TV Theme Songs: 21 Jump Street
"Just sit right back and you'll hear a tale" of a time when television shows began with awesome TV Theme Songs. "Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name" and sometimes you want to go back to when TV Theme songs were special. "Here's a story... of a lovely" time when TV Theme Songs served to identify, distinguish and set the stage for the television program that followed. "You take the good, take the bad, take them both and there you have" what unfortunately has become a lost artform. "Believe it or not", sadly it seems no effort or pride is taken in the TV Theme Song ever since Seinfeld proved a short synth-bass riff could be used instead. “Schlemiel! Schlimazel! Hasenpfeffer Incorporated!” This regular feature may not "make all our dreams come true", but it will remember some of the best TV Theme Songs from years past (with a focus on the '80s decade). "Come aboard, we're expecting you."
This time we will cover the theme song for 21 Jump Street. "We never thought we'd find a place where we belong. Don't have to stand alone, we'll never let you fall. Don't need permission to decide what you believe." 21 Jump Street debuted in April of 1987 and ran five seasons and 103 episodes. The show was one of the first shows for Fox and an early hit for the fledgling network that was created specifically to attract a younger audience. The series was co-created by Stephen J. Cannell who had previously created such television shows as The Rockford Files, The Greatest American Hero, The A-Team, Hardcastle and McCormick, Riptide and Hunter. The show is about a group of young police officers who all have especially youthful appearances allowing them to (questionably) pass for teenagers and their assignments generally consist of undercover work in high schools. The series featured an ensemble cast including Holly Robinson, Peter DeLuise, Dustin Nguyen and Richard Grieco, but most people remember that this is where Johnny Depp came to be noticed. Depp had small roles like in 1984's A Nightmare on Elm Street and 1986's Platoon, but it was 21 Jump Street that gave him his big break before going on to star in 1990's Cry-Baby, 1991's Edward Scissorhands, 1993's What's Eating Gilbert Grape and soon on to superstardom.
The theme song for 21 Jump Street was written by Liam Sternberg who is probably best known for writing the 1986 surprise hit "Walk Like an Egyptian" for The Bangles. The song was performed by Holly Robinson who was also one of the stars of the show. That puts 21 Jump Street on the list of shows with the theme song performed by one of its stars; a list that also includes Alice, All in the Family, Gimme a Break, The Fall Guy, My Two Dads and 227. Robinson had previously appeared in the 1986 film Howard the Duck in a minor role and even contributed several songs to the soundtrack. In 1992, she and Dawnn Lewis, along with R&B quartet En Vogue, performed the theme song for the first season of Hangin' with Mr. Cooper which Robinson also co-starred in.
Here are the opening credits for season 1 of 21 Jump Street featuring the theme song performed by Holly Robinson...
Another interesting note on the theme song is that other stars from the show, Johnny Depp and Peter DeLuise, are the ones who actually sang the "JUMP!!" backup vocals. "I said jump, down on Jump Street."
Hope you enjoyed tuning in for another "episode" of TV Theme Songs!