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TV Theme Songs: The Facts of Life

"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 from The Facts of Life. “You take the good, you take the bad, you take them both and there you have…” That iconic theme song was co-written by Alan Thicke and Gloria Loring along with producer Al Burton. Alan Thicke is probably best remembered as the father, "Jason Seaver", from Growing Pains from 1985-1992. Gloria Loring may be best remembered as “Liz Chandler” on Days of Our Lives from 1980 to 1986 and for her hit 1985 duet "Friends and Lovers". Thicke and Loring were married at the time (later divorced) and had two sons with one notably being singer Robin Thicke.

In the first season of the series, the cast performed the theme, but for the remainder of the show’s run (1980-1988) it featured Loring singing it herself. She sang two versions of the song; one used from seasons 2-6 and a second used for seasons 7-9. It is one of the most popular and remembered TV theme songs of the entire decade. Here is The Facts of Life intro (from Season 2) featuring the theme song co-written and sung by Gloria Loring…

The Facts of Life was actually a spin-off of Diff'rent Strokes. Thicke, Loring and Burton had done the Theme Song for that sitcom which ran from 1978-1986, so that is how that trio ended up working on this one as well. Both songs feature a catchy tune and an outstanding internal rhyme scheme. Even though it never received radio airplay or was never released as a single, most people who grew up watching The Facts of Life in the '80s can still recite the theme song to this day.

I had the privilege of an interview with Gloria Loring and here is a portion of what she said about the disappearance of traditional TV Theme Songs: The theme songs we grew up with were (and are) an indelible aspect of American childhood. With the current pressure to keep a television audience tuned in, one show now segues directly into another with hardly any musical interlude. So in the years ahead, we may not have many new themes to enjoy, which will make the older seem more like treasures. Treasures indeed and that is purpose of these articles as we fondly remember so many of them. They don't get much better than "The Facts of Life" in the '80s or any decade for that matter. "It takes a lot to get 'em right, when you're learning the facts of life!" Hope you enjoyed tuning in for another "episode" of TV Theme Songs!


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