TV Theme Songs: Just the Ten of Us
"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 Just the Ten of Us titled "Doin' It the Best I Can". "Life is a race and I know I can win it, 'cause I'm learnin' the rules of the game. If I can stay on the ball, take it minute by minute, I just might make the hall of fame." Just the Ten of Us was a spin-off of Growing Pains that debuted in April of 1988 and ran three seasons and 47 episodes. Coach Lubbock moves out to California with his family which features several teenage daughters played by Heather Langenkamp, Jamie Luner, Brooke Theiss and JoAnn Willette. The show was part of the Friday night line-up during ABC's inaugural TGIF block of sitcoms.
The theme song “Doin' It the Best I Can” was co-written by Steve Dorff and John Bettis. If you didn’t know already, you might also be interested that Bettis is the lyricist for other '80s hits like Michael Jackson’s “Human Nature”, Madonna’s “Crazy For You”, The Pointer Sisters’ “Slow Hand” and Whitney Houston’s Olympic theme “One Moment in Time”. Dorff has had 15 Top 10 hits himself, songs in nine #1 films plus three Grammy and five Emmy nominations over several decades in the industry. The two also co-wrote the popular theme song to Growing Pains titled "As Long as We've Got Each Other". They were able to secure the amazing voice of Bill Medley (from The Righteous Brothers) to perform the theme song and this was right after he had a smash hit from Dirty Dancing with "(I've Had) The Time of My Life". Here are the opening credits for Just the Ten of Us featuring the "Doin' it the Best I Can" performed by Bill Medley...
I had the privilege of an interview with Steve Dorff and here is a portion of what he had to say about being chosen to write TV theme songs: I think to a large degree the fact that I was able to bring bona fide recording stars to sing TV themes helped John and me to get the gigs. My background was in making records and the time was right to merge great artists with pop culture songs as TV themes. Bill Medley was another great artist that I had been lucky enough to have worked with before and we were lucky enough to get him to do “Doin’ It The Best I Can”.
The show only lasted three seasons, but was pretty popular for at least the first two. I remember tuning in because of the daughters. "Yeah, I'm doin' it the best I can."
Hope you enjoyed tuning in for another "episode" of TV Theme Songs!