an incredible character! At a time where anti-heroes are the rage, J.R. Ewing is the best one, by far. Sadly, Larry Hagman died last year. However, J.R. still has a major influence on the story.
And, the theme song is pretty much the same. It is one of the few theme songs that I don’t fast forward through on today’s shows.

Dynasty
Thinking back, I pretty much got to watch whatever shows I wanted when I grew up. But, this was one show that my mom would not bend on. She had to watch her Dynasty. I just watched long enough to catch the theme song.

Knots Landing
I kind of remember this theme a little bit.

Falcon Crest
I don’t remember watching Falcon Crest. But, we included all the other soaps, so we’ll include this one too.

L.A. Law
Now, on with the dramas. I liked this show, and the theme is good too.

Moonlighting
I never watched this show. Again, I was not exactly the target audience. But, Al Jarreau sings this theme song, so that’s not so bad. Holy crap, Booger was in this show!?! I may need to watch this show now!

Fame
Classic ’80s song! This show was based on the 1980 movie. Irene Cara, who played Coco in the movie, sang the original theme song. Erica Gimpel, who played Coco in the TV version, song the theme song for the show. The part that stands out to me is Debbie Allen saying: You got big dreams. You want fame. Fame costs. Right here is where you start paying…in sweat.

Little House on the Prairie
This long-running hit show began in 1974, and ran through the beginning of the ’80s. I watched this when I was younger. And several years ago I started watching reruns of the show again. Man, for a family show, it could actually get kind of dark. Overall, it was a great family show.

The Love Boat

Here is another iconic show that began in the ’70s, and ran through the ’80s. C’mon, you know the song. Sing along:

Love, exciting and new
Come Aboard. We’re expecting you…


Special treat

Well that wraps up today’s shows. We will come back to more shows in the upcoming weeks. I’ll leave you with a fun video. Enjoy!

’80s Television Theme Songs: Action/Adventure/Police Shows

Welcome back to our look back at television theme songs. If you missed the previous posts, you can check out some great comedy theme songs in Part 1 and Part 2. Today, we will enjoy some themes of our favorite action/adventure/police shows.

Miami Vice

Obviously, we need to start with the ultimate ’80s TV show. When you mention Television in the ’80s, the first thing that pops into most people’s minds is Miami Vice. It had action, excess, fashion, Don Johnson, and, of course, the soundtrack of the ’80s. Just to name a few music artists who either appeared on the show, provided music, or both were: The Power Station, Glenn Frey, Willie Nelson, The Fat Boys, Gene Simmons, Sheena Easton, and Phil Collins.
So, with all that star power, there needs to be an awesome theme song. And Jan Hammer came through by writing and performing the definitive ’80s theme song. Even though it was an instrumental, the Miami Vice Theme topped the Billboard Charts in 1985. It also garnered two Grammy Awards. I must admit that it’s not my favorite song on today’s list, but there’s no denying it’s place in ’80s history.

A-Team
My favorite part of Tuesday nights, began with this:

In 1972, a crack commando unit was sent to prison by a military court for a crime they didn’t commit. These men promptly escaped from a maximum-security stockade to the Los Angeles underground. Today, still wanted by the government, they survive as soldiers of fortune. If you have a problem… if no one else can help… and if you can find them… maybe you can hire… The A-Team.

One other note about this song. If you ever have an earworm (a song stuck in your head), you will get rid of it by listening to the theme from The A-Team. I swear that this really works.

Magnum P.I.
This is another one of my favorite themes of the ’80s. While I enjoy Tom Selleck on Blue Bloods these days, I really miss his Thomas Magnum. What a great show!

The Dukes of Hazzard
Speaking of missing people, I also miss the late, great Waylon Jennings. Not only did he write and perform the theme for The Dukes of Hazzard (“The Good Ol’ Boys”), he also narrated the show. This song reached #1 on the Country chart in 1980, and peaked at #21 on the Billboard Hot 100. Yeeee Haaaaa!!!

The Greatest American Hero
“Believe It or Not”, the hits just keep on coming! Joey Scarbury’s hit would peak at #2 on the Billboard Hot 100, and was in the Top 40 for 18 weeks. Oh, and the show was pretty awesome too!

The Fall Guy
The Fall Guy‘s theme, “Unknown Stuntman”, is sung by the show’s star, Lee Majors.

Hardcastle & McCormick
We get two awesome songs for the price of one here! The original theme for Hardcastle & McCormick, “Drive”, was composed by Mike Post and Stephen Geyer and sung by David Morgan.
However, for the first part of Season 2, the theme song was changed to “Back to Back”, also composed by Post and Geyer but sung by Joey Scarbury (yes, that Joey Scarbury from The Greatest American Hero).
But, after many complaints, the original “Drive” theme song was brought back. I do prefer “Drive”, but I do like “Back to Back” a lot. I think that it was better than a lot of other theme songs. Take a listen, and see which you prefer. Here is “Drive”:

And here is “Back to Back”:

21 Jump Street

Here is another outstanding theme song. It is performed by Holly Robinson, who also starred in the show.

CHiPs

Just like The Dukes of Hazzard, this was another great show that began in the ’70s and ran through the beginning of the ’80s. It does have a little ’70s sound to it, but I love it.

Hill Street Blues
We have reached the final song for the day, so let’s be careful out there. This critical darling and audience favorite of a show also had an iconic theme song. It was written by Mike Post, and reached #10 on Billboard’s Hot 100 in November 1981.

And just as in the comedies, we have the “problem” of there being many more theme songs we need to cover. It looks like we will have another round of this in the upcoming weeks. Tomorrow we will cover some evening soap operas and dramas. And Friday, we will check out cartoon theme songs. Geez, I think we could do an entire week with just cartoon theme songs alone!
Well, I hope you enjoyed these songs today. Please let me know what you think, and tell us what some of your favorite shows or theme songs were.

’80s Television Theme Songs: Sitcoms, Part 2

Welcome back as we continue to take a look back at our favorite television theme songs. Today, we will have another round of sitcoms. If you missed the first round, you can check out Part 1 of this series.

Now, let’s Return to the sitcoms of the ’80s.

Family Ties
This is a classy song called “Without Us”. It is performed by Deniece “Let’s Hear It for the Boy” Williams and music legend, Johnny Mathis.

Laverne and Shirley
One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight.
Sclemeel, schlemazel, hasenfeffer incorporated

This classic theme song was titled “Making Our Dreams Come True,” and performed by Cyndi Grecco. This song was released as a single in 1976, and became a hit, charting at #25. She followed up with another single, “Dancing, Dancing”. It did not chart, so “Making Our Dreams Come True” made Cyndi Grecco a one-hit wonder.

Mork and Mindy
This is a fun instrumental theme song.

Bosom Buddies
The theme song for Bosom Buddies was Billy Joel’s classic hit, “My Life“. The theme song version is performed by a studio musician named Gary Bennett.

Who’s The Boss?
There were three versions of this show’s theme song, “Brand New Life”. It was performed by Larry Weiss (1984-86), Steve Wariner (1986-90), and Jonathan Wolff (1990-92). Here are all three:

Larry Weiss (1984-86)

Steve Wariner (1986-90)

Jonathan Wolff (1990-92)

Gimme a Break
Show star Nell Carter performed this theme song.

My Two Dads
Here is another theme song sung by one of the show’s stars. And no, it’s not Paul Reiser who sang this! It is performed by Greg Evigan, who many of us remember from B. J. and the Bear.

Just the 10 of Us
“Growing Pains” had one of my all-time favorite theme songs. It’s spin-off, Just the 10 of Us had a theme song that was not to shabby either. It is “Doin’ it the Best I Can” performed by Bill Medley, who we know as one of The Righteous Brothers, and of course from the Dirty Dancing theme, “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life“.

Webster
This theme, “Then Came You”, is performed by Steve Nelson and Gail Lopata Lennon

Perfect Strangers
We’ll wrap up today’s list with one of my favorite songs from today. This song is titled “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Me Now”, and was performed by David Pomeranz. It was written by Jesse Frederick and Bennett Salvay, who had composed the themes for Full House, Step by Step and Perfect Strangers spin-off Family Matters.

Well, that does it for today. There are probably even more sitcoms that we can include. But, tomorrow we will move on to some of our favorite Action/Adventure shows. We’ll have to come back to some more sitcoms in the upcoming weeks. Does anybody have any other sitcom themes we haven’t gotten to yet?

’80s Television Theme Songs: Sitcoms, Part 1

Remember when television theme songs were more than a few seconds? They showed the premise of the show and introduced the starring characters. Sure, some of them may have been corny (especially on some sitcoms), but the opening theme was just about as good as the show itself. This week, let’s Return to the ’80s, and enjoy some awesome theme songs that we miss. There are so, so many that we can’t possibly have them all in one post. Instead, we will make this a series this week, and break it up into different categories.

Today, we will start with sitcoms. Again, there are so many great sitcom themes that there will be multiple sitcom posts. So if it looks like there are some missing, chances are that they will be covered later in the week. These are listed in no particular order.

Happy Days
The original song was Bill Haley’s “Rock Around The Clock”. Then from 1976 through 1984 the show had its own original song written by television theme writers Norman Gimbel and Charles Fox, who also wrote the themes for Wonder Woman, Laverne and Shirley, and Love Boat. The song was sung by Jerry McClain and Truett Pratt, who were also known as Brother Love.

Golden Girls

This song was “Thank You for Being a Friend”, and was written by written by Andrew Gold. It was actually a #25 hit on the Billboard charts in 1978. You can see him perform it here.
The television theme version was recorded by Cynthia Fee (who is also known for her 1984 duet with Kenny Rogers, “I Don’t Want To Know Why“).

The Facts of Life

“The Facts of Life” theme was written by Growing Pains dad Alan Thicke, Days of Our Lives star Gloria Loring and Al Burton, and was sung by Gloria Loring.

Silver Spoons

The show’s theme song titled “Together” was written by Rik Howard and Bob Wirth. It was sung by The Archies’ alumni Ron Dante.

Punky Brewster

This theme song is “Every Time I Turn Around”, and was written by Gary Portnoy and Judy Hart Angelo and sung by Portnoy. Here is the version from seasons 3 and 4. To see the first season version, check out the Punk Brewster article from May 6 .

Charles in Charge

There were 2 versions of this song, even though the lyrics were the same. They are both good.

Season 1:

The rest of the seasons:

The Jeffersons

This song is “Movin’ on Up” and was written by Jeff Barry and Ja’net Dubois, and performed by Dubois. I dare to not move your hands or feet to this song!

Diff’rent Strokes

Like it’s spin-off, The Facts of Life, this song was written by Alan Thicke, Gloria Loring and Al Burton. This was sung by Alan Thicke.

Growing Pains

This song is “As Long As We Got Each Other,” sung by B.J. Thomas and Jennifer Warnes, and was written by Steve Dorff and John Bettis.
B.J. Thomas had hit songs such as “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head,” and “Whatever Happened to Old-Fashioned Love“. Jennifer Warnes was a very successful duet singer as she had hits with “Up Where We Belong” (with Joe Cocker, from the 1982 film An Officer and a Gentleman) and “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life” (with Bill Medley from the 1987 film Dirty Dancing).

And here’s a full version of the song:

Cheers

This is “Where Everybody Knows Your Name”, and was written by Gary Portnoy (who also wrote and performed the Punky Brewster theme) and Judy Hart Angelo and performed by Portnoy. I like the long version. The short version usually gets played for the reruns now.

Does anybody else have any favorites? There are more to come this week. In addition to more sitcoms, there are action/adventure theme songs as well as nighttime soaps, and dramas.