TV Theme Songs: Silver Spoons
"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 Silver Spoons titled "Together". "Here we are, face to face, a couple of silver spoons." Silver Spoons debuted in September 1982 and ran for five seasons and 116 episodes on NBC starring Joel Higgins, a young Ricky Schroder and the beautiful Erin Gray. The theme song was co-written and performed by Rik Howard and Bob Wirth. Neither were all that well-known before or since, but "together" they created a pretty awesome theme song. Not only did they write the song, but were also allowed to perform it. Here are the opening credits of Silver Spoons featuring “Together” performed by Rik Howard and Bob Wirth…
I had the pleasure of an interview with Rik Howard and here is a portion of what he had to say about how they came to work on the project together and how the song came together:
Interesting story. I was in the Boy Scouts in New York when I was younger. Mark Rothman and Lowell Ganz were in the same troop. If you don’t recognize these two names, Google them and you will see just how many television series and films they have worked on together or separately. After moving to L.A., I contacted them and was told that they were working on The Ted Knight Show. I attended a taping one night and met Sharyn and Ron Leavitt who were also relatively new to L.A. Ron was submitting a script to Mark and Lowell for the series. After subsequent meetings, we became friends and Sharyn said to us one day that Ron had written a pilot entitled Silver Spoons. Knowing I wrote music, she asked if we would like to submit a theme song. “Like to?!?! Of course!” Now, there was no money for the time and effort to create this theme. Totally speculative. We submitted our tape and found about fifty other submissions on the desk for the same show! We were not given video footage of an opening title sequence but were told the family dynamics of the leads on the show. Little Ricky is a kid who attends military school, very structured and adult for his age, and his father Edward is a rich child-like adult who plays with toys way too much. We got right on this project and from scratch, in a few hours we had completed the words and music. The title of the show, and thinking about being born with a silver spoon in one’s mouth helped with the initial direction. We realized that the story for most sitcoms is based upon the interaction between the main characters. What would Archie Bunker have been without Edith or Meathead? Just a bigot, but placed in the same space as a liberal son-in-law gave that show wings. In the same manner, we figured that the learning experience of the son and father, coming together facing each other for the first time, could lead to a whole new world of experience with them “learning about the things you just can’t buy”. I think that my years of college studying great books and poetry helped us find the best words to convey a lot in a short time.
That is a key attribute of a great TV Theme Song, being able to convey a lot in a short time. "Together" is an excellent example of how special it can be when it comes together just right. Another one of the truly great theme songs of the decade. "You and I together, we’re going to find our way. You and I together."
Hope you enjoyed tuning in for another "episode" of TV Theme Songs!