Here are the faces behind 8 classic TV theme songs
A lot of these songs were also chart toppers in the 1970s and 1980s.
We all know the opening credits to our favorite TV shows: the records spinning on Happy Days, or Laverne and Shirley skipping down the street.
But do we know who provides the voices behind them? Some of the TV theme song singers were already stars, some of them became one-hit wonders, and some never got the recognition they deserved. By any measure, these crooners have a special place in television history.
Curtis wrote and performed "Love Is All Around" — the theme song to The Mary Tyler Moore Show. Although the song is mostly famously identified with Moore throwing her hat in the air, two versions were actually released as singles. In 1970, Curtis released the song for the first time. In 1980, he recorded and released a country version. Fun fact: When Curtis was a teenager, he was friends with Buddy Holly.
Image credit: sonnycurtis.com
Dubois sang the rags-to-riches tale "Movin' On Up" for The Jeffersons. She wrote it with Jeff Barry and sang it with a gospel choir. Dubois also starred on another Norman Lear sitcom, Good Times.
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The folk group sang the theme song for the first season of Gilligan's Island. For the second season and beyond, another group called The Eligibles recorded a new version that included the Professor and Mary Ann in the opening credits. In the second season, the Wellingtons appeared in an episode as "The Mosquitoes."
Image credit: Redbeat
Portnoy co-wrote and sang "Where Everybody Knows Your Name" for the wildly popular sitcom Cheers, which is often ranked as the best theme song of all time. Portnoy recorded a commercial single to be released, and it charted at No. 83. He also sang the theme song to Punky Brewster.
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Scoggins (right) sings "The Ballad of Jed Clampett" — the song that explains how the Clampett family made it to California in The Beverly Hillbillies. Before the show, Scoggins was a country singer who worked closely with Gene Autry and Bing Crosby. When Scoggins recorded the theme song, he was working as a stockbroker.
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Sebastian sang "Welcome Back," which was featured as the theme song to Welcome Back, Kotter. Before the show, Sebastian already had a big music career. He was a founding member of the Lovin' Spoonfuls and sang at Woodstock in 1969. Sebastian went solo with this song, which peaked at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1976. Fun fact: Vivian Vance is his godmother!
Image credit: allmusic.com
Is there a theme song this guy hasn't done? The composer's credits include Law & Order, The Rockford Files, NYPD Blue, The A-Team and Hill Street Blues.
Image credit: filmmusicsite.com
Pratt & McClain
Jerry McClain and Truett Pratt sang the single version of the iconic opener to Happy Days, which replaced an updated version of "Rock Around the Clock" as the show's theme song for the show's third season. The song peaked at number 5 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1976. The Ron Hicklin Singers performed the on-air version, and their voice can be heard on openers to Batman, Wonder Woman and more!
Image credit: allmusic.com