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Childhood Music Memories

Even though I am one of the judges for this contest, I had to think awhile in order to come up with something original that I could write about with regard to my childhood music memories. I recently wrote a post about my 1977 record collection, which included several songs that seem to have held up very well over the years since then.

Since I didn't want to discuss those songs again here, I decided to go a different direction altogether.

As a child, I was fortunate enough to grow up near my maternal grandparents, whom I adored. Since they lived so close, I often spent the night at their house, and my grandfather would take me to and from school the next day, while my mom was at work. I can distinctly remember being wedged between them on the couch at their house, watching TV.

Although I am not a huge TV watcher anymore, I will unabashedly admit that I watched a ridiculous amount of television during my life growing up. As such, many of the theme songs from the late 70's and early 80's hold strong memories for me.

In grade school, my friends and I would pretend to play "Happy Days" during recess. I was always Richie Cunningham, and my friend Jeff Kelley was always Ralph Malph, since Jeff was the only redhead in our group. This show's theme and the elements of the show itself will always have fond memories for me. By the way, no one ever wanted to be Potsie Webber during our games. (Click to see the opening credits with the theme song)

Although I haven't watched an entire episode in well over 20 years, "The Love Boat" was also an integral part of my upbringing, for good or ill. This was certainly geared toward an older demographic, but I still enjoyed it. Cheesy and innocuous would both be good adjectives to describe this program. Jack Jones was once called the "greatest jazz singer in the world" by Judy Garland (thanks, Wikipedia), but he effectively ended his popular singing career with this tune. I guess he went out on top?

One show that seemed to bring me into adolescence a bit faster was "Three's Company". The innuendoes and the girl's outfits were really too mature for my eight-year old mind, but there you have it. For many years, my wife and I have joked about this show ("Hey, remember that episode when there was a sexual misunderstanding?"). That's sort of like saying, "Hey, remember that time on Gilligan's Island when they were so close to getting off the island and Gilligan messed it up for them?"

I was honestly pretty sad when John Ritter died, as he always seemed like the kind of guy that would be fun to hang out with. With regard to the theme itself, I never could make out the words near the end, "Down at our rendezvous, three is company, too!" I thought they were saying something like, "Dominara me voo". Anyway, enjoy:

For some reason, the theme from "Taxi" always makes me feel instantly relaxed, although I have no idea why. I watched this show, but it wasn't really a huge favorite. I think the setting in the cab garage seemed too dark for my taste. The brain works in unusual ways, I suppose. When I was a restaurant manager back in the early 90's, there was a tape at work that played on a continuous loop that included the "Taxi" theme. Again, I have no idea why. Apparently, someone else liked this tune, too.

I just learned tonight that this song is also called "Angela". Pan flute, saxophone, horns and a Casio keyboard? How can you go wrong there? Also, I think it had the worst opening credits in the history of television, but that is the subject of another post. Click to watch and hear this song.

Since I run the Family Ties group, I was sorely tempted to include the theme from "Family Ties" in this post, so.....

I did.

This song was actually written by Alan Thicke, who played the dad on "Growing Pains". Thicke also wrote the theme to "Diff'rent Strokes", so clearly he knew his way around music. In all seriousness, although this theme song was mushy, it was also touching and well-written.

The show premiered when I was about 11 or so, and I remember when my mom allowed me to keep a small TV in the bathroom of our home so that I could watch this show while I was taking a bath, along with a couple of other shows. Frankly, it was hard to get me to bathe at age 11, so I guess bribery works as well as anything with kids. Remember this one?

I hope you enjoyed this trip down memory lane. I am looking forward to reading the entries for this contest!

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