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Old 06-07-2012, 11:15 AM   #1
Kasey
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Default HAZEL Theme Songs - Best to Worst

I'm not talking about the various filmed openings here but I am curious what fans think about the different music used for the "Hazel" theme throughout the series run.

Personally my thoughts are this:
BEST- S2/3 theme because it fit the premise of the show perfectly. Fast, perky upbeat music that conjures up the image of Hazel bustling around the house, taking charge and getting things done.

S5 theme for almost the same reasons as above except this one has a slight melancholy tone to it as though to indicate this is the last hurrah for the show.

S1 is okay but to me sounds dated for its time period, like it belongs more in a 1940s or '50s movie.

S4 I like the least because it lacks a catchy hook. I can't imagine anyone humming this tune. It sounds more like generic background or transitional music for a '60s sitcom rather than a true theme song.

Any thoughts?
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Old 06-07-2012, 11:50 AM   #2
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My favorite, and it seems to me, the real theme song of Hazel is it's first season theme, the instrumental version, but especially the singing vocal version. I love the lyrics, I like the feel of it, I like the Modernaires singing, it's just the real genuine Hazel theme. After that every time it was changed, I accepted but I always asked myself, why didn't they keep the original theme? And also I wish they had kept the vocal version thruout the whole series, instead it was only used for the 1st part of the 1st season. Oh, well, great song and one good thing about the Season 1 commercial dvds, I finally get a really good sounding version of this vocal version & most important it isn't cut off at the end with the syndicated studio logo cutting off the last word of the song. In the uncut S.1 DVDs the entire uncut song is heard and in an excellent sound version.
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Old 06-07-2012, 12:08 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kasey
I'm not talking about the various filmed openings here but I am curious what fans think about the different music used for the "Hazel" theme throughout the series run.

Personally my thoughts are this:
BEST- S2/3 theme because it fit the premise of the show perfectly. Fast, perky upbeat music that conjures up the image of Hazel bustling around the house, taking charge and getting things done.

S5 theme for almost the same reasons as above except this one has a slight melancholy tone to it as though to indicate this is the last hurrah for the show.

S1 is okay but to me sounds dated for its time period, like it belongs more in a 1940s or '50s movie.

S4 I like the least because it lacks a catchy hook . I can't imagine anyone humming this tune. It sounds more like generic background or transitional music for a '60s sitcom rather than a true theme song.

Any thoughts?
I agree with your assessment. The closing theme sung by The Modernaires in early 1st season episodes does sound too dated for the early 60's, maybe that's why they discontinued it in favor of the instrumental version, but at least we got to hear the lyrics to the song.
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Old 06-07-2012, 10:00 PM   #4
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I like the season 2-3 version best, it's lively and hummable. Next would be the first season version, even with the slightly dated orchestration, because the Cahn-Van Heusen tune to me really defines Hazel. After that, it would be season five. Not a bad theme tune, and it can be excused for being different because they were revamping the entire show. The tune I liked the least was the original tune for season four. In particular, when this tune is played over the closing credits, the last few bars sound clumsy and almost disjointed to me. I would have rather they kept the season 2-3 music to give the fourth season more cohesion with what preceeded it.
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Old 06-08-2012, 09:45 AM   #5
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Hello everyone, first time poster here!

I am a huge fan of vintage television. I watch classic shows from the 50s and the 60s every day and "Hazel" is one of my favorite programs.

I love the original theme from season 1 the most (along with my favorite "cookies" opening). Yes, it is quite old-fashioned and it may have been perceived dated even at the time (especially the closing credits version sung by the Modernaires which does sound very 40s), but I don't see that as a negative and find it very warm, pleasant, homely and reassuring.

Having said that, I agree with the opinions above - season 2&3 theme (my 2nd favorite) is indeed snappier and perhaps a better fit for the title character/show concept, season 5 (my 3rd favorite) is a truly fine effort/blend (the mid section unloads the nostalgia), and season 4 is my least favorite (along with the somewhat lackluster "keys" opening).

Finally, I'd like to note what I find to be a very clever touch in the season 2/3 theme - the tone of the theme changes with the appearance of each character on the screen, as if to reflect who they are/what they are like. So, it starts off chipper (Hazel), then switches to robust (Mr. B.), then turns sexy (Missy), and ends playful (Harold). Season 4 theme which came next lost that. And it did seem very generic.
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Old 11-23-2013, 10:17 PM   #6
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Lol "Who's the gal that's everybody's pal, it's HAZEL!"

My "Hazel" theme preference is pretty much the same as the seasons' order.

1961-62: The orchestration is dated, but most sitcoms--in fact, most all shows--of this period had a full orchestra and a feel from the movies of the mid-'50s. That said, Sammy Cahn and Jimmy Van Heusen did a great job with that first year of "Hazel," and it's a shame the lyrics were dropped after The Modernaires' closing the first eight episodes of that season.

1962-63/1963-64: I wonder if this is one of the arrangements that inspired "The Simpsons" theme! I never realized this until Milkamplifier mentioned this: When Hazel comes on, you almost imagine her dusting the living room at top speed...when George enters the picture, it sounds like the hustle-bustle of a law office. Dorothy comes on with the glamor-gal blare of trumpets...and when Harold tosses the confetti, it's light-hearted and playful. All wrapped up with the coda that blends it all together, right into the Ford commercial.

1964-65: I guess Ford and Screen Gems got tired of paying big royalties to Cahn and Van Heusen, because, if I'm not mistaken, veteran Screen Gems music writer Howard Greenfield took over, although Van Alexander did a lot of background music all through the "Hazel" series. What Helen Miller had to do with anything, I don't know, because there was never a vocal version of this theme. Sounds a little too big-city flashy for the show.

1965-66: This year tries to sound like the '62-'64 theme, but it doesn't come off exactly the same, especially that "wah wah wah wah" as Hazel turns back into the house after nobody accepted her offer to take an umbrella...although the "plink-plink, plink-plink-plink-plink" coda that follows as Hazel dashes out of the house in the downpour that follows is pretty funny!
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Old 05-01-2017, 12:55 PM   #7
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It'd be interesting to know who said, ditch the Modernaires after 7 or 8 episodes. I'd bet it was NBC brass.
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