Monday’s Music Moves Me: TV Themes From the ’50’s and ’60’s

There’s an expression in baseball, “threw him one in his wheelhouse,” when a pitcher throws a pitch to a hitter that he can not just hit, but that he can hit a long way. Well, when Alana came up with today’s theme, “TV Themes from your childhood,” she threw one in my wheelhouse. If you go to the search box in my right column and search for “TV themes,” you’ll see all the posts I’ve done with theme songs in them.

I went a little nuts with the theme and stopped myself at 15, not that I couldn’t have gone all night with this. I think I’ve done almost all of these before, so consider this my “greatest hits” list.

  1. Bonanza Sunday night at our house always included Bonanza, starring Lorne Greene, Dan Blocker, Michael Landon and, for a time, Pernell Roberts. This show will live on forever in reruns, for good reason: It was good TV.
  2. Riverboat This is one that I don’t remember running the first time, but which I’ve recently been introduced to by local station 57.2, WATC TOO. This show starred Darren McGavin and, at least for the first season, Burt Reynolds in his first TV role.
  3. Perry Mason (“Park Avenue Beat”) Another classic TV show which starred Raymond Burr, Barbara Hale, William Hopper, Ray Collins and William Talman. I think of Grandma Holton when I see this, because she loved it and we’d watch together sometimes. It was also the favorite TV show of Ayn Rand.
  4. The Man From UNCLE Must-see TV, 1960’s style. Starred Robert Vaughan, David McCallum, and Leo G. Carroll, with a notable list of guest stars.
  5. The Saint Based on the novels of Leslie Charteris and the movies featuring George Sanders as Simon Templar, also known as “The Saint,” it starred Roger Moore in the title role.
  6. The Avengers (original theme) Theme song from the first several seasons, when it starred Ian Hendry (the first season), Patrick Macnee, and the gorgeous Honor Blackman, who left the show to play Pussy Galore in the James Bond film Goldfinger. This theme was written by jazz great Johnny Dankworth.
  7. The Avengers (new theme) ABC (American Broadcasting Company) in the US picked up the show from ABC (Associated British Company) in the UK, filmed the episodes in color and added a new theme, written by Laurie Johnston. Macnee was joined by the lovely Diana Rigg and the equally comely Linda Thorson in the Sixties, and by Gareth Hunt and the amazing Joanna Lumley in the 1976 reboot.
  8. Sciene Fiction Theater This ran from 1955 to 1957 as a syndicated series and WGN in Chicago re-ran it during the Sixties. We really didn’t watch this, but I remember the theme song, which sounds like it should be the theme to a romance or a soap opera.
  9. Alfred Hitchcock Presents The theme was Charles Gounod’s “Danse Macabre,” appropriate for The Master of the Macabre.
  10. Mr. Lucky Like Peter Gunn, this was a Blake Edwards production with music by Henry Mancini. Unlike Peter Gunn, it only lasted one season. Hell of a theme, which Mancini took to #21 and was covered by Vince Guaraldi.
  11. Mister Ed From the sublime to the ridiculous, this Filmways presentation (as they say at the end of the clip) aired in syndication its first season and on CBS thereafter. It starred Alan Young and “Bamboo Harvester” as Ed.
  12. Green Acres A victim of CBS’s “rural purge” in 1971, this show starred Eddie Albert and Eva Gabor and a cast of crazies that included Pat Buttram as the devious Mr. Haney and Hank Patterson, first Barbara Pepper and then Fran Ryan as the Ziffels, who had a pig they treated as a son.
  13. Pistols and Petticoats Another show we didn’t watch frequently, it starred Ann Sheridan, Ruth McDevitt and Douglas Fowley. It was only on for part of the 1966-67 season, which might explain that.
  14. The Real McCoys I remember watching this when we lived in Indianapolis in 1958-1959. It starred Walter Brennan as the family’s patriarch and Richard Crenna as his son and focused on the changing relationship between them.
  15. The Big Valley A show that starred Miss Barbara Stanwyck as the matriarch of the Barkley family, looking more beautiful than she did in her younger days. It also starred Richard Long, Peter Breck, Lee Majors and a young Linda Evans as her adult children.

If you’re really into vintage TV, YouTube user RwDt09 has really done a fantastic job of reconstructing TV schedules and assembling videos that are a composite of the shows’ opens. I can (and have) spent hours watching his videos. Definitely a channel to subscribe to.

That’s Monday’s Music Moves Me for June 18, 2018.

Monday’s Music Moves Me is sponsored by X-Mas Dolly, Callie, Cathy, Alana, Michelle and Stacy, so be sure and visit them, where you can also find the Linky for the other participants.


Monday’s Music Moves Me: Top 10 from WJJD 62 Years Ago Today

On June 11, 1956 I was almost three months old, and while rock ‘n’ roll was starting to take over the charts, a lot of popular music was still what we’d call “easy listening.” Oldiesloon, my source for surveys from the Chicago area and others, has as their oldest survey the one from WJJD on that day. Here are the Top 10. I’m kind of running late today, so I’m going to run down the Top 10 without my usual attention to the history behind the performers and songs. Hope that’s okay…

  1. The Chordettes, “Born To Be With You”
  2. Elvis Presley, “Heartbreak Hotel”
  3. Don Robertson, “The Happy Whistler”
  4. Carl Perkins, “Blue Suede Shoes”
  5. The Fontaine Sisters, “I’m In Love Again”
  6. Cathy Carr, “Ivory Tower”
  7. The Ames Brothers, “It Only Hurts For A Little While” (NOTE: Oldiesloon says The Four Aces did this song, but I can’t find any evidence that it was them. There is every indication that The Ames Brothers did it, however, so I’m going with them.)
  8. Pat Boone, “I Almost Lost My Mind”
  9. The Four Lads, “Standing On The Corner”
  10. The George Cates Orchestra, “Moonglow/Theme from “Picnic”

And that’s Monday’s Music Moves Me for June 11, 2018.

Monday’s Music Moves Me is sponsored by X-Mas Dolly, Callie, Cathy, Alana, Michelle and Stacy, so be sure and visit them, where you can also find the Linky for the other participants.


Monday’s Music Moves Me: Crossover Songs

Alana takes over as the guest conductor of Monday’s Music Moves Me, and picked a real beaut for the theme for today, crossovers. A crossover is a song or an artist who finds success with several different audiences, e.g an R&B song that’s popular with pop audiences or a Christian artist who finds success on the country chart. I’ve picked a few songs that I consider crossovers for your listening pleasure.

  1. Ray Charles, “I Can’t Stop Loving You” A song written by country singer Don Gibson, who reached #1 on the country chart with it in 1958. Ray covered it on his 1962 crossover album Modern Sounds In Country & Western Music and reached #1 on the Hot 100, R&B chart, and Adult Contemporary chart. CMT ranks Ray’s version #49 on its list of the 100 Best Country song, and Rolling Stone magazine ranks it #164 on their list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.
  2. Charlie Rich, “Behind Closed Doors” The Silver Fox had several songs that crossed over to the Pop charts in the ’70’s. This one reached #1 on the Country chart, #15 on the Hot 100, and #8 on the Adult Contemporary chart. He had even better luck with his next song, “The Most Beautiful Girl,” which reached #1 on all three charts.
  3. Dolly Parton, “9 To 5” Dolly’s just amazing, a singer-songwriter whose songs have been recorded by a number of artists in a number of different genres. in the mid-’70’s, she sought to expand her appeal to pop audiences, and found success with “Here You Come Again,” reaching #3 on the Hot 100 as well as #3 on the Hot 100. Dolly wrote and recorded the theme song for the 1980 movie 9 To 5. It reached #1 on the Country, Hot 100 and Adult Contemporary charts in 1981. Sheena Easton had recorded a song called “Nine To Five” a couple of months before Dolly’s song, and when it crossed the Atlantic it was renamed “Morning Train (Nine To Five)” to avoid confusion.
  4. Amy Grant, “Baby Baby” Contemporary Christian Music artist Amy Grant decided to broaden her audience in the early ’90’s, and recorded the album Heart In Motion in 1991. This was the first single from that album and it reached #1 on the Hot 100.
  5. Marvin Hamlisch, “The Entertainer” This is a little different, but I’m calling it a crossover song. It was written by ragtime legend Scott Joplin in 1902. Marvin Hamlisch adapted for use in the 1973 movie The Sting and received an Academy Award for Best Original Song Score and Adaptation in 1974. It became popular with both popular and classical audiences, reaching #3 on the Hot 100 and was called “the classical phenomenon of the decade” by Record World magazine.
  6. Lou Rawls, “You’ll Never Find Another Love Like Mine” Why Lou Rawls had such a hard time finding his way to Top 40 popularity is a mystery to me. He had a fantastic voice (Frank Sinatra said he had “the classiest singing and silkiest chops in the singing business”), won three Grammys for Best Male Vocalist in his career, and was active in charity work, but he never earned much recognition for his music until this song in 1976, which topped the R&B and Adult Contemporary charts and reached #3 on the Hot 100.
  7. Chet Atkins, “Take Five” Guitarist par excellence Chet Atkins made incredible contributions to country music, both as a performer and as director of A&R for RCA Records in Nashville, where he’s credited with developing the “Nashville Sound.” He never let his identity as a country music artist limit the the music he did, however, and here’s a prime example of that. Paul Desmond wrote the jazz standard “Take Five” for the Dave Brubeck Quartet in 1959 for their album Time Out, a landmark album that explored odd time signatures (e.g. &frac54;). Chet recorded it sometime in the early ’60’s.
  8. Conway Twitty and Sam Moore, “Rainy Night In Georgia” In 1994, MCA Records released the album Rhythm, Country and Blues, which paired R&B and country artists on classic songs. “Rainy Night In Georgia” was written by Tony Joe White (while he was living not far from me and working for Georgia Power) and was popularized by Brook Benton in 1970. Conway Twitty is a member of both the Country Music Hall of Fame and Rockabilly Hall of Fame, while Sam Moore, one-half of the duo Sam & Dave, is a member of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, the Grammy Hall of Fame, and the Vocal Group Hall of Fame, and they have a hell of a good time recording this. Not long after this, Conway died.
  9. Whitney Houston, “I Will Always Love You” Dolly Parton wrote this song in 1973 as a farewell to her former singing partner Porter Wagoner. It reached #1 on the Country chart twice, once in 1974 and again in October 1982, when she re-recorded it as part of the soundtrack of the movie The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas, which starred her and Burt Reynolds. In 1992, Whitney Houston recorded it as part of the soundtrack for the 1992 movie The Bodyguard, which starred her and Kevin Costner. It spent 14 weeks at #1 on the Hot 100 and is one of the best-selling singles of all time as well as being the best-selling single by a woman of all time. It found chart success again twenty years later, shortly after Ms. Houston’s death. I was surprised to learn that Dolly had written it.
  10. Kenny Rogers, “Lucille” Kenny had plenty of chart success as a member of The First Edition, and this was his first song after leaving that group in 1977. It reached #1 on the Country chart and #5 on the Hot 100. Kenny has had a lot of success on both charts since then, including duets with Dolly Parton.

And that’s Monday’s Music Moves Me for June 4, 2018.

Monday’s Music Moves Me is sponsored by X-Mas Dolly, Callie, Cathy, Alana, Michelle and Stacy, so be sure and visit them, where you can also find the Linky for the other participants.


Monday’s Music Moves Me: #1 At WLS On Memorial Day In The ’60’s

Getting a late start today. No particular reason…

First, Happy Memorial Day, although that doesn’t seem right to say on a day that commemorates our fallen service members. We owe a lot to the men and women who gave their lives in the struggle to maintain our freedom, and sadly, there’s no way to thank them for it. Someone posted on Instagram (I’m having trouble finding it) that today is a day to celebrate the freedom the fallen have bought for us and paid with their lives. I think that’s as good a way as any to think of it. And let’s not forget the other fallen veterans, the dogs, horses, goats, mules, carrier pigeons, camels and other animals who lost their lives in the cause.

Memorial Day was celebrated on May 30 from 1868 until 1970, after which the celebration was moved to the last Monday in May. WLS in Chicago started publishing its weekly survey in October 1960, so here are the #1 songs from the survey immediately preceding May 30 for each year from 1961 through 1970. WCFL started playing Top 40 in late 1965, so I’ll give the song that was #1 for them starting in 1966.

  • 1961: Ricky Nelson, “Hello Mary Lou” One of my favorites, largely due to the James Burton guitar solo that inspired so many guitar players, or so it seems. Jumped all the way from #9 the week before. (Survey from May 27.)
  • 1962: Ray Charles, “I Can’t Stop Loving You” Having conquered the world of R&B, Ray tackled country music and was just as successful. Jumped from #8 the week before. (May 26.)
  • 1963: Lesley Gore, “It’s My Party” Lesley was celebrating her last week at #1 with this song on Memorial Day. The next day, she was supplanted by Ryu Sakamoto’s “Sukiyaki” (“Ue O Muite Arokou”), which jumped from #13 the previous week. (May 24)
  • 1964: The Beatles, “Love Me Do” A two-sided hit with “P.S. I Love You”, it remained at #1 from the week before. I’m pretty certain this isn’t The Fab Four doing this, but I couldn’t find an actual version. (May 29)
  • 1965: Herman’s Hermits, “Silhouettes” An upbeat cover of The Rays’ 1957 song, this stayed at #1 from the week before. (May 28)
  • 1966: The Rolling Stones, “Paint It Black” Hopped to the top spot from #5 the week before, supplanting The Mamas & Papas’ “Monday, Monday.” Down Wacker Drive at WCFL, “Monday, Monday” still topped the chart. (May 27)
  • 1967: Jefferson Airplane, “Somebody To Love” Knocked Tommy James & The Shondells’ “Mirage” out of the top spot. The same exact thing happened at Marina City on WCFL, one of the few times they were in sync. (May 26)
  • 1968: The Ohio Express, “Yummy, Yummy, Yummy” Bubblegum reigned supreme as “Yummy3” spent another week atop the Silver Dollar Survey. Meanwhile, the last take-home survey WCFL issued was from the week before (May 23), when Tommy James & The Shondells’ “Mony Mony” topped the survey. There was no survey the week of the 30th, and the June 6 survey (of which one copy was sent to the record stores) had “Yummy, Yummy, Yummy” in the top spot. (May 27)
  • 1969: The Beatles, “Get Back” The Beatles, who were on the verge of breaking up by now, topped the charts for a second consecutive week. A visit to your local record store on May 28 showed that “Get Back” as well as its flip side, “Don’t Let Me Down,” topped the Big 10. (May 26)
  • 1970: Creedence Clearwater Revival, “Up Around The Bend” CCR overtook Simon & Garfunkel’s oft-reviled “Cecilia” for the top spot at The Big 89. Vanity Fare’s “Hitchin’ A Ride” topped The Big 10 Countdown for a second week. (May 25)

I’ve enjoyed my month as your Guest Conductor, and hey, if you’re interested in joining us on Mondays, here’s what you do: check Xmas Dolly’s blog for the theme of the day, build your playlist (and it doesn’t have to be ten songs long, and it doesn’t even have to be a playlist) accordingly, and, when you’ve published your post, go to the Linky, which this week is


and enter your information. Then go visit the other bloggers doing this, who will be listed on the Linky page.

And that’s Monday’s Music Moves Me for Memorial Day, May 28, 2018.

Monday’s Music Moves Me is sponsored by X-Mas Dolly, Callie, Cathy, Alana, Michelle and Stacy, so be sure and visit them, where you can also find the Linky for the other participants.


Monday’s Music Moves Me: Songs About Remembering and Forgetting

This is your guest conductor speaking.

Next Monday, of course, is Memorial Day, and it’s also a freebie day. I could have switched them around, making this another freebie week and holding on to this theme for next week, but I said nah, people love their freebie weeks (I know I do). Thus, this week’s theme, in anticipation of Memorial Day next Monday: songs about remembering or forgetting. In this set, I do five songs about remembering and five about forgetting. And, if I remember correctly, I’ve featured most of these songs before.

  1. Jerry Orbach, “Try To Remember” Most of us remember Jerry Orbach from his days as Detective Lenny Briscoe on the long-running series Law & Order and forget that his roots are in theater, notably musical theater. He was in the original cast of the 1960 play The Fantasticks and the first person to sang this song. Try to listen and not get choked up. I dare you.
  2. Patrice Rushen, “Forget-Me-Nots” A familiar voice and song to us Smooth Jazz fans, this was from her seventh album, 1982’s Straight From The Heart. It did quite well, reaching #23 on the Hot 100, #5 on the R&B chart, and #2 on the Dance chart.
  3. Chicago, “Old Days” A song written by Chicago trombonist Jim Pankow and sung by bassist Peter Cetera, who hated this song because he hated the TV show Howdy Doody. Much to Peter’s chagrin, the song reached #5 on the Hot 100 and #3 on the Easy Listening chart in 1975. It was the second single from Chicago VIII, the first being “Harry Truman.”
  4. Bobby Rydell, “Forget Him” Teen heart-throb Bobby Rydell released this song in late 1963 and it spent 11 weeks on the charts, peaking at #4 in January 1964. It’s said that Paul McCartney was inspired to write “She Loves You” when he heard it.
  5. Frank Ifield, “I Remember You” The song was written by Johnny Mercer and Victor Schertzinger in 1941, and Dorothy Lamour sang it in 1942’s The Fleet’s In. British country singer Frank Ifield gave it a country feel, complete with yodeling. His cover reached #1 in the UK, #5 on the Hot 100, and #1 on the Easy Listening chart in 1962.
  6. Elvis Presley, “I Forgot To Remember To Forget” Elvis recorded this Stan Kessler/Charlie Feathers tune in 1955. It was released on Sun Records in August, and re-released by RCA Victor in December. This December release reached #1 on the Billboard C&W Best Sellers in Stores chart in February 1956, spending two weeks there, and spent five weeks at #1 on the Billboard C&W Most Played in Juke Boxes chart. It peaked at #4 on the Billboard Most Played by Jockeys chart. Elvis was the reason Billboard came up with the Hot 100, which combined the three charts into one. Johnny Cash and Jerry Lee Lewis also had hits with this one.
  7. Ringo Starr, “Photograph” Ringo and George Harrison wrote this one, and it was the lead single from Ringo’s 1973 self-titled album. It went to #1 in the US and internationally, being certified gold for reaching sales of one million units sold.
  8. Simple Minds, “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” Recorded in 1985, it’s probably best known for having been played at the beginning and end of John Hughes’s 1985 film The Breakfast Club (which was, as many of his films were, filmed in the northern suburbs of Chicago, specifically in Des Plaines (Maine North High School), Northbrook (Glenbrook South High School), and Park Ridge). It topped the Hot 100, Mainstream Rock, and Cash Box charts and was certified Gold in the UK and Platinum in Canada.
  9. Little River Band, “Reminiscing” This was on the charts in late 1978 and early 1979, when I was working nights, and I liked it so much I couldn’t go to bed in the mornings until WFYR played it. It’s their most successful US single, peaking at #3 on the Hot 100 and #10 on the Easy Listening chart. Evidently, John Lennon, who was separated from Yoko Ono at the time, loved this song, and his girlfriend at the time, May Pang, said it was “their song.”
  10. Robert Cray, “I’m Gonna Forget About You” A much-covered R&B number, Robert recorded this for his first album, 1980’s Who’s Been Talking. Beyond that, there’s not much to tell.

So, there’s my selection of songs about remembering and forgetting. If you would like to play along on Mondays with Xmas Dolly, Stacy, Callie, Cathy, Michelle, and Alana (and me), come up with your list and link to us on our Linky


where you can also see the other participants in this little weekly project.

That’s Monday’s Music Moves Me for May 21, 2018.

Monday’s Music Moves Me is sponsored by X-Mas Dolly, Callie, Cathy, Alana, Michelle and Stacy, so be sure and visit them, where you can also find the Linky for the other participants.