Browse by Title
V W X Y Z #  

Theme from The Rockford Files


Mike Post

Songfacts®:  You can leave comments about the song at the bottom of the page.

This was written by Pete Carpenter and Mike Post as the theme for The Rockford Files, which was an NBC show about a private investigator played by James Garner. Stephen J. Cannell created the show; he was good friends with Post and wanted an unusual instrumental theme that would get the viewers' attention. Post and Carpenter came up with the song using a blues harmonica, dobro and electric guitar, along with what Post describes as "a chamber group on steroids" - two flutes, two French horns, two trombones. For a lead instrument, they used a Minimoog synthesizer, which was new at the time, making this one of the first uses of the instrument in a hit song.
Carpenter and Post set out to make a 2-minute hit record, and it worked, with the full-length version going to #10 in the US. Post had previously worked on some hit songs, producing "Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In)" and "Classical Gas," so he was in the mindset of creating a hit, not just a TV theme. The full version was released with him listed as the artist, as Pete Carpenter wanted no part of the billing because he thought he was way too old to represent the song in public - he was 60 years old at the time. Post scored another hit with his Theme From Hill Street Blues and another with Magnum P.I..
The Rockford Files went on the air in 1974 and lasted six seasons. The full-length song was released as a single after the first season.
Mike Post
More Mike Post songs
More songs that were TV show theme songs

Comments (2):

Joseph, the guitar solo on both versions of the Rockford Files theme was played by L.A. studio session guitarist Dan Ferguson, who also played on many other TV show themes and soundtracks.
- Rob, Central Florida, FL
Who was the guitarist for the song of "The Rockford Files"? Did this person have a band?
- Joseph, Hannibal, MO
We're sorry for the inconvenience. Comments are closed for update.
Spooner OldhamSpooner Oldham
His keyboard work helped define the Muscle Shoals sound and make him an integral part of many Neil Young recordings. Spooner is also an accomplished songwriter, whose hits include "I'm Your Puppet" and "Cry Like A Baby."
Guy ClarkGuy Clark
Vince Gill, Emmylou Harris and Lyle Lovett are just a few of the artists who have looked to Clark for insightful, intelligent songs.
Randy HouserRandy Houser
The "How Country Feels" singer talks Skynyrd and songwriting.
Meet the "sassy basket" with the biggest voice in country music.