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TV Theme Songs: Little House on the Prairie

"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 Little House on the Prairie. The show debuted as a series back in September of 1974 running nine seasons and 204 episodes on NBC crossing over into the '80s ending in 1983. It is an adaptation of Laura Ingalls Wilder's best-selling book series taking place in the 1870s through the 1890s. Little House on the Prairie started on Wednesday nights for the first couple of seasons, but then became a staple on Monday nights from 1976 through the end of its run. From season three through season seven it was one of NBC'S highest rated scripted series. I remember watching the show regularly as a family especially in the earlier seasons.

The theme song titled "The Little House" was written and conducted by David Rose. It is interesting to know that Rose actually re-used a piece of music he had previously written for an episode from of the later seasons of Bonanza titled "Top Hand" which aired in 1971 as the basis for "The Little House" (with some changes to pace and instrumentation). Michael Landon became famous for his role on Bonanza and, in addition to being the star on Little House, he was also a producer and director who brough Rose along to be music composer on the show. Landon would also bring Rose along to be composer for his next show Highway to Heaven which ran from 1984 to 1989. Rose, who previously won an Emmy Award for his work on Bonanza in 1971, went on to win two Emmys for his work on Little House on the Prairie in 1979 and 1982.

I will always remember the opening for the show featuring the Ingalls girls running down a hill of tall grass and wild flowers set to a song which seemed to just perfectly fit the occasion. Here is that opening for Little House on the Prairie featuring the theme song "The Little House"...

As I have said several times, I generally prefer television theme songs with lyrics, but Little House on the Prairie is one of those instrumental theme songs which is truly special and quite memorable to me.

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


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