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TV Theme Songs: The Wonder Years

"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 Wonder Years titled "With a Little Help from My Friends". "What would you do if I sang out of tune? Would you stand up and walk out on me? Lend me your ears, then I'll sing you a song. I will try not to sing out of key." The Wonder Years debuted after the Super Bowl on January 31, 1988 and ran for six seasons and 115 episodes ending in 1993. The series follows "Kevin Arnold" (Fred Savage), a teenager growing up in a suburban middle class family in the late '60s into the early '70s as narrated by his older self (Daniel Stern). So even though it was a show that began in the '80s, it focused on an entirely different decade and the show's music reflected that as well.

For the show's theme song, Joe Cocker's cover of the Beatles' "With a Little Help from My Friends" was chosen. The Beatles originally released their version in 1967, but Joe Cocker's version with a very different soulful arrangement became almost equally well known after he released it in late 1968. It went to #1 on the UK chart in November of that year and also became somewhat of an anthem for the Woodstock era after Cocker performed it at that festival in August of 1969. It was a simply perfect choice to be the opening theme for The Wonder Years and the song received a resurgence in popularity again 20 years after it first was released. Here are the opening credits for The Wonder Years featuring "With a Little Help from My Friends" performed by Joe Cocker...

The music from the show became so popular that an official soundtrack was released in 1989. The Wonder Years: Music From the Emmy Award-Winning Show & Its Era contained 13 tracks featuring Joe Cocker's "With a Little Help from My Friends" as the show's theme song. In 2001, Cocker's version of the song was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. "Try with a little help with my friends. Oh, oh, I'm gonna keep on tryin', yeah..." Hope you enjoyed tuning in for another "episode" of TV Theme Songs!


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