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TV Theme Songs: Amen

"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 Amen titled "Shine on Me". "Turn on the lights from heaven, Lord. Shine on me." Amen debuted in September of 1987 and ran five seasons and 110 episodes. The series stars Sherman Hemsley as Ernest Frye, a widower deacon of the First Community Church of Philadelphia, who also works as a lawyer. Hemsley had starred in The Jeffersons until 1985 when that show came to an end, but this Deacon Frye character is very similar to George Jefferson in many ways.

Since the show is titled Amen and revolves around the Church, it made sense that the theme song was a gospel song. "Shine on Me" was written by Andraé Crouch who was a gospel singer and composer. Crouch is even referred to by some as "the father of modern gospel music". In the '80s and '90s, he was known as the "go-to" producer for superstars who sought a gospel choir sound in their recordings and he appeared on a number of recordings including Michael Jackson's "Man In the Mirror" and Madonna's "Like a Prayer". Vanessa Bell Armstrong, an established gospel singer already at the time and seven-time Grammy nominee, was chose to sing the lead on the theme song along with the backing of a church choir. Here are the opening credits for Amen featuring "Shine on Me" performed by Vanessa Bell Armstrong...

I always remember the opening credits for the part where Sherman Hemsley starts jumping rope with the kids. "Shine on me, shine on me."

Hope you enjoyed tuning in for another "episode" of TV Theme Songs!


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