The Story of TV Theme Songs

Ongoing History of New Music

08-02-2023 • 37 mins

Like Homer Simpson, I love my TV...without my local, network, cable, on-demand, and streaming shows none of us would have made it through the pandemic...  The downside is that in order to remain distracted and entertainment, I became over-subscribed...mixed with my perpetual fear of missing out, I’ve ended up paying for more cable channels than I need and subscribing to channels I don’t even watch...  I’m just too lazy to go through my credit card statements, find the offending charges, and then go through the hassle of calling customer service and cancelling my subscription...I gotta do that...  But I’ve been a TV junkie since I was a kid...and one of the things that’s always fascinated me are TV theme songs...some are bespoke compositions commissioned specifically for a show...others are formerly standalone songs that licensed for a program...  In both cases, being the writer of a theme song can be extraordinarily lucrative, especially if the show is a hit and goes into syndication...every time the theme you wrote gets played on TV—broadcast or streamed—anywhere in the world, you get paid...every...single...time...  And since having your song played as part of a TV show, you’re constantly advertising its existence to the world...if you’re lucky, it’ll blow up into something even bigger...and although it doesn’t happen much anymore, your label might decide to release your TV theme as a single...and if it becomes a hit that way, wow....  What I’d like to do is look at the history of some of these TV themes, focusing on rock bands who made some very good money—sometimes-insane money—from somehow ending up being associated with television...  This could very well alter the way you listen to TV from now on... Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
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