Thursday, April 23, 2009

A spoonful from TV land

Back about this time in 1976, in the space of just 10 weeks, two different TV theme songs made it to the top of the Billboard charts.

Make what you want of that.

It was weird, though, because until "Theme from 'S.W.A.T' '' rose to No. 1 there had never been a TV song in the catbird's seat. Not "Bonanaza'' (No. 19) or "Peter Gunn'' (No. 8) or "Batman'' (No. 10) or even "The Rockford Files'' (No. 10). Perhaps not as weird, I seem to have no recollection of either the show "S.W.A.T'' or its signature tune.

That's not the case for TV's second No. 1 song. Any old rocker worth the threads on his favorite flannel shirt would remember John Sebastian and "Welcome Back'', which he wrote and recorded for "Welcome Back, Kotter.''

Sebastian and The Lovin' Spoonful had a string of lite rock hits in the late Sixties, including "Do You Believe in Magic'', "You Didn't Have to Be So Nice'', "Daydream'' and their one No. 1 song, "Summer in the City.'' (The back of my neck gets dirty and gritty just thinking of that one.)

According to Billboard, Sebastian wrote the TV theme song without making reference to the name Kotter, as he could only think of one word that rhymed with it (otter). The show's producers apparently liked the song well enough to change the series from "Kotter'' to "Welcome Back, Kotter.''

And the rest, as Vinnie Barbarino (John Travolta) might tell you, is "up your nose with a rubber hose.''


  1. I can't place the SWAT song or series either. Of course there was a lot of that going around in 1976.

  2. Hotter?
    Got her?
    Shot her?
    Not her?