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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Tuesday Tunes: Sensing a Theme

There are some other people in the
movie, but, for the life of me, I can't
remember who right now.
I just watched the A-Team movie on DVD. It was fun: lots of implausible stunts, incredible explosions, snappy wisecracks, and Jessica Biel. I was happy. (Didn't even really need the wisecracks, explosions, or stunts.)
As the score played with variations on the old 80's TV theme tune, I thought back on one of my favorite things about TV in the 80s: Mike Post.
"Now, if I could only remember
where I hid the cookie jar . . ."
Post composed the theme songs for everything from CHiPs to the A-Team to Quantum Leap to Law & Order. He started out as the musical director on The Andy Williams Show but got his big break when he co-wrote (with Pete Carpenter) the theme from - come on, you knew I was going to play this one - The Rockford Files.

"This. Is the city.
I carry a dog."
Post would next receive high praise for the theme song to Hill Street Blues and continue to compose for many police/private eye shows like Riptide, Magnum P.I., The Commish, Hunter, and Wiseguy. For a while there in the 80s, it seemed like, if you were watching prime time TV, you were listening to Mike Post. These days, it seems that opening theme intros have been more or less abandoned. I miss them. Opening themes were like an overture, setting the tone for what you were about to see. One of my favorites was for the short-lived John Ritter police "dramedy" Hooperman:

"Power of . . . JAZZ HANDS!"
I would be remiss if I ended this entry without mentioning the Mike Post theme song that was a bigger hit than the show for which it was written (though I always liked it). The theme from The Greatest American Hero - "Believe It Or Not" (lyrics by Stephen Geyer)  - was one of the few TV theme songs to make the top 40 on the Billboard Hot 100, ultimately peaking at #2 via Joey Scarbury's golden vocals.

Now, I'm going to do something that you all aren't going to like, but, every once in a while I have to remind you of why I am the Big Bad Wolf.
I'm going to get one of Mike Post's more insipid little theme songs stuck in your head without even playing the song. Are you ready? One, two, three: THEME FROM BLOSSOM!
Gotcha. Good luck getting that one out of your brain now.
(For those too young to remember, here's a link. You've been warned.)

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