Love Is All Around

Album: Love Is All Around (1980)
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Songfacts®:

  • This is the theme song to The Mary Tyler Moore Show, a groundbreaking sitcom that ran from 1970-1977. Lots of planning went into the show, which starred Moore as a news producer at a Minneapolis TV station, where she navigates the male-dominated world of local news. The song, however, was written in a day, and it was perfect.

    Sonny Curtis, who played guitar in Buddy Holly's band The Crickets, got word from a friend that a new TV show was looking for a theme song. Curtis, a prolific songwriter whose credits include "Walk Right Back" by The Everly Brothers (#7, 1961), "A Fool Never Learns" by Andy Williams (#13, 1964) and "I Fought The Law" - Bobby Fuller Four (#9, 1966), was writing a lot of radio jingles at the time, decided to take a crack at it. His friend brought a description of the show over around noon, which explained that the show was about a woman who gets dumped by her boyfriend and moves to Minneapolis where she gets a job in a newsroom and takes an apartment a little out of her price range. By 2 p.m., he had a verse, which was enough for the theme:

    Who can turn the world on with her smile?
    Who can take a nothing day
    And suddenly make it all seem worthwhile?
    Well it's you, and you should know it
    With each glance and every little movement you show it
    Love is all around, no need to waste it
    You can have a town, why don't you take it
    You're gonna make it after all


    His friend sent him to the CBS soundstage where he played the song for James L. Brooks, who created the show. "Before I left, I had sung it about 10 times and the whole room was filled with people lined up all around the walls," he said in an interview with the Austin Chronicle. "He said, 'I want to take this song with me to Minneapolis.' They were going up that weekend to do the show's titles. He said, 'I want this song with me.' By that point, I felt pretty good about it. And it was a one-day deal from start to finish."

    Curtis insisted on singing the song himself, and Brooks agreed.
  • When the show went on the air in 1970, Curtis released a full version of the song as a single, backed by the Beatles song "Here, There And Everywhere." That one didn't chart, but in 1980 he recorded a new version that went to #29 on the Country chart.
  • Joan Jett did a rock version of this song in 1996 that made #108 on the Hot 100.

Comments: 1

  • Tony Hill from MinneapolisTwo things about this song that you won't read anywhere else:

    1. At the time the Mary Tyler Moore Show was on TV, one of the sportscasters in Minneapolis was named Sonny Curtis. It was an urban legend that he had written and recorded the song.

    2. For her 2014 inauguration as mayor of Minneapolis, Betsy Hodges requested that this song be played on the City Hall bells. I know because I played it. I had never played it before and needed to procure sheet music in time for the inauguration. I have never played it again.
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