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Old 02-17-2015, 05:28 PM
Rodgers01 Rodgers01 is offline
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TV theme songs you assumed were sung by a cast member, but weren't

I read something online recently about Woody Harrelson having sung the theme song to Cheers.

Of course, that's not true - Harrelson didn't even join the show until a few seasons in. But at the same time...yeah, if I had to guess at any of the cast members as having sung it, it would be Woody. It also reminded me that when I was a kid I assumed that Rue McClanahan sang the Golden Girls theme, though I don't believe that's true, either.

Anyone else experience this? What TV theme songs did you imagine were sung by actors on the show which actually weren't?
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Old 02-17-2015, 05:48 PM
F. U. Shakespeare F. U. Shakespeare is offline
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There's a brief passage in the closing theme for "Gilligan's Island" (the earlier 'folkie' version, not the later 'sea chanty' version). The words are, "The first mate and his skipper too, will do their very best".

As a young kid, I always assumed it was Bob Denver singing that passage, because it sounds just like him. In fact, it's sung by the folk group the Wellingtons.
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Old 02-17-2015, 07:24 PM
crucible crucible is offline
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Archie Bunker and Edith sang their theme song, "Those were the Days"
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Old 02-17-2015, 09:55 PM
RealityChuck RealityChuck is offline
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It's far more common for someone other than the stars of a show to sing the theme song. Other than All in the Family and variety shows staring a singer (The Dean Martin Show), I can't think of many.
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Old 02-17-2015, 10:23 PM
notfrommensa notfrommensa is offline
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Didn't the Brady Bunch kids sing their song in at least one season.
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Old 02-17-2015, 10:34 PM
Dale Sams Dale Sams is offline
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I'm not sure if Mike Nelson sings the MST3K song during his run but it kind of sounds like it
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Old 02-17-2015, 10:46 PM
Joey P Joey P is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RealityChuck View Post
It's far more common for someone other than the stars of a show to sing the theme song. Other than All in the Family and variety shows staring a singer (The Dean Martin Show), I can't think of many.
The cast of Family Guy sings their own theme song (in character).

To get back to the OP, The Partridge Family's theme fits. I remember hearing it on The Wrecking Crew documentary a while ago and checked wiki to confirm that it was one of the things they mentioned. Most of the music they made on that show (including the theme) was all studio musicians with David over the top as the lead singer. As far as I know, David was the only person that made music on that show. The rest of 'the family' had nothing to do with the music.
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Old 02-17-2015, 10:58 PM
RivkahChaya RivkahChaya is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joey P View Post
The cast of Family Guy sings their own theme song (in character).

To get back to the OP, The Partridge Family's theme fits. I remember hearing it on The Wrecking Crew documentary a while ago and checked wiki to confirm that it was one of the things they mentioned. Most of the music they made on that show (including the theme) was all studio musicians with David over the top as the lead singer. As far as I know, David was the only person that made music on that show. The rest of 'the family' had nothing to do with the music.
To be fair, David Cassidy does sing the lead in the show's theme song, and the studio musicians that sang back-up no doubt varied, but always went for the same type of sound.
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Old 02-17-2015, 11:19 PM
Don Draper Don Draper is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joey P View Post
The cast of Family Guy sings their own theme song (in character).

To get back to the OP, The Partridge Family's theme fits. I remember hearing it on The Wrecking Crew documentary a while ago and checked wiki to confirm that it was one of the things they mentioned. Most of the music they made on that show (including the theme) was all studio musicians with David over the top as the lead singer. As far as I know, David was the only person that made music on that show. The rest of 'the family' had nothing to do with the music.
I recall seeing a TV interview with Shirley Jones in which she said all throughout the run of the series, people kept coming to her telling her "You and those kids have to go out on the road and really MILK it! Look at how much those Brady Bunch kids are making!" And Jones had to explain again and again that "there really ISN"T a Partridge Family."


I always assumed Cindy Williams sang the theme song to "Laverne & Shirley."
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Old 02-17-2015, 11:37 PM
buddha_david buddha_david is offline
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If DVD commentaries count, at least one episode of Game of Thrones had its theme song sung by the cast.
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Old 02-18-2015, 12:03 AM
Biggirl Biggirl is offline
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Nell Carter sang Give Me A Break. I always imagined Janet Dubios sang the theme to Good Times. There's no reason why I imagined that.
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Old 02-18-2015, 12:33 AM
RivkahChaya RivkahChaya is offline
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Nell Carter sang Give Me A Break. I always imagined Janet Dubios sang the theme to Good Times. There's no reason why I imagined that.
She sang the theme to The Jeffersons, so, not unreasonable to think that.
  #13  
Old 02-18-2015, 12:48 AM
GuanoLad GuanoLad is online now
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I always thought that the actor Gary Sandy, who played Andy Travis on WKRP sang its theme song. It certainly seemed to be about his character, judging by his role as the new guy in the pilot episode, but I also thought the voice seemed to match.

It wasn't him, it was Steve Carlisle.

Wikipedia says popular trivia had it as Richard Sanders singing it. Les Nessman? Really?
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Old 02-18-2015, 01:02 AM
Rhiannon8404 Rhiannon8404 is offline
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Wikipedia says popular trivia had it as Richard Sanders singing it. Les Nessman? Really?
This is something I remember my family discussing back when it was airing.
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Old 02-18-2015, 01:07 AM
cochrane cochrane is offline
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I always assumed Cindy Williams sang the theme song to "Laverne & Shirley."
She didn't. It was sung by Cyndi Grecco. It was even released as a single in 1976 and made it to #25 on the charts.

The theme song to "The Monkees" was performed by studio musicians with Micky Dolenz being the only Monkee to sing on it.
  #16  
Old 02-18-2015, 01:37 AM
RobotDevilDog RobotDevilDog is offline
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There are numerous examples of cast members singing theme songs.

The theme to "Alice" was sung by Linda Lavin.

The theme to "The Fall Guy" was sung by Lee Majors.

The theme to "Fresh Prince of Bel Air" was sung by Will Smith.

The end theme to "Frasier" was sung by Kelsey Grammer.
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Old 02-18-2015, 07:01 AM
Superdude Superdude is offline
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Drew Carey sang the original theme to The Drew Carey Show, before "Cleveland Rocks," "5 O'Clock World," etc.
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Old 02-18-2015, 08:23 AM
Acsenray Acsenray is offline
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Drew Carey sang the original theme to The Drew Carey Show, before "Cleveland Rocks," "5 O'Clock World," etc.

"Moon Over Parma"
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Old 02-18-2015, 08:39 AM
BobLibDem BobLibDem is offline
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I had always assumed that Andy Griffith did the whistling on the Andy Griffith theme, but do we even know who did it?
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Old 02-18-2015, 08:47 AM
TCMF-2L TCMF-2L is offline
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In the UK there is a joke (most specifically a running joke in the comedy show Little Britain) that Dennis Waterman sings the theme tune to all the shows he's been in. He doesn't by the way.

His first theme tune was to comedy drama Minder and the song "I Could Be So Good For You" which was released as a single and became a top three hit. He later did the theme tunes for his sitcoms Stay Lucky, On The Up and police drama New Tricks.

He's even managed an album of songs but while he isn't marketed as a novelty act his singing, and tastes will vary, is arguably pretty poor.

TCMF-2L
  #21  
Old 02-18-2015, 08:53 AM
tapu tapu is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RivkahChaya View Post
To be fair, David Cassidy does sing the lead in the show's theme song, and the studio musicians that sang back-up no doubt varied, but always went for the same type of sound.
I can confirm that for Shirley Jones. I know the woman who sang all of Shirley Partridge's parts. She also sang the well-known ditty: Rice-a-roni, the San Francisco Treat! Those ads are (were?) the longest running in history and she gets royalties ever time it airs.
  #22  
Old 02-18-2015, 09:19 AM
crazyjoe crazyjoe is offline
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I believe Holly Robinson sang the theme to 21 Jump Street.
  #23  
Old 02-18-2015, 10:32 AM
johnpost johnpost is offline
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diving into filth.

many people think that Two and a Half Men is sung by the actors, it is not.
  #24  
Old 02-18-2015, 10:49 AM
That Don Guy That Don Guy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Biggirl View Post
I always imagined Janet Dubios sang the theme to Good Times. There's no reason why I imagined that.
You imagined that because it was true - the male singer wasn't part of the cast, but DuBois sang the female part.

The one I originally thought was cast-sung but wasn't: One Day at a Time.
  #25  
Old 02-18-2015, 11:27 AM
Joey P Joey P is offline
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diving into filth.

many people think that Two and a Half Men is sung by the actors, it is not.
I don't know who sings the main part of it, but back when Jake was on it (and small), his last line "men" was sung by Bernadette Peters.
  #26  
Old 02-18-2015, 11:56 AM
xizor xizor is offline
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I always felt the Three's Company song sounded like the main actors were singing it, and it definitely didn't sound like the real singer (Ray Charles)
  #27  
Old 02-18-2015, 02:19 PM
burpo the wonder mutt burpo the wonder mutt is offline
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Quote:
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I don't know who sings the main part of it, but back when Jake was on it (and small), his last line "men" was sung by Bernadette Peters.
Sorry, Elizabeth (E.G.) Daily.

Quote:
Originally Posted by xizor View Post
I always felt the Three's Company song sounded like the main actors were singing it, and it definitely didn't sound like the real singer (Ray Charles)
A different Ray Charles (thank Frith!). Look under Alternate Names in Personal Details.
  #28  
Old 02-18-2015, 02:29 PM
Typo Negative Typo Negative is offline
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I recall seeing a TV interview with Shirley Jones in which she said all throughout the run of the series, people kept coming to her telling her "You and those kids have to go out on the road and really MILK it! Look at how much those Brady Bunch kids are making!" And Jones had to explain again and again that "there really ISN"T a Partridge Family."

Actually, there was. It was The Cowsills .


Quote:
Joined by their mother Barbara (née Russell), the Cowsills were the inspiration for the 1970 launch of the television show The Partridge Family.
There was a Showtime documentary on them not long ago. Very sad.

http://www.tvworthwatching.com/post/...mily-Band.aspx
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Old 02-18-2015, 02:42 PM
Rodgers01 Rodgers01 is offline
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I always imagined that Mrs. Garrett sang the theme song to "The Facts of Life."

Quote:
Originally Posted by That Don Guy View Post
The one I originally thought was cast-sung but wasn't: One Day at a Time.
One of the great theme songs of all time!
  #30  
Old 02-18-2015, 02:47 PM
burpo the wonder mutt burpo the wonder mutt is offline
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Quote:
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<snip> The one I originally thought was cast-sung but wasn't: One Day at a Time.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rodgers01 View Post
<snip> One of the great theme songs of all time!
You must hear this.
  #31  
Old 02-18-2015, 02:55 PM
mbh mbh is offline
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A lot of people thought that the theme from Welcome Back, Kotter was sung by Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs, the actor who played Freddie "Boom Boom" Washington (the black Sweathog). He said he often got asked to sing it. I saw him perform it once, and he sounded nothing like the TV show.

Actually, the theme was sung by John Sebastian, the former frontman for The Lovin' Spoonful. (And one of the whitest guys in show biz.)
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Old 02-18-2015, 04:32 PM
RobotDevilDog RobotDevilDog is offline
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Quote:
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I always imagined that Mrs. Garrett sang the theme song to "The Facts of Life."
In the first season, when there were different lyrics, Charlotte Rae actually did sing a few lines of the song.
  #33  
Old 02-18-2015, 07:44 PM
Rodgers01 Rodgers01 is offline
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You must hear this.
  #34  
Old 02-18-2015, 08:51 PM
Mr. Greenjeans Mr. Greenjeans is offline
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A lot of people thought that the theme from Welcome Back, Kotter was sung by Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs, the actor who played Freddie "Boom Boom" Washington (the black Sweathog). He said he often got asked to sing it. I saw him perform it once, and he sounded nothing like the TV show.

Actually, the theme was sung by John Sebastian, the former frontman for The Lovin' Spoonful. (And one of the whitest guys in show biz.)
A lot of people? I thought it was mostly common knowledge that it was John Sebastian singing. It was a #1 song and got lots of airplay when it came out. The first card of the closing credits of Welcome Back, Kotter listed "Music Composed and Performed by John B. Sebastian."
  #35  
Old 02-18-2015, 08:59 PM
burpo the wonder mutt burpo the wonder mutt is offline
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Originally Posted by Mr. Greenjeans View Post
A lot of people? I thought it was mostly common knowledge that it was John Sebastian singing. It was a #1 song and got lots of airplay when it came out. The first card of the closing credits of Welcome Back, Kotter listed "Music Composed and Performed by John B. Sebastian."
Also--John Sebastian sang "Welcome Back" (and played guitar, natch) on the very first Saturday Night Live (which was called "NBC's Saturday Night" at the time) in 1975; George Carlin was the guest host IIRC.
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Old 02-19-2015, 11:06 AM
ZipperJJ ZipperJJ is offline
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I had always assumed that Andy Griffith did the whistling on the Andy Griffith theme, but do we even know who did it?
Nope, not Andy - Earle Hagen, who also co-wrote it.

Did you know it had lyrics? Here is Andy singing the song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6PVUit1-0Ck
  #37  
Old 05-28-2016, 02:24 AM
Jude77 Jude77 is offline
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Thought the same thing!

I know it's been a long time since the OP started this thread but I couldn't help but write because I thought the same exact thing about both shows! When I was a kid, I thought Woody sang the Cheers theme and Blanche sang the Golden Girls theme. I also thought John Ritter sang the Three's Company theme, the parents on Family Ties sang their theme, and Nicole Eggert sang Charles in Charge.

I guess when you're young it's just a natural inclination to associate the voice with one of the faces you associate with the show. Such a strange phenomenon. I thought it was just me!
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Old 05-28-2016, 11:09 PM
Horatio Hellpop Horatio Hellpop is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by burpo the wonder mutt View Post
Also--John Sebastian sang "Welcome Back" (and played guitar, natch) on the very first Saturday Night Live (which was called "NBC's Saturday Night" at the time) in 1975; George Carlin was the guest host IIRC.
Actually, he sang it on the 18th episode. He and Phoebe Snow were the musical guests, and Raquel Welch was the guest host.
  #39  
Old 05-29-2016, 08:22 AM
Asympotically fat Asympotically fat is offline
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Many people assume that the opening theme and closing theme tunes (especially the closing theme tune) to British sitcom Only Fools and Horses is sung by cast member Nicholas Lyndhurst, when it was actually the show's writer John Sullivan who sang them. The reason is the voices of the two are uncannily similar.
  #40  
Old 05-29-2016, 05:39 PM
kunilou kunilou is offline
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People think Alan Thicke sang the theme song to Growing Pains. Thicke was the father on the show, but the theme was sung by B. J. Thomas. However, Thicke DID sing the theme to Diff'rent Strokes.
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