The Theme From My Three Sons; By Frank De Vol; A Living, Breathing TV Theme

Frank De Vol

Frank De Vol

Frank De Vol‘s Theme From My Three Sons  (VERY SPECIAL TO ME AS I HAVE THREE SONS) is catchy, clever AND extremely memorable! His quirky scoring along with the way he impliments “Chop Sticks” is sheer genius. The match of this theme/show for the times, genre and audience is impeccable.

As a side note, besides being an admirer of his work across the board, I loved him as bandleader “Happy Kyne” in Fernwood Tonight.

Come back with me now to 1960, a time when you gave Christmas presents to the milkman and postman…

*The TV themes that stay with me reflect every character, every episode, the times the series took place in AND the genre of theatre applicable; fresh forever in my music mind.

The Theme From Mission Impossible; By Lalo Schifrin; A Living, Breathing TV Theme

The Incomparable Lalo Schifrin

The thing I love about Lalo Schifrin‘s Theme From Mission Impossible besides the infectious melody, is how groovy the 5/4 time signature becomes more natural as the tune progesses; the more you hear it, the more comfortable the pulse becomes. If you really listen, there is a kind of clave rhythmic kind of thing as the “backbone” of the bed. The man’s signature is on all his work and it is truly timeless!

If you listen with intent, every element of the show, intrigue, mystery and suspense is truly referenced in this classic, CLASSIC theme.

Your mission, should you choose to except it, is to click on the link below, and get caught up in the tangled aural web woven by Lalo Schfrin‘s Theme From Mission Impossible; this theme will never self destruct, because it is timeless…

*The TV themes that stay with me reflect every character, every episode, the times the series took place in AND the genre of theatre applicable; fresh forever in my music mind.

The Theme From The Twilight Zone By Marius Constant; A Living, Breathing TV Theme

We all loved to hate Rod Serling‘s Twilight Zone. It made us imagine things we didn’t want to imagine; it scared us into thinking things existed that we didn’t want to exist. We hate to love Marius Constant‘s theme for the Twilight Zone as it makes us think of the program. This theme has typified weird, unexplainable and horrific concepts for a whole generation; how many times, when things or people are “a little” off the grid, have you gone “do do do do, do do do do” while circling your finger to the side of your head?

When that grating guitar ostinato started churning, you knew that your eyes would be riveted for the next half-hour! The orchestration culminating Rod Serling‘s opening speech always sent a quivering sensation down my spine as it led us into the opening scene.

Soo, let’s go back to 1959, into a land of both shadow and substance, of things and ideas, and cross over intothe Twilight Zone

Personnel as determined: Howard Roberts guitar.

Bernard Herrmann actually did the (original) theme before that; it was really more like an underscore for Rod Serling to speak over…

*The TV themes that stay with me reflect every character, every episode, the times the series took place in AND the genre of theatre applicable; fresh forever in my music mind.

The Theme From The Twilight Zone By Marius Constant; A Living, Breathing TV Theme

We all loved to hate Rod Serling‘s Twilight Zone. It made us imagine things we didn’t want to imagine; it scared us into thinking things existed that we didn’t want to exist. We hated to love Marius Constant‘s theme for the Twilight Zone as it makes us think of the program. This theme has typified weird, unexplainable and horrific concepts for a whole generation; how many times, when things or people are “a little” off the grid, have you gone “do do do do, do do do do” while circling your finger to the side of your head?

When that grating guitar ostinato started churning, you knew that your eyes would be riveted for the next half-hour! The orchestration culminating Rod Serling‘s opening speech always sent a quivering sensation down my spine as it led us into the opening scene.

Soo, let’s go back to 1959, into a land of both shadow and substance, of things and ideas, and cross over intothe Twilight Zone

Personnel as determined: Howard Roberts guitar.

*The TV themes that stay with me reflect every character, every episode, the times the series took place in AND the genre of theatre applicable; fresh forever in my music mind.

The Theme From Bonanza By Jay Livingston; A Living, Breathing TV Theme


Jay Livinston: Bonanza’s Theme Is  One Of The Most Popular Of All Time.

Bonanza‘s (composers: Jay Livinston & Ray Evans {lyrics}) was one catchy little dittie; definitely one of those themes that was as much a part of the show as any of the repeated visuals. I can (and always will) still see the Ponderosa, the panoramic pans of the country, Carson City etc..

The lyrics were never actually used. Apparently Pernell Roberts (Adam), the only accomplished vocalist of the cast, begged off when they recorded the theme with the vocal for the pilot. Luckily, the result never actually made the air.

The Cartwrights: Little Joe; Ben; Hoss; Adam.

When that guitar slides in, you know you’re in for an hour of good ole western adventure with some intelligent story line. I love how the theme is guitar melody right through, ending with the big orchestra finish. That big finish building to tonight’s episode or leaving you wanting to tune in next week when played at the end credits!

Let’s go back to 1959 to catch the classic Bonanza theme; it’s 9 o’clock on a Sunday night, we’ve just finished The Ed Sullivan ShowWait for it

Personnel as determined: David Rose orchestrations; Billy May arranger.

*The TV themes that stay with me reflect every character, every episode, the times the series took place in AND the genre of theatre applicable; fresh forever in my music mind.

American Bandstand’s Theme By Charles Albertine; A Living, Breathing TV Theme

Little did Charles Albertine know that when he wrote Bandstand Boogie, it would become the theme song for the longest running musical show in television history. He played tenor saxophone with the Sammy Kaye band in the late 1940s, and was the lead arranger for the new Les Elgart band.

 

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Apparently, Charles Albertine Earned His Greatest Notoriety As An Arranger, Taking Full Advantage Of Stereo Technology To Create Some Of the Boldest & Most Dynamic Orchestrations Of The Period

What an unlikely choice; I know we had just come out of the big band era but the target audience was really not into that kind of sound. We are talking a swinging, monster big band arrangement here.

From the time American Bandstand went national (*1964) until 1969 Les Elgart‘s big band version of Bandstand Boogie is the one I remember in my music mind.

Let’s go back to about 1964; if you watched American Bandstand as much as I did, maybe you will recognize somebody…

Personnel as determined: Les Elgart’s Big Band.

Dick Clark, The World’s Oldest Teenager & Barry Manillow

Now, get into Barry Manilow‘s Bandstand Boogie version with lyrics he wrote…

Personnel as determined: Barry Manillow vocals.

*The TV themes that stay with me reflect every character, every episode, the times the series took place in AND the genre of theatre applicable; fresh forever in my music mind.

McHale’s Navy Theme By Axel Stordahl; A Living, Breathing TV Theme

Axel Stordahl: The McHale’s Navy TV Theme; AKA McHale’s Navy March

Axel Stordahl developed his craft through the swing era by conducting and arranging for Tommy Dorsey and then on to be Frank Sinatra‘s “main man” through the Columbia years.

I really loved McHale’s Navy! Just thinking about it makes me smile. All these years later, the theme is STILL in my head when I think of that show. Now let’s go back to 1962; we are riding on the PT -73 and those marvellous swinging, syncopated lines build into Axel Stordahl‘s very memorable “McHale’s Navy March“, washing all over us…

*The TV themes that stay with me reflect every character, every episode, the times the series took place in AND the genre of theatre applicable; fresh forever in my music mind.