Retro TV Themes Revisited :: The Rockford Files


Lots of new features on ye olde Drunkard to keep an eye out for in 2008 – the first of which, Retro TV Themes Revisited, aims to mine our long-running collection of past television (aural) glories. Have at it in the comments.

What happened to actors like James Garner? The man epitomizes the no-frills badass archetype. His private dick role as Jim Rockford, on the Rockford Files, bucked the genre stereotype and gave Rockford a backstory of not an ex-cop, but as that of an ex-con. Yeah, dig that. I’m fairly certain another TV show aired this past Fall with a very similar story, recycling The Rockford Files idea, but having the state award the protagonist a shit load of money, or something, for his time(?) And…we’re back. A-ha, after a quick Google search, the name of said show is LIFE. Never seen it.

Anyway, the The Rockford Files theme song was (according to wiki) composed by Mike Post and Pete Carpenter, received Top 40 radio airplay, went to #10 on the Billboard Hot 100, stayed 44 weeks on the charts, and won a Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Arrangement. That’s all cool, but you haven’t really driven through L.A. until you’ve done it with this tune blaring with the windows rolled down. Note: this is also true of Randy Newman’s dystopian “I Love L.A.” Trust me.

Related: See previous Retro TV Themes Revisited posts…

MP3: The Rockford Files (TV Theme Song)

Video: The Rockford Files – Intro

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13 thoughts on “Retro TV Themes Revisited :: The Rockford Files

  1. The Rockford Files theme sounds very similar to Billy Preston’s 1973 hit Space Race. I remembered this song from when it was on the radio but I couldn’t remember the title. I finally figured it out last year after reading about another Preston tune called Outa-Space (which he played with the Stones) and bought the song on itunes. Everyone I played it for thought it was The Rockford Files theme.

  2. life is actually one of the more decent shows debuted this year…along with mad men, pushing daisies & flight of the conchords.

  3. “Rockford Files” is worth checking out in reruns, especially if you live (or have lived) in LA. It is the only television show that I can think of that presented Los Angeles in brown and beige tones, which is how I think of it. (Of course, that could be the old film print.)
    Also, for someone like me who lived in Venice, it was great because it seemed like Rockford was always driving straight from PCH onto Lincoln Blvd. -Robin

  4. …and who can forget Bret Maverivk?
    Garner was also quite active in auto racing.He did his own stunt work on the Brands Hatch sequence in which the car exploded in flames at the finish line in the movie Grand Prix.Lloyds of London canceled his insurance for the last two months of shooting after that.He also drove the pacecar in the 75,77 and 85 INDY 500.

  5. yea, it’s a drag that KDOC here in LA opted out of airing “Rockford” nightly in it’s winter schedule! ’twas a good summer ’07 indeed…

  6. I have really enjoyed the retro theme songs. Thanks! Could you post the theme song for The Bob Newhart show (the 70’s one). It’s the perfect driving to the grocery store theme song.

  7. Pingback: x files theme song

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