Sunday, June 16, 2013

30 Day Song Challenge (The Sequel), Day 16: Your Favorite Song From a TV or Movie Soundtrack

Today is a two-fer in my picks for the 30 Day Song Challenge, in part because the prompt itself is a compound prompt.  I'll just say in advance that I'm only considering TV or movie "theme songs" and not any old song from a TV or movie soundtrack (which would include far too many songs that may or may not necessarily be associated with a television program or a film).  I actually have an entire playlist on my iPod that is nothing but my favorite theme songs.  And I'm talking about bona fide "theme" songs, not just songs-associated-with-a-TV-program-or-movie.

I'll start with my pick for favorite TV theme song.  This is a song that I've always loved and I've never forgotten since the first time I heard way back when.  In fact, this is the song I have set for my wake-up alarm.  After you hear it, I'm sure you'll immediately change your alarm song, too.  It's from the 1974-1979 series Good Times, about a poor black family in the Chicago projects.  Like many 70's sitcoms, Good Times served up its fair share of regrettable stereotypes and now-anachronistic social faux pas, but I actually went back and watched a couple of episodes a few weeks ago and it's still really, really good.  When I was a kid, I used to copy that schtick by James "J.J" Evans (played by Jimmie Walker)--  I'm Kid [clap] Dyn-O-MITE-- all the time, much to the chagrin of my parents and teachers and other white people. 

Here it is, the opening and closing credits of Good Times.  Unfortunately, this clip doesn't show the most abiding memory I have of this show, which was its feature of Ernie Barnes' painting "Sugar Shack" (pictured above) in the closing credits.  ("Sugar Shack" is my single favorite piece of artwork of all time, and I would happily accept your gift of a print of it to hang in my home.)  Good Times was a great show with a great theme song.  Check it out:


And for my favorite movie theme song, I'm picking something a bit outside-the-usual for me, but I can't think of any other circumstances under which I might get the chance to pick a song from Burt Bacharach, one of the greatest songwriters of American 20th century popular music.  I know there are a lot of better movie theme songs out there, so this pick is really a love tribute.  I think the (original, 1981) film Arthur is one of the funniest movies of all time, and despite all its cheesy-saxaphone corniness, I love this theme song.  Here's my pick, "Arthur's Theme (Best That You Can Do)," composed by Bacharach and performed by Christopher Cross:

Two great lyrics for you today, folks.  Ain't we lucky we got 'em, good times and the best that you can do is fall in love.  Sometimes its the simplest of sentiments that ring the most true.

Nostalgic?  Check out my entry for Day 16 of the 2011 version of the 30 Day Song Challenge

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