Five Fave: TV Theme Songs From The 1970’s

Television in the 1970’s reflected the turbulent times at the turn of the decade. In the midst of an endless controversial war, social justice struggles, political scandal, and the earth-shattering achievements of the moon landing and space exploration, TV became grittier and more inclusive. Presenting our Five Fave TV Theme Songs From The 1970’s.

 

#5 – Good Times – Jim Gilstrap & Blinky Williams

There was hardly a successful TV show in the 1970’s that didn’t generate a spin-off. Good Times is a double spin-off, birthed by Maude, which was spawned by All In The Family. The show focuses on a poor black family in Chicago. The writing and acting was strong, with all characters helping each other through the daily struggle to raise a family and make ends meet.

Good Times
Written by Dave Grusin, Alan Bergman & Marilyn Bergman / Sung by Jim Gilstrap & Blinky Williams

Good Times
Any time you meet a payment
Good Times
Any time you meet a friend
Good Times

Any time you’re out from under
Not getting hassled, not getting hustled
Keepin’ your head above water
Making a wave when you can

Temporary layoffs
Good Times
Easy credit rip-offs
Good Times
Scratchin’ and surviving
Good Times
Hanging in and jiving
Good Times
Ain’t we lucky we got ’em
Good Times

 

#4 – Welcome Back, Kotter – John Sebastian

Welcome Back, Kotter may have introduced the concept of 20-somethings portraying high school students. For sure, it introduced us to John Travolta, as class clown Vinny Barbarino, the leader of a multicultural band of misfits known as The Sweathogs. Kotter was a teacher who returned to Brooklyn, and attempted to inspire Vinny, Freddy “Boom Boom” Washington, Arnold Horshack and Juan Epstein. A timeless comedy, with a heart. The theme song wraps around you like a warm blanket.

Welcome Back
By John Sebastian

Welcome back
Your dreams were your ticket out
Welcome back
To that same old place that you laughed about

Well the names have all changed since you hung around
But those dreams have remained and they’ve turned around
Who’d have thought they’d lead ya
(Who’d have thought they’d lead ya)
Back here where we need ya
(Back here where we need ya)

Yeah. we tease him a lot ’cause we got him on the spot
Welcome back
Welcome back, welcome back, welcome back
Welcome back, welcome back

Welcome back
We always could spot a friend
Welcome back
And I smile when I think how you must have been

And I know what a scene you were learning in
Was there something that made you come back again
And what could ever lead ya
(What could ever lead ya)
Back here where we need ya
(Back here where we need ya)

Yeah, we tease him a lot ’cause we got him on the spot
Welcome back
Welcome back, welcome back, welcome back
Welcome back, welcome back

And I know what a scene you were learning in
Was there something that made you come back again
And what could ever lead ya
(What could ever lead ya)
Back here where we need ya
(Back here where we need ya)

Yeah. we tease him a lot ’cause we got him on the spot
Welcome back
Welcome back, welcome back, welcome back
Welcome back, welcome back

Yeah. we tease him a lot
Welcome back, welcome back
‘Cause we got him on the spot
Welcome back, welcome back

Yeah. we tease him a lot ’cause we got him on the spot
Welcome back
Welcome back, welcome back, welcome back
Welcome back, welcome back, welcome back
Welcome back, welcome back, welcome back

 

#3 – Laverne & Shirley – Cyndi Grecco

Laverne & Shirley were two strong women, working blue-collar jobs at a brewery in Milwaukee. They got into endless hijinks with their neighbors Lenny & Squiggy. The show spun off from Happy Days, and continued to use crossovers through their runs. The song intro is something that star Penny Marshall used to sing in her youth, and really has no meaning, other than to put a smile on your face every time an episode began.

Making Our Dreams Come True
Written by Charles Fox & Norman Gimbel / Sung by Cyndi Grecco

One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight.
Schlemiel! Schlimazel! Hasenpfeffer Incorporated!

We’re gonna do it!
Give us any chance, we’ll take it.
Give us any rule, we’ll break it.
We’re gonna make our dreams come true.
Doin’ it our way.

Nothin’s gonna turn us back now,
Straight ahead and on the track now.
We’re gonna make our dreams come true,
Doin’ it our way.

There is nothing we won’t try,
Never heard the word impossible.
This time there’s no stopping us.
We’re gonna do it.

On your mark, get set and go now,
Got a dream and we just know now,
We’re gonna make our dream come true.
And we’ll do it our way, yes our way.
Make all our dreams come true,
And do it our way, yes our way,
Make all our dreams come true
For me and you.

 

#2 – All In The Family –

All In The Family is one of the most controversial and enduring shows in television history. The topics they raised have not yet been solved in America, 50 years later. The main lesson that still resonates loudly today is that we don’t always share the same views, ideas and solutions as the people we care the most about – our family. Yet we can discuss things openly, agree to disagree, and sit down together in love and peace. No matter how offensive Archie Bunker could be, he didn’t seem to intend to offend, and he could always generate some morsel of sympathy, particularly when Edith brought him back from the edge. This is one of the only shows I can think of where the main actors deliver the theme song, in character.

Those Were The Days
Written by Lee Adams & Charles Strouse / Sung by Carrroll O’Connor & Jean Stapleton

Boy the way Glenn Miller played
Songs that made the Hit Parade.
Guys like us we had it made,
Those were the days.

And you knew who you were then,
Girls were girls and men were men,
Mister we could use a man
Like Herbert Hoover again.

Didn’t need no welfare state,
Everybody pulled his weight.
Gee our old LaSalle ran great.
Those were the days.

{In the longer version}

People seemed to be content,
Fifty dollars paid the rent,
Freaks were in a circus tent.
Those were the days.

Take a little Sunday spin,
Go to watch the Dodgers win.
Have yourself a dandy day,
That cost you under a fin.

Hair was short and skirts were long.
Kate Smith really sold a song.
I don’t know just what went wrong,
Those were the days.

 

#1 – The Jeffersons – Ja’net Dubois and Oren Waters

Once again, we have a spin-off. Perhaps the most successful instance of this approach was The Jeffersons, whose characters were introduced on All In The Family. George and Weezie Jefferson became so successful, they were able to move on up to a penthouse apartment, complete with a sassy maid. Their neighbors were a mixed race couple and an eccentric foreigner.  A classic show with an amazing theme song.

Movin’ On Up
Written by Jeff Barry & Ja’net Dubois / Sun by Ja’net Dubois and Oren Waters

Well we’re movin’ on up, to the east side
To a deluxe apartment in the sky
Movin’ on up
To the east side
We finally got a piece of the pie

Fish don’t fry in the kitchen;
Beans don’t burn on the grill
Took a whole lotta tryin’
Just to get up that hill

Now we’re up in the big leagues
Gettin’ our turn at bat
As long as we live, it’s you and me baby
There ain’t nothin wrong with that

Well we’re movin’ on up
To the east side
To a deluxe apartment in the sky

Movin’ on up
To the east side
We finally got a piece of the pie

 

Five Fave: TV Theme Songs From The 1970’s first appeared on Game On Media.

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