TV Theme Songs: One Day at a Time

"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 One Day at a Time titled "This is It". "This is it. This is life, the one you get. So go and have a ball. This is it, straight ahead and rest assured you can’t be sure at all." The original One Day at a Time debuted back in December of 1975, running nine seasons and 209 episodes crossing over into the '80s coming to an end in May of 1984. This was another of the outstanding sitcoms developed by the great Norman Lear. It starred Bonnie Franklin as a divorced mother raising two teenage daughters, played by Mackenzie Phillips and Valerie Bertinelli. You also can't forget about the building superintendent "Schneider" played by Pat Harrington.


The theme song, "This Is It", was composed by songwriter Jeff Barry along with his wife Nancy Barry. Jeff Barry had co-written many huge hits of the '60s including "Do Wah Diddy Diddy", "Da Doo Ron Ron", "Then He Kissed Me", "Chapel of Love", "River Deep - Mountain High", "Leader of the Pack" and "Sugar, Sugar" among many others. He also co-wrote the iconic theme song for The Jeffersons which debuted the same year and then later co-wrote another amazing theme song for Family Ties which debuted in 1982. Polly Cutter was chosen to provide vocals on "This is It". She had mild success in the mid-70s as a pop singer including a single "Ooh, I'm Satisfied" which not coincidentally was produced by Jeff Barry. Solo stardom was not attained and Cutter moved on to become a background and session vocalist. Her voice will certainly live on as part of this outstanding theme song. Here are all of the opening credits (as they evolved over the seasons) for One Day at a Time featuring "This is It" performed by Polly Cutter...



When One Day at a Time was rebooted featuring a Latino family in 2017 for Netflix, the theme song "This is It" was re-recorded with a new arrangement by Emilio Estefan (of Miami Sound Machine fame) featuring Cuban instrumentation and lead vocals by Gloria Estefan. It was well done, but I will always be partial to the original. "So while you’re here enjoy the view. Keep on doing what you do. So hold on tight. We'll muddle through one day at a time."


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

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