8 cover versions of the 'Mary Tyler Moore Show' theme song
"Love" was indeed all around.
That theme song, "Love Is All Around," was performed by Sonny Curtis, though at the time many believed it was Paul Williams singing. Curtis got a lot of mileage out of his tune, cutting a few different versions. The theme song proved to be quite adaptable, as it became everything from elevator music to a punk rallying cry.
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1. Sonny Curtis (1970)
Sonny Curtis, a childhood pal and bandmate of Buddy Holly, wrote and sang the theme song you heard on the TV. The former Crickets guitarist also record two significantly different versions of the tune. Here is the first, from 1970, which takes a mellower approach.
Image: Ovation Records / Discogs
2. Sonny Curtis (1980)
A decade later, Curtis rerecorded his hit, giving it a slick country lean with slide guitar, backup singers and gloss.
Image: Elektra Records / Discogs
3. Sammy Davis, Jr. (1976)
The Vegas showman gave the song a funky disco beat and variety-show flavor on his album The Song and Dance Man.
Images: 20th Century Records / Discogs
4. Ray Conniff (1976)
The veteran bandleader flowered and perfumed the theme to give it an air of Herb Alpert and elevators. It could be found on his platter Theme From S.W.A.T. And Other TV Themes, which also included covers of M*A*S*H and Laverne & Shirley songs.
Image: Columbia / Discogs
5. Frank Chacksfield & His Orchestra (1980)
The easy-listening king made the theme ready for waiting rooms.
6. Hüsker Dü (1985)
Twin Cities punk legends Hüsker Dü (named for a Danish board game) took the song as a point of hometown pride. The attached the theme song to the end of their video for "Makes No Sense at All," in which they frolick around Minneapolis.
Image: SST / Discogs
7. Christie Front Drive (1995)
Thanks to Hüsker Dü, the theme had punk cred. It was a no-brainer that the tune would be included on the 1995 compilation Punk TV. Remember, punk was all the rage again in '95. This Denver emo act took a more melancholy approach.
8. Joan Jett & The Blackhearts (1996)
Punk pioneer Joan Jett rode the post–Green Day resurgence of the genre in the mid-'90s. By then, the Mary Tyler Moore theme had become a feminist anthem, and Jett's slick, charging take on the tune fit in nicely with the riot grrrl movement. This cover version was used to promote the NCAA's Women's Final Four basketball championship.
Image: Warner Bros. / Discogs
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