Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Tee-vee mood music

Had I focused my mental energy on memorizing the Periodic Table of Elements or reading more Voltaire instead of watching thousands of hours of tee-vee, there's no doubt that I would be able to buy that H3 and south Cali beach house that I really want.

But as it is, I've been addicted to terrible, terrible tee-vee for quite some time now. I realized this while catching up on the VH1 pupu platter of "For the Love of Ray J" and "Tool Academy" the other night.

This reminded me that, like Dave Chappelle, I've got a thing for cheesy music intros for 1980s TV shows. Here's five that have been picking off a few of my brain cells over the past few hours:

1. Small Wonder - Not much to say. The song mostly stinks but it's damn near unforgettable. The show was pretty awful, too.

2. Webster - No upper middle-class white family in the '80s was complete without a vertically-challenged brotha in the fold.

3. 227 - Is it possible that Marla Gibbs actually sang lead vocals on this song? Sounds like it. "There's nooooo place like home. I mean no place, chile. Oooh!" She killed that. For her.

4. Empty Nest - Underrated show, for real. I thought Charlie was a pimp.

5. Amen - Church on a Saturday. I can't tell you how much lil' Blackink loved the hour-long block of "227" and "Amen." And it had my man Sherman Helmsley in this one, too.

6. Fat Albert - I can't believe that I once liked Bill Cosby. "Picture Pages" was off the chain, too.

7. The Jackson 5ive cartoon show - These are the ringers, no doubt. But I loved it all the same.

8. The Dukes of Hazzard - For real. One of my college journalism teachers - a friend of mine called dubbed him "Big Southern Dummy" - was floored when I told him I loved this show and this song in particular. What did I really know at that age? I had no idea what The General Lee was about. All I knew was that I loved Boss Hogg, Daisy Dukes and the idea of jumping into a car through the window.

9. Growing Pains - How decent would this be if Robin Thicke did a little remix of this joint? Maybe even a duet with his pops?

10. And my absolute favorite:

I just can't help myself. I find myself singing this song all the time, usually unprompted at the most unusual times. Nell Carter wasn't to be messed with.


Jack T. said...

Nell Carter has a Tony Award for her role in Ain't Misbehavin' and sang "White Boys" in the Milos Forman directed Hair. She could wail when she needed to.

I would shut down an intense afternoon of fort building for Picture Pages, yo.

Anonymous said...

This list is great! I LOVED the Amen song! Reminds me of Saturdays, too.

blackink said...

You know, some of the best shows of that era didn't even have any lyrics to their songs.

Night Court, for one. I loved that opener. Head of the Class also brought a little touch of class to the game.

And I have to pretty much shut things down when Sanford and Son comes on.