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TV Theme Songs: The Golden Girls

"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 The Golden Girls titled "Thank You For Being a Friend". "Traveled down a road and back again. Your heart is true, you're a pal and a confidant." The Golden Girls debuted in September of 1985 and ran for seven seasons and 180 episodes on NBC. The show stars Bea Arthur, Betty White, Rue McClanahan and Estelle Getty as four older women who share a home in Miami. It was very popular and ranked among the Nielsen ratings Top 10 for the first six of its seven seasons despite having a Saturday night timeslot. The Golden Girls was also critically acclaimed winning the Emmy for Outstanding Comedy Series twice as well as each of its four stars receiving an individual Emmy Award for acting (making it one of only four sitcoms in the award's history to achieve this). The theme song "Thank You For Being a Friend" seemed like a perfect way to kick off each episode.

"Thank You For Being a Friend" was actually written, recorded and released by Andrew Gold back in 1978. His version had some success reaching #25 on the Billboard Hot 100 that year. The song had been somewhat forgotten until it was chosen to be the theme song for The Golden Girls seven years later. The lyrics seemed like they were written specifically for this sitcom. Instead of using Gold's original version or having him re-record a version for the show, a jingle singer at the time Cynthia Fee was chosen to record the version used. Maybe because the characters were all women they wanted a woman's voice on the theme song. Either way, she did a great job and most who watched the show somewhat regularly can sing along by heart. Here are the opening credits of The Golden Girls featuring “Thank You For Being a Friend” performed by Cynthia Fee…

What a perfect match of a theme song to a television show. Surprisingly though, "Thank You For Being a Friend" wasn't the first choice the producers wanted. It is reported that they initially approached the studio that had the rights to Bette Midler's 1973 song "Friends", but the cost of licensing it was too expensive and they had to pass. I think it worked out pretty well for them. As for Andrew Gold, he has a connection to another great TV Theme Song. Gold didn't write it, but he sang the awesome theme song for Mad About You, "Final Frontier", for the first five seasons of that '90s sitcom. "And if you threw a party, invited everyone you knew. Well, you would see the biggest gift would be from me, and the card attached would say... Thank you for being a friend."

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

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