The United Nations’ (UN) World Television Day was created by a resolution in 1996 and is annually observed on November 21st in many places around the world recognizing that television plays a major role in presenting different issues that affect people.
From the United Nations website: "World Television Day is not so much a celebration of the tool, but rather the philosophy which it represents. Television represents a symbol for communication and globalization in the contemporary world."
That's all well and good and I admit that my life has been enriched by news, current affairs programs and documentaries available to me on television. However, I am also a North American baby boomer and it is a wonder that my generation has not evolved into a creature with one square eye in the middle of our foreheads considering the overwhelming presence of television in our lives.
My celebration of World Television Day is a look at a baker's dozen of my favourite television themes. It was tough limiting the list, because there are plenty more where these came from. It is music that instantly recalls my telelvision friends and the real life people who shared the laughter, the tears and the discussion around our viewing. This is music that, although inextricably wound up in the fictions they represent, still stand on its own. Many became radio hits. I understand in more recent history it is radio hits that become theme songs, if there is a theme song at all. This is an entertainment evolution that makes no sense at all to me.
PERRY MASON (1957 - 1966)
Fred Steiner's Park Avenue Beat grabs you and doesn't let go.
PETER GUNN (1958 - 1961)
Henry Mancini. 'Nuff said.
WAGON TRAIN (1957 - 1965)
Jerome Moross' lovely, stirring theme used from the 3rd season on. Melody first heard in 1959s The Jayhawkers!
BONANZA (1959 - 1973)
The team of Jay Livingston and Ray Evans (Silver Bells, Mona Lisa, Que Sera Sera) gave us this joyous, iconic theme.
IRONSIDE (1967 - 1975)
Quincy Jones and one of my favourite shows of the 60s/70s. A perfect combination.
MANNIX (1967 - 1975)
Maybe you like one of Lalo Schifrin's other themes better, but I'm a Mannix gal from way back.
HAWAII FIVE-O (1968 - 1980), (2010 - )
I defy anyone to keep still while listening to Morton Stevens evocative theme.
ROOM 222 (1969 - 1974)
If your life had a theme song wouldn't you have wanted it to be composed by Jerry Goldsmith?
ELLERY QUEEN (1975 - 1976)
Elmer Bernstein being cheeky and cool.
HILL STREET BLUES (1981 - 1987)
It would be too easy to have posted a list of favourite Mike Post themes.
ST. ELSEWHERE (1982 - 1988)
Dave Grusin's theme is irresistible.
JEEVES AND WOOSTER (1990 - 1993)
Anne Dudley perfectly captures the era and the whimsey.
and, the one, the only -
CAR 54, WHERE ARE YOU? (1961 - 1963)
The amusing and memorable song with lyrics by show's creator (and certified genius) Nat Hiken and music by Grammy and Emmy winner John Strauss.
I know you're aching to share your favourite TV themes. My apologies in advance for pushing you into the time sucking vortex of YouTube, but you know you love it!