FLASHBACK FRIDAY: Theme songs from ’60s TV shows

Flashback Friday|Recent|Reviews


Often very catchy, sometimes even addictive. We try our best to resist, yet find ourselves giving in. Succumbing to that higher power— that undeniable urge to sing and hum along, learning all the words or memorizing that distinct melody. Of course I’m talking about theme songs. While many of our favorite T.V. shows these days may not have one, it was an unequivocal fact that TV shows in the 60’s all had their own theme song. So for this week’s Flashback Friday, here are five of the most memorable themse songs from television shows of the 1960’s. Theme songs that became earworms; burrowing their way into our brains. Songs that even when we hear them today, decades later, we know exactly where they are from.

5. The Twilight Zone.  Created in 1959, The Twilight Zone’s theme song would soon become wildly popular. Its eerie quality and suspense-building rhythm was a great match for the television show. Something about that theme song just makes you feel a little uncomfortable, and it evokes the image of someone tiptoeing quickly and carefully, so as not to get caught snooping. A perfectly written song for this legendary TV show.

4. I Dream of Genie. Interestingly enough, the theme song we all know and love for I Dream of Jeanie wasn’t the original theme song. In season one, an instrumental jazz waltz was written for the show, and later rewritten and changed to a campier tune entitled “Jeanie.” This version was far more chipper and a bit more fast-paced. The use of the drums and trumpet in this song are especially memorable, though the use of live instruments was a very common practice in theme songs of the ’60s.

3. The Addams Family.  I absolutely love everything about this song! Created in 1964, the theme song was written by a well-known Hollywood composer by the name of Vic Mizzy. The main instrument used in the song was a harpsichord, but we all remember this theme song for its use of finger snaps in the place of a percussion. This theme song was so distinctive that it was also used for the show’s sequel, The Addams Family Values, and the animated series that came out in 1992. Truly, this theme song captures the feel of the show, with an eerie aspect to it that’s also fun and silly at times.

2. Batman. Created in 1966 by Neal Hefti, the Batman theme song became very popular rather quickly. Partly because of its simplicity, and also due to its vibrant melody. The theme song consists of steady guitar playing and a chorus of four tenors and four sopranos singing, “Batman!” This theme song has been covered and sampled by various artists (including Prince and Snoop Dogg) and has been used in different television shows such as Sesame Street and SpongeBob Square pants. Needless to say, over the years this theme song has spread like wildfire.

1. Mission Impossible. Created in 1966, Mission Impossible’s theme song was written by Lalo Schifrin, and since then this song has appeared in many of the movies in the Mission Impossible franchise, including the 1988 TV series, the film series, and the video game. The original 1960’s theme song has gone down in history as one of TV’s greatest theme songs ever written, with live instruments that give a sense of mystery as well as beauty.