All in the Family's theme song was a hit on music charts

Imagine turning on the radio in 1972 and hearing ''Those Were the Days.'' Archie and Edith had a hit song on their hands.

It's common for theme songs to get radio play today, but back in the 1970s, not so much. Yet, Norman Lear's shows became so popular that the theme songs became popular, too.

All in the Family is a classic television show that touched on many social topics, and its theme song is considered one of the greatest of all time. It was so loved that the song became a hit.

"Those Were the Days" was written by Lee Adams. Carroll O'Connor and Jean Stapleton, who played the married couple Archie and Edith Bunker, sang the song in a common musical style in the '70s.

Both were seated at a piano that Stapleton played. The song was a duet, as both actors took turns singing the lyrics. As they sang, shots of Manhattan would appear on the screen.

In the song, the Bunkers were missing "the days" when life was simple, as the show revolves around Archie's opposition to societal change. Many versions of the song were released, including an extended version released as a single by Atlantic Records.

It reached number 43 on the US Billboard Hot 100 Chart and 30 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart in 1972. The extended version included the lyrics, "People seemed to be content / Fifty dollars paid the rent / Freaks were in a circus tent / Those were the days," and a few more lines.

Some of the lyrics were seen as controversial, but that didn't stop the single from being nominated for awards and inducted into the Online Film and Television Association's Hall of Fame.

People also loved "Those Were the Days" because it was sung by the two stars of the show, which made it feel more personal to the characters they played.

In an interview with the Associated Press, Stapleton revealed that she had singing experience before being on the show. "Nobody knows it, but I'm a singer of sorts and have studied voice," she said.

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HughJardon 10 months ago
Love the show, but hated her screeching the last lines of the theme song.
jeopardyhead 10 months ago
There was a radio station in Ohio Co., Kentucky around 2010 (that may still be around for all I know) that played this on a fairly regular basis.
hank2001 10 months ago
Does anyone really want Herbert Hoover back again?
jeopardyhead hank2001 10 months ago
Those must be the controversial lyrics referred to in the article.
daDoctah 10 months ago
It may have reached #43, but lots of TV themes actually written for that express purpose have scored even better on the Billboard Hot 100. From a round about 18 years ago that I kicked off on Usenet, here's just the ones that made it into the Top Ten. (As the question was originally phrased, it omits adaptations of songs that were already out before their respective shows used them as themes.)

The Ballad of Davy Crockett - Bill Hayes (#1), 'Tennessee' Ernie
Ford (#5), Fess Parker (#5) and the Voices of Walter Schumann (#14)
(from Davy Crockett)

Stranger on the Shore - Mr. Acker Bilk (#1) (from the same-titled
British TV series)

S.W.A.T. - Rhythm Heritage (#1)
Welcome Back - John Sebastian (#1) (from Welcome Back Kotter)
Miami Vice - Jan Hammer (#1)
How Do You Talk To An Angel? - the Heights (#1) (from the Heights)
Believe it or Not - Joey Scarbury (#2) (from the Greatest American

Dragnet - Ray Anthony Orchestra (#3)
Secret Agent Man - Johnny Rivers (#3) and the Ventures (#54)
Hawaii Five-O - the Ventures (#4)
Happy Days - Pratt & McClain (#5)
Makin' It - David Naughton (#5)

Peter Gunn - Ray Anthony Orchestra (#8), Duane Eddy (#27), Deodato
(#84) and the Art of Noise featuring Duane Eddy (#50)

Bad Boys - Inner Circle (#8) (from Cops)
Three Stars Will Shine Tonight - Richard Chamberlain (#10) (from Dr.
The Rockford Files - Mike Post (#10)
Hill Street Blues - Mike Post featuring Larry Carlton (#10)
I Don't Want To Be - Gavin DeGraw (#10) (from One Tree Hill)

Bricat2001 daDoctah 10 months ago
I thought believe it or not was sung by John carpenter at first unless he wrote it?
daDoctah Bricat2001 10 months ago
He might have recorded it, but Scarbury had the version that charted in Billboard.
jeopardyhead daDoctah 10 months ago
I never watched THE HEIGHTS, so I can't really say, but it was my understanding that "How do You Talk to an Angel?" wasn't the theme, but was just a song promoted within the show.
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