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Old 03-16-2005, 05:35 AM   #1
jrb_wi
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Default Hit songs later used as TV themes?

Hello all... here's something I was thinking about recently...

A lot of songs have been used as TV themes first and got a lot of radio airplay shortly after the song debuted. But how many examples are there of songs that became popular radio hits and later on -- years, even decades later -- were used as TV themes?

For example:
"Paint It Black" by the Rolling Stones (Tour of Duty)
"Who Are You", "Won't Get Fooled Again", "Baba O'Reilly" by the Who (the three CSIs)
"The Time Has Come Today" by the Chambers Brothers (used during the last season of Early Edition)
"Rememberance"(?) by the Supremes (China Beach)
That "Money Money Money" song by the O'Jays (sorry I can't remember the name of it!) (The Apprentice)

Any others?

NOTE: This would not include songs that started getting popular when the shows got on the air, e.g. the themes from Peter Gunn, I Love Lucy, Rockford Files, Hill Street Blues, Dukes of Hazzard, Dawson's Creek, One Tree Hill, etc.
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Old 03-16-2005, 05:55 AM   #2
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Default Hit songs later used as TV themes?

To Name Just a few:

The Wonder Years: "With a Little Help from My Friends" --Joe Cocker

Family Matters: "What a Wonderful World"--Louis Armstrong used only in it's 1st season

Gun: "Happiness is a Warm Gun"--U2 Covering the old Beatles song

Freaks & Geeks: "Bad Reputation"--Joan Jett and The Blackhearts (almost forgot about this one)

Last edited by catsoup; 03-16-2005 at 07:26 AM.
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Old 03-16-2005, 02:17 PM   #3
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I'm not positive, but I think the "Friends" theme song was a hit song by The Rembrandts long before it was used as a theme song.

Most of the others I knew have been said.
There are quite a few theme songs like those of "The Greatest American Hero" and "Growing Pains" that became big hits on the radio and it's probably easier to think of those, but I guess we're not going for that. Well...

Your best bet on those is shows that tried to capture a certain decade. Usually those shows also used a song from that decade to help define the show. "The Wonder Years" is an excellent example.

There was a sitcom in 1994 I used to watch called "The Boys are Back" and I'm wanting to say the theme song was Thin Lizzy's "The Boys are Back in Town"

It would have made sense anyway. This might be a stretch but what about the theme songs to "New Kids on the Block", "HammerMan", and "Kid 'N' Play"? (I promise you these were all early 90s cartoons) I don't remember, but one of them might have used a song already made popular by the group for the theme song.

Anyway, here's one I am sure about. In that great early 90s sitcom "Get a Life", starring Chris Elliot, the theme song was "Stand in the Place Where You Live" by R.E.M.

Great song and great show.
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Old 03-18-2005, 04:54 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MacLeaper
I'm not positive, but I think the "Friends" theme song was a hit song by The Rembrandts long before it was used as a theme song.
No, it was the other way around.
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Old 03-18-2005, 05:36 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MacLeaper
Anyway, here's one I am sure about. In that great early 90s sitcom "Get a Life", starring Chris Elliot, the theme song was "Stand in the Place Where You Live" by R.E.M.

Great song and great show.
I'm glad there is someone else here besides me who likes that show!
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Old 03-23-2005, 11:19 AM   #6
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"Thank You for Being a Friend," by Andrew Gold(The Golden Girls)
"You May Be Right," by Billy Joel(Dave's World)
"My Life," by Billy Joel(Bosom Buddies)


I keep thinking one of those Billy Joel songs was used for other theme songs.
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Old 03-23-2005, 03:50 PM   #7
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Good call on those, D-Dey! I can't believe I forgot Bosom Buddies! They play that theme song at my work all the time! (one of the few cool songs they play!)

I didn't realize The Golden Girls theme song was a radio hit beforehand. I also didn't realize the Dave's World theme song was "You May Be Right" by Billy Joel. Cool!
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Old 03-23-2005, 07:07 PM   #8
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Theme song to Greatest American Hero
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Old 03-23-2005, 07:38 PM   #9
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Actually, The Greatest American Hero theme song ("Believe It or Not" by Mike Post) was a radio hit in the summer of 1981 AFTER the show premiered.
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Old 03-24-2005, 01:54 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MacLeaper
Actually, The Greatest American Hero theme song ("Believe It or Not" by Mike Post) was a radio hit in the summer of 1981 AFTER the show premiered.
Actually, it was Joey Scarbury who sang that song.

Mike Post, OTOH, did the theme song for Hill Street Blues from about the same time.

Good songs!
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Old 03-25-2005, 10:24 AM   #11
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Also, State of Grace uses "Do You Believe In Magic?" by the Lovin' Spoonful.
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Old 03-25-2005, 05:01 PM   #12
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- Rock Around the Clock - Bill Haley and his Comets (Happy Days)

- William Tell Overture - Gioacchino Rossini (The Lone Ranger)
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Old 03-25-2005, 09:55 PM   #13
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Here are the theme songs that they were popular on the radio:

RADIO:

1. "William Tell Overture" ("The Lone Ranger")
2. "Flight of the Bumblebee" ("The Green Hornet")
3. "Night on Bald Mountain" ("Escape")
4. "Night & Day" and "Put Your Dreams Away" ("Songs By Sinatra")

TV:

1. "S.W.A.T." - Mike Post
2. "Greatest American Hero" - Mike Post
3. "What a Wonderful World" - Louis Armstrong (Used only one episode of "Family Matters" in the 1st season)
4. "Low Rider" - War ("The George Lopez Show")
5. "I'll Be There for You" - The Rembrants ("Friends")
6. "Do You Believe in Magic" - Lovin' Spoonful ("State of Grace")
7. "Love & Marriage" - Frank Sinatra ("Married With Children")
8. "Rock Around the Clock" - Bill Haley & His Comets ("Happy Days")
9. "Book of Love" - The Monotones ("The Newlywed Game" from the post-Bob Eubanks era.)
10. "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da" - The Beatles ("Life Goes On")
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Old 03-25-2005, 10:56 PM   #14
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The Monkee's Were the Monkee's from their show The Monkee's also was a hit on the radio.
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Old 03-26-2005, 10:59 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MacLeaper
I didn't realize The Golden Girls theme song was a radio hit beforehand.
Few people do these days, and while I was never a fan of such adult contemporary tunes, I've always found the fact that people think it's just the "theme from The Golden Girls" to be disturbing.
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