TV Theme Songs: Saved by the Bell
"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 Saved by the Bell. "When I wake up in the morning, and the alarm gives out a warning, and I don't think I'll ever make it on time. By the time I grab my books, and I give myself a look, I'm at the corner just in time to see the bus fly by." The series premiered on a Sunday night in primetime, on August 20, 1989, and then moved to NBC Saturday mornings running for four seasons and 86 episodes. It was a retooling of the Disney Channel series Good Morning, Miss Bliss which ran for one season beginning in late 1988. The new show became very popular especially with teens and it had a theme song that became pretty well recognized.
The theme song for Saved by the Bell was written by composer Scott Gale. Series creator Peter Engel did not want the show to be called Saved by the Bell, but he lost that battle with then-NBC president Brandon Tartikoff. Though Engel had not been able to keep the show from being named Saved by the Bell, he was determined to prevent the phrase from being included in show's theme song. He gave explicit orders to his team of composers that he would not accept any theme that referenced the title, but Gale went against those orders. Of the five submissions, Gale's version was the only one that didn't follow those orders, yet Engel couldn't help but admit it was the best and perfect for the show. Engel would later comment that he was glad Gale had not followed his instructions and all of us Saved by the Bell fans are, too. Gale never wrote any other memorable television theme songs, but he did hold the position of music coordinator on Benson from 1980-1986 and The Golden Girls from 1985-1992 among his other work. The early version of the theme song was actually performed by Michael Damian. In case you didn't know, Damian is best known for his role as “Danny Romalotti” on the soap opera The Young and the Restless from 1980 to 1998 (and then again from 2003 to 2013), but he also had a recurring role for two seasons on the television series The Facts of Life as well as the 1989 cover of the song "Rock On" which hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 that summer. His sound was perfect for introducing our favorite Bayside High School students each episode. There is actually a longer extended version of the theme song that most people are not familiar with because it wasn't played on the show. Here is the opening for Saved by the Bell featuring the theme song performed by Michael Damian...
The series also spawned two TV movies, Saved by the Bell: Hawaiian Style in 1992 and Saved by the Bell: Wedding in Las Vegas in 1994 as well as a primetime series Saved by the Bell: The College Years from 1993–1994. There was also a reboot Saved by the Bell: The New Class (1993–2000) back on Saturday mornings and then a new series on Peacock starting in 2020 just called Saved by the Bell. "It's alright 'cause I'm saved by the bell." Hope you enjoyed tuning in for another "episode" of TV Theme Songs!