Top 20 Throwback TV Theme Songs Part 2

Only a big dummy wouldn't have this show on the list.
Only a big dummy wouldn't have this show on the list.

Yesterday, we hit you up with the best ten TV theme songs that didn't quite make the top of our list. We heard a few quibbles from fellow television aficionados, but their cries of frustration were muffled by the sounds of "The LOOOVVE BOAT..."

Today, we return with the best of the best. Truth is, lists are not our thing even if we do them with regularity. There are certainly a few that didn't make our list that are worthy. Hell, it was tough trimming down from the 30-plus tunes that got us started. Plus, as we mentioned yesterday, throwback for us means shows in the 70s and 80s. But, somebody has to lose and somebody has to win and, when it comes to classic TV themes, we think we all do pretty damn well.

10. Welcome Back Kotter

Former Lovin' Spoonful frontman John Sebastian's ditty welcoming Gabe Kaplan's character (a.k.a. Gabe Kotter) back to his old hood, now as a teacher for a bunch of remedial ruffians...and John Travolta...actually climbed all the way to the top of the Billboard charts. It's mellow, just chill out vibe is as vintage seventies as the multi-colored beret worn by Freddie "Boom Boom" Washington.

9. The Jeffersons

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Not surprisingly, this gospel-infused barrel of awesome was penned and performed by Jeannette Dubois, the actress who played Willona on another show on our list, Good Times. It has just enough bounce and vigor to help George Jefferson get his well-known groove on, which was appropriate considering his next door neighbor, Helen Willis, was played by Roxie Roker, the mother of Lenny Kravitz.

8. Hill Street Blues

Like number 15 on our list, this hit theme song was written by Mike Post, joined by legendary guitarist, Larry Carlton. The instrumental song reached number 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. While it felt somewhat of a departure from a gritty, crime drama that paved the way for a dozen other shows just like it, the song had heart, like the characters on the show, and a pretty damn great melody.

7. Sesame Street

Anyone without a heart of stone should recognize that Sesame Street is one of the great shows of all time and it's theme song, "Can You Tell Me How to Get to Sesame Street," is as sweet and fun as the show itself. Writer Joe Raposo, who is probably best known for the theme to Three's Company (Come and knock on our door...) tapped harmonica legend Toots Thielemans and a children's quire (natch) to perform it and it's pure joy.

6. Cheers

We all want to have a place "Where Everybody Knows Your Name" and, in the 80s, Cheers was it. The memorable theme was originally written for a musical called Preppies, but was heard by the producers for the show and, after a lyrical re-write, the song was born. The song won an Emmy in 1983 and is still frequently covered by pop punksters who latch onto the catchy, happy hook.

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