When we spoke with Charles Fox
, he told us how the show and the music for the theme came about. Said Fox: "When I did Love Boat
, before it was a television series it was a television movie, a 2-hour movie-of-the-week. And we did two or three of them. Doug Cramer, who had been the president of Paramount Television when I did Love, American Style
, he was partner on Love Boat
with Aaron Spelling. And when I had the first meeting about the show, he said, 'Just think of 'Love, American Style' on the water, on a cruise ship.' The only difference is that a cast of characters would revolve around each story, whereas in Love, American Style
, there are three separate segments with different casts - totally different scripts. Each one was about 12-14 minutes long. Love Boat
, the cast would intertwine two or three different stories, start with the captain, with the steward, and all that. And Gopher. So that was the basic difference. But he says, 'Think of 'Love, American Style' on the high seas.'
So that had to have a spirit of adventure, you know. And I will tell you something else, I don't know if I've ever told this story to anyone, but when I sat with Doug Cramer he asked me if I knew Murder on the Orient Express
, the film. It was a big movie at the time, and I said I did. He said, 'You know the shot of the train taking off - the Orient Express about to go from Paris to Venice and passing through the eastern block countries?' He said, 'There's a shot at the beginning, at the main title, where the wheel started to turn little by little, and the smoke stack.' And he says, 'There's a sense of excitement and anticipation. If you could write the same kind of music for that, I think that would be great.' So I said, 'Well, I remember that very well, and John Barry did a wonderful job with that, but it was a waltz.' I recall it being just a nice waltz which seemed to go very well with the period and all that. He said, 'Well, then, maybe you could use that as a guide.' Well, I went home and I looked at my show, and I said, 'It really has nothing to do with a waltz.' It was a big, elaborate film; it was Cinemascope with high shots of the train coming around bends. And ours needed to have more of an immediacy, it had more rhythm and more percussion. So I ended up writing the Love Boat
theme with a disco beat. And Doug, when he heard it, said, 'Perfect.' (laughs) Said, 'It's exactly what I wanted.'"