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Andy Sullivan: Against the Grain

Last week, I began to look back at some famous tv theme songs.  This week, I’ll continue the list, starting with one of my more recent favorites, “Greenback Boogie”. Fans of the 2011-2019 USA series Suits know this song well, as it was the theme song throughout its entire run.  With the help of the Shazam app, I would learn that the title song is called “Greenback Boogie” by Ima Robot. “Greenback Boogie” is the B-Side to “Another Man’s Treasure” in 2010. The gist of the song is that the singer wants to earn some extra money on the side by doing something that might not be ethically or legally right. (   That matches with the entire series, as one of the title characters, Mike Ross, manages to get a high-profile job at a law firm despite having never graduated from law school.

 The series Growing Pains lasted from 1985-1992.  The series would’ve only been moderately successful if it weren’t for the wonderful theme song that played for more than a minute before each episode.  The singer of the song, B.J. Thomas, didn’t release it as a complete song until almost a year later as part of his album titled Throwing Rocks At The Moon, therefore it wasn’t played on the radio and the only way to listen was to watch the weekly episodes, which added to the success of the series.  (

“Nothing’s Gonna Stop Me Now”, sung by David Pomeranz, was the theme song to the ABC series Perfect Strangers, which ran from March 25, 1986, to August 6, 1993.  There were actually two versions of this song.  During seasons one and two, the opening sequence begins with Larry and Balki wiping sideways from opposite sides of the screen to meet in the middle, with the series title superimposed on top.  The second version, seasons three through eight, the sequence begins with a close-up of Larry and Balki on the back of a tour boat headed east down the Chicago River. At season seven’s beginning, Larry and his girlfriend Jennifer move into a Victorian house, then discover they can’t afford the rent without roommates.  And now I want to re-watch that show!

We end this week with another favorite, Monk.  Jeff Beal’s main title theme for “Monk” won an Emmy following the show’s 2002 debut.  Even so, for the second season, a Randy Newman tune replaced Beal’s.  Newman won the Emmy the following year.  “I loved Jeff Beal’s original theme song”, says Monk co-creator and executive producer Andy Breckman.  “It fit the tone of our show wonderfully.  But then we had this dilemma.  Randy Newman was a fan of the show and offered to write a theme song.  And I grew up admiring Randy Newman.  He was one of my heroes.  It was an embarrassment of riches and, at the end of the day, it was impossible to say no.  When we first met Sarah Silverman, her character was an obsessive fan of Adrian Monk, and at the end of that episode, she begged Monk that if he ever got his own TV show, “whatever you do, don’t change the theme song.  You must love the inside jokes”.  ( . 

I loved that show! I loved all these shows, honestly.  I hope you’ve enjoyed this second installment of my trip down theme song memory lane.  Come back next week for the final installment.  Below are the links to my podcast Blendertainment.    


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