Friday, January 22, 2010

With a broom and a brush ...


By Shane

"With a broom and a brush, cleaning up for the rush ..."

The songs were the thing.

The TV shows of my childhood were, frankly, sucky. Wooden performances, bad writing, poor production values. I loved them anyway. They were fun and exciting, and made me think I could do the stuff those actors did if only I was cool like them.

But what I loved the most were their theme songs.

Yep, the theme songs. Those pretty bitty ditties that summed up the premise of the shows in one to three minutes of singin' and dancin'. They were so memorable as to be unforgettable; I mean, who can't still sing "Gilligan's Island," right?

"... the movie star ... the professor and Mary Ann ...

Right. But great theme songs didn't apply only to the shows. The music in the commercials was equally catchy. I can't think of a single modern beer commercial I can sing. Yet, I can still belt out, "A beer is a beer is a beer is a beer until you've tasted Hamm's."

So join me now in some of the great theme songs from back in the day, courtesy You Tube ...




And this ...




Another memorable beer commercial ...




With this from the same brewer ...


With the full lyrics, for those who don't quite remember. I wish I could find a video with the full song, but alas, it doesn't seem to exist. So, everyone:

I've had beer from a pitcher
and from a German mug.
I filled up a paper cup
I poured it from a jug.
I've had beer mild.
I've had beer bold.
I drink it whenever I can.
But a beer is a beer is a beer is a beer
Until you've tasted Hamm's.



This product was memorable if you needed to smell good after a couple of those beers ...




Hey, this is a crime-writin' blog, right? Let me introduce you to a few of my favorite crime-related (broadly interpreted) TV themes ...






















Lest you think my fave TV themes were all dramas ...




For cops everywhere ...




Thanks for hanging out with me singing.

Shane

P.S. This one's for you, Kel, and for everyone who loved those morning kids shows ...





Shane Gericke is a national bestselling thriller writer who wants his own theme song in the worst way. The newest in his series, TORN APART, launches worldwide on July 6.

14 comments:

Kay said...

Thanks for the trip down memory lane. I especially liked Captain Kangaroo and The Man from U.N.C.L.E.

Jen Forbus said...

Ha! I love it! The theme songs are great parts of the shows...even today. And growing up, I remember being able to sing the Bic Mac song - that was a big thing. But it seems like commercials today just mangle other good songs instead of doing something original. I was a child of Mr. Rogers, so I will always remember his theme song..."oh won't you be my neighbor?"

Sophie Littlefield said...

I once spent an entire evening singing old beer jingles with a few friends. the golden age of tuneful beer advertising seems to have passed, alas...

Rebecca Cantrell said...

I can't sing a single beer jingle. That's how deprived my childhood was. Although I do remember the Burger King jingle "Have it your way, have it your way, have it your way, at Burger King."

Someone needs to do a commercial with a snappy dance number. I just love those dancey-walks!

Kaye Barley said...

It's Howdy Doody Time.
It's Howdy Doody Time.
Bob Smith and Howdy Do
Say Howdy Do to you.
Let's give a rousing cheer,
Cause Howdy Doody's here,
It's time to start the show,
So kids let's go!

Pfft!
I cannot believe I'm admitting to remembering the words to this!!!!

This was a fun post, Shane - Thanks!!!

Kelli Stanley said...

Love it, Shane!!! And thanks for putting in the Captain (not Kirk, but Kangaroo).

I love the "land of sky blue water" Hamm's jingle. And remember "just like a good neighbor, State Farm is there?"

Written by Barry Manilow, no less. ;)

Confession time: I own a few TV theme song CDs. Some of the most fun are the animated 60s shows like (of course) The Flintstones, the Jetsons, Top Cat, and of course "Spiderman, Spiderman, does whatever a spider can ..."

Where has all the music gone, I ask you? Coke was supposed to teach the world to sing, damn it!! ;)

xoxo

Shane Gericke said...

Hi, Kay, me too. I was addicted to The Man From UNCLE. As were the girls of the era, naturally, with suave and deadly Napoleon and Ilya at the helm!

Shane Gericke said...

Jen, it's amazing that nobody does theme songs any more. They are SO catchy. TV suits probably don't want to spend the money any more.

Shane Gericke said...

Sophie, that's SO cool, spending the evening singing beer jingles. I spent half last night singing commercials, much to the dismay of Mrs. G, who was trying to do brain-friendly crossword puzzles. Imagine trying to get a three-letter word for "insect" while hearing me belt out "da-da-da-da-BATMAN!!"

Shane Gericke said...

You shoulda been here last night, Rebecca, I was doing the dancey-walkey while singing. Then again, you woulda run away screaming :-)

Kaye, you know all the words to Howdy Doody. How cool! You're the kinda reader we love!

Kel, I have a collection of those theme songs on 33 rpm. Loved it when I played records on a real stereo turntable. Now I can get them from YouTube and see the awful storylines behind the songs :-) "One Adam-12, fight in progress with chains and knives ..."

Paula Mater said...

What fun, Shane! I looked at yours, then saw there were more attached to one of them. Mr Ed, Flipper. Tried singing along, but the memory ain't what she used to be!

Shane Gericke said...

Mine isn't so good any more either, Paula. I fake a lot singing :-)

Mr. Ed was a great show in addition to the good theme song. Remember when he slid into home plate?

Laura Benedict said...

I have a morbid fear of ping-pong balls because of Captain Kangaroo. Thanks for the memory, Shane! (I'll send you my therapist's bill. ;)

Shane Gericke said...

Ah, Laura, the ping-pong balls. Glad to be of service. But how did you feel about Mr. Green Jeans? He's the one that gave me the creeps ...