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TV Theme Songs: Designing Women

"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 Designing Women. The series debuted in September of 1986 and went on to run for seven seasons and 163 episodes. Designing Women was created by Linda Bloodworth-Thomason and followed the lives and adventures of four talented and witty women and one man working at an interior design firm in Atlanta, Georgia.

The theme song for Designing Women was an instrumental version of "Georgia on My Mind". The song nicely reflected the show's southern charm and its Georgia setting. "Georgia on My Mind' was composed by Hoagy Carmichael in 1930 with lyrics by Stuart Gorrell. It was first recorded by Carmichael himself that same year. Despite many cover versions since then, the song is best recognized for the version that Ray Charles recorded in 1960. The theme song changed performers throughout the show’s run. In the first two seasons, it was performed by Doc Severinsen, then by Bruce Miller in seasons 3 to 5, and finally by Ray Charles himself in season 6. Doc Severinson is a retired jazz trumpeter who is best known for leading the NBC Orchestra on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson for 25 years. Bruce Miller's first big break in television scoring came when he was hired to write an updated arrangement for the Knots Landing theme song before later working on '90s shows like Wings, Frasier and Becker among other work.

Here is the opening of Designing Women featuring its instrumental theme song "Georgia On My Mind"...

I am surprised that more television shows don't use a well-known established song as a theme, but I would expect the main reason would be to avoid paying royalties. In this case, many people know "Georgia on My Mind" thanks to Ray Charles, but I am sure there are also many people who know it as the Designing Women theme song.

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


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