TV theme songs: Salute to the giants

TvthemesearlehagenWho’s this guy pictured at left? Can you whistle? If so, pucker up and think Andy, Opie, Aunt Bea and Barn…It’s Earle Hagen, composer of the music for many a famed TV theme song, including “The Andy Griffith Show,” “The Dick Van Dyke Show,” “Make Room for Daddy,” “That Girl,” (he was clearly a favorite of Danny Thomas and Sheldon Leonard’s) and my personal fave, “I Spy” (love that pulsating bass line, very Brian Wilson-y).

Hagen was among the notables who took part last week in the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Tvthemesvicmizzy tribute to theme music scribblers, “Another Opening, Another Show: A Celebration of TV Theme Music.” The gentlemen on the right is Vic “they’re altogether ooky” Mizzy. Not only did he write “The Addams Family” theme, he sang it too, thanks to budgetary constraints at production company Filmways. He managed to top himself a few years later with one of the most enduring TV tunes ever, “Green Acres.” Face it — you can’t flip past that tune (and “Green Acres” is always playing somewhere on the dial) without belting out “You are my wife”….”Goodbye city life…”

TvthemeswagnerThe Oct. 11 event drew an interesting range of people, from Mike “ching- ching” Post to Sherwood Schwartz (the writer-producer who gave us “The Brady Bunch” and “Gilligan’s Island,” theme lyrics and all) to Lindsay Tvthemesdanielsbartlett_4 Wagner (pictured left), the “Bionic Woman” of another era, to the power-couple of another era (circa “St. Elsewhere”), William Daniels and Bonnie Bramlett (pictured right).

To whet your taste for TV themes, click here for TV Land.com’s very informative page, or click here for TelevisionTunes.com’s well organized and easy-to-use archive.

(Pics by Mathew Imaging/WireImage)