The 10 Most Memorable '80s TV Theme Songs


4. Fame
Remember the TV show Fame? Eh, it wasn't nearly as good as the movie, which is where this dope theme song came from, so don't worry about it. We hardly remember the plot lines to the show, but we remember every word to "Fame," since it's an incredibly catchy tune.

Performed by Irene Cara, who played "Coco Hernandez" in the movie, the song has been covered by other artists in the years since -- Girls Aloud and Mree, for starters -- which has resurrected it time and again. Oh, and those Golden Globe and Academy Awards it won for Best Original Song may have helped stamp it into our memories as well.


3. The Golden Girls
You may know this song from Golden Girls, but the theme song to the '80s TV show about the sarcastic retirees was actually written by Andrew Gold for his 1978 album, All This And Heaven Too. His version had some decent success on the Billboard charts in '78, but became much more famous once NBC got its hands on it.

Cynthia Fee recorded her version after Gold's moderate success, and that one skyrocketed into fame as the intro to Golden Girls and the spin-off series Golden Palace. Now it's been everywhere, including Saturday Night Live, in which Betty White and the SNL cast of sang a metal version. Man, Betty White for eva.


2. Cheers
What we wouldn't pay to have the less kooky version of Kirstie Alley back. Those were the days, man. And we'd probably pay double if she came in her Cheers character, Rebecca Howe, because that's when she was so rad. So was this theme song, which was written and performed by Gary Portnoy for the show. He went back into the studio to record a full-length version of the song after its success on Cheers, and in turn, we all started singing it at pubs and nicknaming barflies "Norm."


1. The Dukes of Hazzard
Who wears short shorts? The chick from The Dukes of Hazzard, that's who. But this list isn't about Daisy Duke's rear, and that's why this song is our No. 1 pick. We're pretty sure it's impossible to forget "Good Ol' Boys," with the twangy banjos and the intermittent "Yee-haws" and all.

But the song is even more memorable when you realize it was written and performed by the legendary Waylon Jennings, and then slapped on a show about cars, shenanigans, and itty-bitty shorts on leggy brunettes. Factor in its major commercial success -- the single was Jennings' 12th No. 1 hit, and certified double-platinum -- and it's pretty obvious as to why we could never rid our brains of the tune. Nor would we want to.


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7 comments
FattyFatBastard
FattyFatBastard topcommenter

Ok, first it was K.I.T.T., not "Kit."  Secondly, there were more than 4 stations growing up in the 80's.  There was 2, 8, 11, 13, 20, 26 and 39.  By my count, that's 7...


(And that doesn't count the Spanish Stations or the Home Shopping one, which IIRC, were 51 and 55.)

cd32281
cd32281

Airwolf is not on here why?!

Smedley
Smedley

@FattyFatBastard

Yeah, but as I recall in the 80s, channel 55 was an actual, regular channel before it went all home shopping. I remember seeing The Prisoner for the first time on that channel. 

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