#1970s #1980s #AllPosts
With two out of three theme songs sung by a couple of good ol’ singing boys…
And one is also an acting Fall Guy who has been seen with Farrah.
After a wee break from this challenge in April, this is my May post for this weekly entertainment themed challenge from Thursday Movie Picks. For this challenge, you had to write about three to five TV shows featuring the topic, “TV Score and / or Theme Song”.
More about this blog’s 2023 blogging challenge is found HERE… and this page also includes the rest of this blogger’s challenges for this year, if you are now keen to join this fun collaboration.
…. welcome to Thursday Movie Picks a weekly series where you share your movie picks each Thursday. The rules are simple: based on the theme of the week pick three to five movies and tell us why you picked them.
All my contributions for 2023 are found HERE… and my and others’ contributions for this particular topic are HERE. Please note I will be adding all links to this collaboration as I get them
Other TV reviews added here that come theme songs include Ashes to Ashes (2008-10), Cheggers Plays Pop (1978-86), Danger Mouse (1981- 92), Californication (2007-14), Dogtanian and the Three Muskethounds (1981-), The Golden Girls (1985), Happy Days (1974-84), Hi De Hi (1980-88), Life on Mars (2006-08), The Love Boat (1977-87), Neighbours (1985-2022), Only Fools and Horses (1981-2003), Outlander (2014-) and Rainbow (1972-97).
My choices for this topic are The Dukes of Hazzard (1979-85), The Greatest American Hero (1981-83) and The Fall Guy (1981-86). And you will find that these three American action and adventure series’ theme songs were sung by some familiar names in music and acting…
The Greatest American Hero (1981-83)…
The Greatest American Hero 1981 – 1983 Opening and Closing Theme (Extended Version), TeeVees Greatest
Although I haven’t seen this superhero and fantasy TV series, I heard that the theme tune was pretty memorable. On hearing it, it’s a dreamy ballad at its most sappy. It’s also in Realweegiemidget ratings as on par with that mesmerisingly good Buck Rogers in the 25th Century ballad theme (as heard HERE). This is rather than the one on the other end of the spectrum for a TV pilot for Six Million Dollar Man (as heard HERE).
The series is one on my review list with 1976’s Carrie‘s curly haired love interest, William Katt as the titular Greatest American Hero. He stars along with Robert Culp, as Bill Maxwell an FBI agent and 1983-88’s Hotel‘s Connie Sellecca, as Pam, an attorney. Faye Grant and Michael Pare also made regular appearances and special guest stars included John Vernon, Markie Post and Faye Grant’s V (1984-85) co-star, Richard Herd.
This superhero plot is more improbable than most in this fantasy series as a teacher, Ralph meets some extra terrestrials whilst out on a school trip. He is given a suit with superpowers. As you do.. only in your superhero fantasy moments. This series also has Pam meet these aliens, and she helps Ralph in his quest to fight crime. After Ralph loses the instructions for how to use this suit, he discovers his powers include flying and this list on Wikipedia HERE,
Ralph’s uniform grants him the powers of flight, super strength, invulnerability, invisibility, precognition, telekinesis, X-ray vision, super speed, pyrokinesis, shrinking, psychometry (“holographic vision”), and even the ability to detect the supernatural.
The theme song is called Believe It or Not and was also a chart topper in the Record World Chart. It’s one that came in at number 2 on the Billboard Top 100 charts. It was kept off the No. 1 position by the Lionel Ritchie and Diana Ross ballad from the movie of the same name, Endless Love (1981). It was composed by Mike Post, who also wrote the TV themes for Magnum PI (1980-88), The A Team (1983-87) and Quantum Leap (1989-93).
This ballad of The Greatest American Hero was sung by Joey Scarbury, the man who used to back Loretta Lynn in a crazy but true connection with The Dukes of Hazzard. Scarbury was behind such TV hits as Hardcastle and McCormick (1983-86) where he also worked with Post. This The Greatest American Hero theme song was also featured in the soundtrack for the recent streaming hit, Free Guy (2021), with Ryan Reynolds. And it suggests from the video evidence, that the actor William Katt does sing, but sadly there are no recordings of him singing this theme song in that video sharing place…
The Fall Guy (1981-86)…
The Fall Guy – (Extended Version), K’Rtoon Express
Next up, is the musical talent that is the one hit wonder of a TV hit tune from actor, Lee Majors (unless you know better). Yup, it’s The Fall Guy actor himself who sings his theme tune and has the leading role in this TV Series. And bloody good he is too in both roles…
The series tells of Colt Seavers (Majors), a charming, ruggedly handsome and charismatic stuntman – and first crush for some – who for plot convenience is also moonlighting as a part time bounty hunter. He’s joined by his fellow stuntman Howie (Douglas Barr) and stuntwoman, Jody (Heather Thomas (for my dad)). In a shared cast member with The Greatest American Hero, Colt gets assignments from Markie Post as Terri Shannon / Michaels.
This TV Series is still revered and adored by many and not just for that should have been chart topping theme tune. Please don’t read on if you are my little sister with an H in your name. It is now destined for a film remake now with Hannah Waddingham – who I last saw towering over everyone in The Eurovision Song Contest this year -, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Emily Blunt and Ryan Gosling. If I said The Rock was originally “in talks” for a remake of this series years ago, would you be surprised?
And that’s all I can tell you about this film, with the plot and characters not known on IMDB. So I am hoping it’s Aaron Taylor-Johnson in the title role, and not one for an actress lead. This is because this actor was so transfixingly good in Brad Pitt’s Bullet Train (2022).
Please note, if this movie is still in development that the 1980s iconic TV theme song will only work if it’s rewritten too… as Majors name drops those leading ladies of his day. These are heard in these lyrics from Glen A Larson, Gail Jensen and David Sommerville and the song is The Unknown Stuntman .. these lyrics in full are found HERE),
I’ve been on fire with Sally Field,
Gone fast with a girl named Bo,
But somehow they just don’t end up as mine.
I’ve gotten burned over Cheryl Tiegs,
Blown up for Raquel Welch.
Guest stars in this 5 season series, included Dallas star Mary Crosby, David Hedison – ie Felix Leiter, James Bond’s friend and colleague – 1985 National Lampoon’s European Vacation‘s Dana Hill and even Richard Burton joins the cast. CLICK HERE to see this surprising role, from this Welsh leading man in a surprisingly good telly role, as himself…
The Dukes of Hazzard (1979-85)…
The Dukes of Hazzard 1979 – 1985 Opening and Closing Theme, TeeVees Greatest
Years after this charmer of a retro TV series, The Dukes of Hazzard series was remade into a travesty of a movie of the same name in the early 2000s. This film came out at a time when the powers that be tributed way too many of our 70s and 80s favourite telly in film. It was sandwiched between the much better film remake of Starsky and Hutch (2004) – complete with cameos from Paul Michael Glaser and David Soul from the original TV show – and the still to see Miami Vice (2006) with Jamie Foxx and Colin Farrell!!!. NB This film is recommended by Darlin Husband, as he told me it was directed by Michael Mann who also did the TV Series.
The TV series told of cousins dark haired Luke (Tom Wopat) and the blond haired, Bo (John Schneider) Duke who were a pair of handsome, charming and charismatic then modern day, “Robin Hoods” (if you believe the song). This pair of reprobates were on probation and not allowed firearms, and basically hoodwinked the Law more than Burt Reynolds did in Smokey and the Bandit (1977).
The Law came in the shape of the county commissioner Boss Hogg (Sorrell Booke) – who was known for his dodgy doings – and his law officer Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane (James Best). And yes, this series was also the TV home for the lovely sex symbol, Catherine Bach – and her just as famous hotpants – as their cousin Daisy. This actress was a pin up for at least three people I know. It was set in the fictional district of Hazzard in real life Georgia, where these “good old boys”, were kept in check by Uncle Jesse (Denver Pyle), an avuncular character and lived on a farm.
The two cousins escape the law in their car
in every episode, in the General Lee – a 1969 Dodge Charger which was customised with a distinctive confederate flag on the roof and bright orange – made this an improbable plot but a fun Saturday night telly watch for everyone. That was until these charismatic cousins Bo and Luke, were replaced by Vance and Coy albeit for 19 episodes only, but for what seemed like an eternity in child years. Guest stars included Morgan Brittany, Jonathan Frakes, Loretta Lynn and Clancy Brown.
The theme song Good Ol’ Boys was written and performed by Waylon Jennings, who is credited in the show as the “Balladeer”. Jennings plays the guitar in this song, and it’s him you see at the beginning of the show strumming a guitar in the opening titles. Wikipedia adds HERE that he even added a wee apt comment about this fact in the lyrics. His adapted version of this song reached No 1 in the Country Singles charts.
Years later, Alvin and the Chipmunks also covered the song in one of their movies, as did a rapper and a Swedish band. In the 2005 film, this theme song was sung by Willie Nelson who starred in the film as Uncle Jesse. But in a believe it or not moment, there is only one remake to watch, and that’s the remake of this song with an unsung trio of Wopat, Schneider and Bach on vocals…
[official] Good Ol’ Boys by John Schneider, Tom Wopat & Catherine Bach, Dukes of Hazzard
Don’t forget to read the other contributions for this topic on Wandering Through the Shelves link up HERE…
And tune in in June for a post for a film post where I will add a post on three films with “Seasons in Title”.
6 thoughts on “LISTS… Three TV Times When They Sang the Theme Tune”
Like you I’ve never seen The Greatest American Hero, funnily enough Michael mentioned it in a superhero costumes post at his place recently. Of course you know I grew up watching your other two choices. Lee Majors does a pretty good job on vocals for The Fall Guy and Waylon’s voice is unmistakable.
I’ve never seen The Dukes of Hazzard film, I didn’t know Willie Nelson was in it, although I can certainly do without seeing or hearing him. Thanks for the video of John, Tom and Catherine Bach performing the theme song. It’s beautiful. Makes me wish I could go back to happier days.
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I couldn’t not add it they look like they are having so much fun. If they ever team up again they should so do the theme song…
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Fun post, Gill!
I have never seen the Fall Guy, but I think at least one of my sisters watched it. However, I watched The greatest American hero back in the day and recently rewatched it! It’s ridiculous but very entertaining because of the three main acting leads. Plus, that theme song is very catchy!
A lot of people in my family loved the dukes of Hazzard back in the day, but I never got into it. I do have to say though, that I really don’t like these starsky & hutch movie. It just didn’t ring true with the series for me.
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My husband thinks it’s funny as I always sob when they sing the David Soul song. But if I had the choice would go for the original series anytime over those recent film versions.. That’s probably why I cast your book with a mainly retro cast.
Love The Greatest American Hero. It was a unique and fun show. I also enjoyed The Fall Guy because it pays tribute to the stuntmen and women. Bless Yakima Canutt! I couldn’t stand The Dukes.
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The Greatest American Hero has such a lovely theme tune. Big question, will you be watch The Fall Guy movie…?