More TV Themes: The Persuaders and Hill Street Blues

Well, I didn’t expect this to be the stumbling block in my challenge to become a daily blogger, but my left shoulder is aching from too many hours spent in front of a computer this week. I also have business and domestic admin, and my college course, so maybe a bridge too far for the poor shoulder that has just recovered from the physical strain of running a holiday let for the whole of last year.

Anyway, all this is really just to explain the brevity of today’s post (hurrah I hear you cry, as I can be a bit wordy at times). It’s obvious from the amount of comments received on my White Horses post, that we love looking back at the telly of our youth, and many other suggestions rolled in from visitors to the blog.

A good few years ago, when we first discovered iTunes, Mr WIAA and I spent some time collecting the themes from our favourite television shows. The music that brought back many happy memories for Mr WIAA was this one, Theme From The Persuaders starring Tony Curtis and Roger Moore. (As a boy he wanted to be Danny Wilde.)

Theme From The Persuaders:


For me, it was either Angela by Bob James from the show Taxi, or this one, Theme From Hill Street Blues. As Angela has appeared here before when I visited New York for my American Odyssey series, I’ll include the other wonderful theme, this time written by Mike Post. Hill Street Blues was kind of ground-breaking in its day in its style, and although a police procedural, it also followed the private lives of its main characters via a story arc.

Young people today are often accused of just lounging around watching Netflix in their spare time, consuming takeaways. Well back in the mid 1980s I can confirm that in my shared flat we often got together with the boyfriends on a Saturday night to watch Hill Street Blues. In winter, combined with a takeaway from the Slow Boat Chinese at the end of the street, and the curtains pulled tight to keep out the cold wind coming off the North Sea, we were happy bunnies.

If you remember the show, you will know it always began with roll call (‘Let’s be careful out there’), and ended with Captain Frank Furillo and public defender Joyce Davenport in their bedroom, recounting their day.

Theme From Hill Street Blues by Mike Post:


What’s your favourite TV theme? Neil mentioned in my last TV theme-related post that his was from Bonanza, as it was ‘pretty rousing’. You’re right there Neil. As ever, I’d love to hear from you.

Until next time….

Author: Alyson

Whenever I hear an old song on the radio, I am immediately transported back to those days - I know I'm not alone here and want to record those memories for myself and for the people in them. 50 years ago the song "Alfie" was written by my favourite songwriting team Bacharach and David - The opening line to that song was "What's it all about?" and I'm hoping that by writing this blog, I might find the answer to that question.

10 thoughts on “More TV Themes: The Persuaders and Hill Street Blues”

    1. Hill Street Blues was a quality police drama and yes, Joyce Davenport was quite something. I was always jealous of her long, dark, silky hair. It was a look.

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  1. I’m with you on the Taxi theme song. I became a big Bob James fan because of that music. Off the top of my head, some of my other favorite TV theme songs are Get Smart, I Dream Of Jeannie, The Odd Couple, Night Court, Barney Miller and The Bob Newhart Show. Good luck continuing with this 30-posts-in-30-days challenge. I hope your shoulder survives.

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    1. It’s a great theme isn’t it. Some good picks there and I know the Bob Newhart theme because you suggested it for my American Odyssey when it came to the state of Vermont.

      https://jukeboxtimemachine.com/2017/04/20/an-american-odyssey-in-song-vermont-willie-nelson-and-moonlight-in-vermont/

      Yes, the shoulder isn’t in good shape so we’ll have to see. The whole NaNoWriMo challenge is quite tough and not everyone makes it so not a disaster if I have to bail, but worth a try.

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      1. The Bob Newhart Show was from the ’70s and is completely separate from his ’80s sitcom simply titled Newhart. Both great theme songs. I hope you can make it through the challenge. I’ve barely had time to write a single post each month. I’ve got another Positive Spin one in the works, but it’s gonna take more time to put it together.

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  2. Hill Street Blues is one of those “perfect” Theme Tunes where you can sing the title of the show over the music, and it’s a perfect fit. See also The Sweeney.
    Mike Post probably wrote every US Theme Tune in the 1970s (usually when they were produced by Aaron Spelling). One of his best was The Rockford Files.

    The Persuaders? It was a better show than The Protectors (which I always confuse), but the Protectors had the better theme. And is also proof that Tony Christie did more than “that flipping Amarillo song”

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    1. Thanks for dropping by and yes I also used to confuse The Persuaders and The Protectors until I heard Tony’s song on the radio one day (after which it formed an earworm) and I decided to find out a bit more about it – Turned out it was the theme tune to The Protectors. I’ve been meaning to write about it here for a while, and was thinking it might follow this post as the theme tunes seem to be going down well, but you’ve kind of beaten me to it. It’s a great song so I’m going to include a snippet of it here – Tony is a legend. As for the Rockford Files, oh yes, fond memories of watching Jim and his dad in that run-down caravan. Poor Dennis from the LAPD was always put upon.

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  3. I’m sure I did Top Ten Theme Tunes sometime not so long ago and won’t bore you with a link, but pretty sure HSB and Taxi were both on it. I loved HSB as a kid, watched with with my dad on a Saturday night, though we both preferred its spiritual follower, NYPD Blue (not a spin off, though it did give a lead role to one of the Hill Street stars, my favourite TV actor, Dennis Franz). That said, HSB had by far the better theme tune.

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    1. Yes, that was a couple of years ago now and I have just looked back – Hawaii Five-0 was your top instrumental. That was a popular post of course as we all seem to enjoy the nostalgia element of looking back at much-loved TV Shows.

      I think my fond memories of Hill Street Blues are partly because it was a great show (with a great theme) but also because my life back then was full of people. As I said above, it was not uncommon to have a scenario where six of us were all sitting around in our flat watching something on telly, eating and drinking. (Can you imagine if someone had ever come up with the idea of making a show about three girls and three boys who share apartments next to each other in a city – I’m sure it could have been a winner!)

      Anyway, fond memories of those days, which is why listening to old TV Themes brings on such bittersweet memories.

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