TV theme songs are a very big deal - or at least they used to be. Before Seinfeld
introduced the concept of the 4-second theme song (leaving more time for show content), we would spend our first 45 seconds or so listening to a catchy tune about how the castaways got stranded on Gilligan's Island
or how Jed struck oil on The Beverly Hillbillies
Often, the songs became hits: the themes to Welcome Back, Kotter
and Miami Vice
both went to #1. Others weren't hits, but became part of the fabric of the show, setting the melancholy tone for M*A*S*H
or making Cheers
feel like a home away from home.
See how much you know about some legendary TV themes – and the artists who may or may not have recorded them – in this Fact or Fiction.
~Jens T. Carstensen