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TV Theme Songs: Head of the Class

Updated: Feb 11

"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 Head of the Class. The sitcom debuted in September of 1986 running for five seasons and 114 episodes. The main teacher character of "Mr. Charlie Moore" was played by Howard Hesseman until 1990 when he decided to leave the show and was replaced by Billy Connolly for the final season. The students were made up of a solid ensemble cast.

The opening for the show featured Hesseman's character making his way to school through the streets of New York while an instrumental theme song plays. The song starts cute and classical but then picks up the pace with more of a rock sound about halfway through. The theme song was composed by Ed Alton who has composed scores for over 530 episodes of 31 different prime time network TV series and performed as bassist on over 70 feature film soundtracks in his career. He has been distinguished by numerous accolades including five ASCAP Top TV Composer Awards (for both The Single Guy and Suddenly Susan in the late '90s), an Emmy Nomination (for The Closer in 1998), and several Gold & Platinum record awards. As a studio musician, Alton performed bass on the soundtracks of such popular films as The Breakfast Club, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Planes, Trains and Automobiles, Beverly Hills Cop 2, Ghostbusters 2, Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, City Slickers, and more. Alton not only composed the theme music for Head of the Class, but scored the entire series. The opening changed slightly each season, but the theme song seems to have remained the same. The school used in the exterior shots is Washington Irving High School in Manhattan.

Here is the opening for season 1 of Head of the Class featuring the instrumental theme song...

As I have said before, I tend to prefer TV theme songs with lyrics, but Head of the Class is another example of an instrumental theme song that gets the job done.

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


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