Today would be Alan Thicke’s 70th birthday if he hadn’t made the ‘transition’ to another life back in December last year.
Surely, like many people who knew of him, you will probably be binge-watching re-runs of Growing Pains, or the reloaded Fuller House, or any of the popular sitcoms from yesteryear in which he appeared in, to relive his acting genius.
It’s also possible that you could be wondering “who is Alan Thicke?” Whatever the case, it’s highly likely that you have experienced his work at some point in your TV-watching life. To begin with, he appeared in many TV shows during his life. However, Alan, who was the father of current popstar, Robin Thicke, was so much more than a highly-credited thespian throughout his much-vaunted career. He left behind a musical legacy that could probably get him into the theme song hall of fame, if ever there was one.
To celebrate his birthday, we have put together a brief rundown of some of the most iconic tunes you probably enjoyed while watching TV but didn’t know were created by Alan Thicke. These are as reported by Billboard, Wikipedia, and IMDB. Let’s start with the type of productions he mostly had a musical hand in – game shows.
The Diamond Head Game
While it didn’t get a chance to get remotely close to a diamond anniversary, lasting only six months, The Diamond Head Game was known for several things. For one, it was the first game show to be shot on location in Hawaii and was named after a dormant volcano that can be found on the island of Oahu. Of course, its theme song came from the mind of Alan Thicke and was no doubt a main feature of the show during its short stint in 1975.
The Wizard of Odds
Call it Alex Trebeck’s initiation into game show stardom, but the iconic host, who hails from Canada, was the face of The Wizard of Odds before presenting on Jeopardy. The show, which only aired from 1973 – 1974, also had another Canadian on board, in the form of Thicke, who wrote its lively theme while priming his skills for works on longer running shows.
The Joker’s Wild
If you’re a game show lover and grew up during the 70s, 80s or 90s, you probably knew about The Joker’s Wild, another popular game show. Like most people, however, you probably weren’t aware of the fact that Thicke composed its upbeat theme song. Yup, he was definitely the go-to theme song composing guru of his time and it was played for the world to hear every time this show would come on air during its extended run.
Wheel of Fortune
Among TV game shows, Wheel of Fortune is one of the most revered and longest running. In fact, there are only a few shows that have been around longer or as long. It has been watched by many millions of people during its 30-plus years of airing, so chances are you probably have watched it regardless of your age (and probably imagined winning some of the money yourself). What you probably didn’t know is that its showy musical theme was composed by Thicke during the heights of his acting career and remains one of the show’s highlights.
Outside of game shows, Alan Thicke also added his musical touch to popular TV shows during his heyday. Here are two of the most memorable that remain classics to this day.
Most people who watched this 1970s and 80s hit sitcom will remember its ultra-funny child star, Gary Coleman, but it’s hard to forget the theme song that helped place the show into the hearts of viewers. Its music was not only written by Thicke, he also voiced the catchy words of the accompanying song, which many people sang along to during the show’s eight-year run.
The Facts of Life
There was Diff’rent Strokes but then came The Facts of Life not too long after, which turned to be even a bigger success and had an even catchier theme song. You guessed it. Alan Thicke was responsible for composing the song’s music. The vocals for it were found not too far from home as they were provided by his wife at the time, Gloria Loring, who was a known actress herself. The collaboration helped to pull in huge viewership for the show and became an anthem for many teens and young adults growing up in the 80s.
Alan Thicke was no ordinary talent, judging by his acting credits and the mark he left on the TV theme song landscape. His legacy is just one example of the different forms a career in music can take. Be inspired.