The 100 Greatest TV Themes: 73-67

73. George of the Jungle
"George of the Jungle Theme"
by Stan Worth and Sheldon Allman

It seems every couple of years somebody tries to revive George of the Jungle. It has to be the theme song. I've watched a couple of episodes, and there's no way anybody's nostalgic for any other reason. The adventures of a simpleton Tarzan parody just doesn't have the power to transcend generations. Still, the jungle beat and slapsticky refrain do make for a good song, even if its for a particularly mediocre show.

72. Smallville
"Save Me"
by Remy Zero

There are many mysteries that will forever puzzle mankind. The origin of the Nazca Lines. Whatever happened to Amelia Earhart. How the hell Smallville lasted ten freaking seasons. Remy Zero's pop-rock ballad is an iconic representation of whatever the hell was going on with music in 2001, but just like the show, it slowly turned into a parody of itself after the fourth season.

71. The Addams Family
"The Addams Family Theme"
by Vic Mizzy

If you're unfamiliar with The Addams Family as a franchise, its much bigger than you would ever imagine. It started out as a published comic and was adapted into a pair of theatrical films, two separate animated series, a Broadway musical, the best-selling pinball machine of all time, and its most famous adaptation: the 1964 television series. The iconic finger snaps and lightly macabre lyrics can put anyone in the Halloween spirit.

70. Reading Rainbow
"Reading Rainbow"
Written by Steve Horelick, Dennis Neil Kleinman, and Janet Weir
Performed by Tina Fabrique

It took me the longest time to decide whether I actually liked the Reading Rainbow theme, or if I just remembered it fondly. Before I could come up with an objective answer, I realized one thing: It has a Moog Synthesizer. It doesn't matter that the animated visuals are goofy looking and the lyrics don't make an ounce of sense. It's a Moog Synthesizer! The only quarrel now is whether or not it should be ranked higher. And this is completely contradictory, but check out this neat acoustic version by Rhett and Link.

69. Scooby-Doo, Where Are You?
"Scooby-Doo,Where Are You?"
by David Mook and Ben Raleigh
Performed by Larry Marks and Paul Costello.

As far as I'm concerned, the big three of American animation are Mickey Mouse, Bugs Bunny and Scooby-Doo. Think about it. Since Scooby-Doo's inception in 1969, he's fronted eleven different series. Heather Locklear doesn't even have that many. Despite his timeless appeal, it's the original Scooby-Doo theme which everybody recognizes and appreciates. More people know the lyrics than My Country 'Tis of Thee. That's reputation right there.

68. Sons of Anarchy
"This Life"
by Curtis Stigers & The Forest Rangers

Unless you have a Carrie Nation-sized vendetta against motorcycles, I believe everyone in America has at least one fantasy, however fleeting, about touring the country on the back of a chopper. But then we remember motorcycles are loud, obnoxious, smelly and dangerous, and around 75% of motorcycle riders are loud, obnoxious, smelly and dangerous. Still, the fantasy is there, and This Life would be the perfect song to accompany a twilight ride down the two-lane highways that seemingly stretch forever across the American West.

67. Rawhide
Music by Dmitri Tiomkin
Lyrics by Ned Washington
Performed by Frankie Laine

A million times better than the stuffy ol' Bonanza theme, Rawhide is an iconic piece of the western genre's lietmotif. Which means this subgenre now includes everything Sergio Leone's ever done, plus the Rawhide theme. The guitar, the bullwhip, the yells; it practically smells of prairie dust and chili. Rawhide is such a choice piece of music, I bet a Chicago-based rhythm and blues band could fake an entire country/western setlist if they'd just open with this song.

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