Tuesday, January 19, 2010

La Musica, La Musica!

Back in the day when television was black and white, the shows all had something that has largely gone away:

Theme music.

Pick a classic B&W show, and you could tell what it was from the other room: All the WB cowboys -- Maverick, Cheyenne, Sugarfoot, Bronco Lane. And The Rifleman, Lawman, Bat Masterson, Wyatt Earp, no mistaking them for anything else.

The opening for The Lone Ranger. Classical music, and my first exposure to the stuff, if you don't count the Bugs Bunny cartoons. The Adventures of Superman. Gilligan's Island? Can anybody forget that one -- try as they might?

Peter Gunn.

The Beverly Hillbillies introduced most of the country to bluegrass, via Flatt and Scruggs.

Even the instrumentals were catchy enough to hum along with: I Love Lucy, The Andy Griffith Show. Sea Hunt. Route 66. Star Trek.

They hung on for a while -- Hill Street Blues, St. Elsewhere, great openings.

Then one day, some suit decided it cost too much, and now what we get is ... mostly nothing.

I'm not one to sit around lamenting my lost buggy whip -- well, okay, a little -- but the only one I've seen lately that grabs me is Men of a Certain Age, doing the Beach Boys "When I Grow Up to Be a Man."

I think we lost something along the way.


Michael said...

Thanks for that. Sat there and listened with a big, shit-eating grin.

Dan Moran said...

I have the themes to the Rockford Files, Wild Wild West, and Hill Street Blues in my music collection. I listen to the Rockford them fairly often.

Viro said...

"Mommm, Phineas and Ferb are making a title sequence!"

Psych has some good ones too. Here is the one made for the Telanovela episode:

This one is from the Bollywood episode:

Ken Johnson said...

IMHO ...Some memorable TV instrumental themes

The Avengers
The Prisoner
The Green Hornet
Cowboy Bebop
Star Trek - TOS & TNG
The Saint

Oh .. and nearly forgot Mission Impossible