9 things you never knew about the ''Happy Days'' theme song
Pink Floyd, Wonder Woman and the Fugees can all thank the creators of this tune.
"Hello sunshine, goodbye rain!" It remains one of the most memorable refrains in television history. Odds are, you can sing along to every word of the Happy Days theme song. You know, the one also titled "Happy Days."
However, you might not know some surprising details about the songwriters, singers and producers of that record.
Let's take a deep dive into this classic TV tune!
1. It was originally the closing theme.
The first two seasons of Happy Days stand out for a couple of reasons. Those early episodes were shot on film with one camera, giving the sitcom a more cinematic look than the familiar, bright, live-audience studio vibe of later years. Secondly, the sitcom used a re-recorded version of "Rock Around the Clock" by Bill Haley. Originally released in 1955 by Bill Haley & His Comets, a re-recorded version of would hit the charts again in 1974 thanks to its usage in both American Graffiti and Happy Days. Meanwhile, The "Sunday, Monday…" refrain of "Happy Days" could be heard at the end of Happy Days episodes.
Image: MCA Records
2. The original ''Happy Days'' singer went on to sing with Pink Floyd.
A singer named Jim Haas sang vocals on that original version of "Happy Days." Later in the 1970s, Haas would provide backing vocals on Pink Floyd's seminal concept album The Wall. He joined the band for its 1980–81 Wall Tour, singing backup on stage. He later would be a member of Roger Water's Bleeding Heart Band.
Image: Columbia Records
3. The same songwriters wrote "Killing Me Softly with His Song"
Ace musical minds Norman Gimbel and Charles Fox were the songwriters behind "Happy Days." The duo also penned the brilliant ballas "Killing Me Softly with His Song," a No. 1 hit for Robert Flack. She won a Grammy for the song in 1973 — and the Fugees won a Grammy for their cover version of the tune in 1997.
Image: Atlantic Records
4. The lyricist won an Oscar.
Specifically, Norman Gimbel penned the lyrics for "Happy Days." His musical career includes many fascinating highlights. He wrote the English-language lyrics to "The Girl from Ipanema." In 1980, Gimbel took home an Academy Award thanks to his "It Goes Like It Goes," an original song for the film Norma Rae.
5. They also wrote the 'Wonder Woman' theme song.
Gimbel & Fox had far more TV hits behind "Happy Days," too. Naturally, they wrote the wonderful theme to the spinoff Laverne & Shirley, "Making Our Dreams Come True." The twosome were also behind the themes to Wonder Woman, Angie and The Bugaloos. You can thank them for rhyming "satin tights" with "your rights."
6. A commercial jingle duo known as Brother Love recorded a hit version.
Jerry McClain and Truett Pratt, a Californian-Texan team, came together in the early 1970s. They originally named their band Brother Love, and found work recording jingles for commercials. A record deal with ABC Dunhill records led them to bill themselves as Pratt & McClain, releasing a self-titled album in 1974. Two years later, Pratt & McClain cut a cover version of "Happy Days" which became their defining song.
Image: ABC Dunhill
7. The Pratt & McClain version reached No. 5 on the pop charts.
How popular was "Happy Days"? Well, the Pratt & McClain single climbed to No. 5 on the Billboard Hot 100. Canadian loved it even more. The single peaked at No. 3 in that country.
8. The producers pressed a special 45 single just to use in the opening credits.
Pay close attention to the jukebox in the opening credits of Happy Days. When the mechanical arm lays the 45 on the turntable, you can read the label. It is printed with: HAPPY DAYS / Lyrics by NORMAN GIMBEL / Music Composed by CHARLES FOX. That was not a commercially released record. The producers specially custom-made that 7" record to be shot in the opening credits!
9. The jukebox in the opening credits has other '70s songs.
Oh, and about that jukebox. It's a bit of an anachronism if you expect it to be 1950s authentic and examine the fine print. You can see other real songs available as selections on the jukebox. For example, in this shot look for the B.J. Thomas song "Most of All" b/w "The Mask." Scepter Records released that single in 1970.