Happy Days

Album: Pratt & McClain (1976)
Charted: 31 5
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  • This was the theme to the hit TV series Happy Days. The series began in 1974 and originally featured Bill Haley's "Rock Around The Clock" as it's opening theme and a version of "Happy Days" sung by a studio chorus as the closing theme song. Starting in 1976, Happy Days replaced "Rock Around The Clock" at the beginning of the show.
  • "Happy Days" was written by television theme writers Norman Gimbel and Charles Fox, who also wrote the themes for Wonder Woman, Laverne and Shirley, and Love Boat. They also composed "Killing Me Softly With His Song," which became a big hit for Roberta Flack and won the composers a Grammy Award for Song Of The Year.
    Charles Fox got his start writing theme songs on the show Love American Style. He explained in our 2010 interview: "Love American Style had three separate segments, totally unrelated to each other - different stories, different casts. They were always called 'Love and the...' something. I remember 'Love and the Eskimo,' I remember 'Love and the Stuttering Cowboy,' I remember all kinds of silly things. But this was called 'Love and the Happy Days.' And ABC made it a pilot at the same time, because it was a good way for ABC to develop a pilot and use it as part of the cost of Love American Style. They loved that show, but they decided that they weren't ready to re-visit the '50s, so they put it in the can until a year or two later when George Lucas's picture American Graffiti came out. And then they went back to what they already had in the can as a pilot, and the rest, as they say, is history."
  • Pratt & McClain were a commercial jingle singing band consisting of Jerry McClain and Truett Pratt, who were also known as Brother Love. They released "Happy Days" as a single in 1976, which gave the duo their only UK and US Top 40 hit.
  • At the beginning of the show, a jukebox loads a record, and when the needle drops, this song starts playing. That record - the 45 RPM single - was pressed specifically for the show open, and if you look carefully you'll see that it says, "Happy Days, music by Charles Fox, lyrics by Norman Gimbel." Fox told us: "It's been sitting in the back of my studio for years, and only recently the Smithsonian asked if I had any singular object that they could place in their new music wing. So that is going to be what they call inducted into the Smithsonian, and it's going to sit in the box with the Fonz's jacket. It's his leather jacket, so it's really a nice thing for me to know that it has that place in history."
  • It's pretty rare for a TV theme song to get recorded into a full-length record and become a hit, but that's what happened here. It followed the very successful "Welcome Back," which was the theme to Welcome Back, Kotter written and performed by John Sebastian. The theme Gimbel and Fox wrote for the Happy Days spin off Laverne and Shirley was also made into a full song and hit #25 in the US.
  • This song features prominently in Happy Days: The Musical, which is a stage adaptation of the TV show. Garry Marshall, who created the original show, also worked on the musical, which features songs by Paul Williams. Read more in our interview with Paul Williams.
  • This was used on the Friends episode "The One With The Race Car Bed" (1996). It plays while Ross and Monica talk about how they used to pretend to be Happy Days characters when they were kids.

Comments: 8

  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn November 27, 1977, Bobby Arvon's "Until Now" entered Billboard's Top 100 chart at position #98, fifteen weeks later it would peak at #72, and the week it peaked was also be it's sixteenth and last week on the Top 100...
    "Until Now" was his only Top 100 record...
    In 1983 he recorded an updated version of the "Happy Days" theme song, his version was used on the ABC-TV's sitcom's 11th and final season {1983 - 1984}...
    Bobby Arvon celebrated his 77th birthday two months ago on September 13th, 2018.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, Ny"Yeeap, yep, yep, yep, yep, yep"
    Al Molinaro, who played Al Delvecchio, the owner of Arnold's Drive-In on the ABC-TV sitcom 'Happy Day' between the years 1974 and 1984, passed away on Friday, October 30th, 2015 at the age of 96...
    May he R.I.P.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn June 25th 1976, Pratt and McClain performed "Happy Days" on the NBC-TV program 'The Midnight Special'...
    At the time of this appearance on the show the song was at #32 on Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart...
    (See posts below).
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn May 8th 1976, Pratt & McClain performed "Happy Days" on the ABC-TV program 'American Bandstand'...
    (See below post for chart info).
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyIt was the 'Love and Happy Days' episode on the TV series 'Love, American Style' that preceded both 'American Graffiti' (premiered on August 1st, 1973) and the TV series 'Happy Days' (debut January 15th, 1974)...
    The 'Love and Happy Days' episode originally aired on February 25th, 1972; Ron Howard played Richie, Marion Ross was Mrs. Cunningham, but actor Harold Gould portrayed Mr. Cunningham.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn January 15th 1974, the 30-minute sitcom 'Happy Days' debut on the ABC-TV network...
    The series ran from 1974 to 1984 with a grand total of 255 episodes...
    As already stated Bill Haley & the Comets' "Rock Around the Clock" was the opening theme in 1974 & 1975...
    Then Pratt and McClain's "Happy Days" became the show's theme song from 1976 to 1983, and in the show's final year Bobby Arvon performed the theme song...
    Pratt and McClain's version entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart on March 28th, 1976 and on May 30th it peaked at #5 (for 2 weeks) and spent 14 weeks on the Top 100 (and 5 of those 14 weeks were on the Top 10)......
    Only Henry Winkler (Fonzie), Marion Ross (Mrs. Cunningham), and Tom Bosley (Mr. Cunningham) appeared all 255 episodes.
  • Mark from London, EnglandLike the film which spawned it - American Graffitti - Happy Days is more about when the 50s became the 60s, so Rock Around The Clock is a bit of an anachronism. Remember Harrison Ford's character's quote in the film: "Rock and roll died when Buddy Holly died"...
  • Lalah from Wasilla, AkThey should have kept the Bill Haley song. It worked better for the show. It wasn't long after the show changed the opening song that we'd sing the lyrics "Sunday, Monday, change the station" . . . and that's when you had to walk up to the TV and turn a dial.
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