TMZ is reporting that Sherwood Schwartz, the creator of the famed Gen X television staples The Brady Bunch and Gilligan’s Island, passed away earlier today at the age of 94. It’s fair to say that those shows have two of the most recognizable and memorable theme songs in the history of television medium, and Schwartz (pictured above being kissed by Florence “Carol Brady” Henderson and Dawn “Mary-Ann” Wells) had songwriting credits on both of them! If there were a Hall of Fame for this sort of thing (and, frankly, it’s a shame that there isn’t), Schwartz would be a shoo-in to be inducted on the first ballot.
Of course, network television shows these days rarely utilize minute-long theme songs during their credit sequences as a way to ease viewers into the world that their characters occupy, mainly because that is time that the suits would rather sell to advertisers and the showrunners desperately need to develop their plotlines. However, at the time when Schwartz rose to prominence, the medium was still emerging from its primordial ooze stage, and theme songs were a handy narrative device carried over from the days of radio serials. To write just one of these legendary theme songs would surely place Schwartz in rare company, but to have TWO of them to his credit is just plain bonkers. Guess this means that Alan Thicke –yes, THAT Alan Thicke, the dad from Growing Pains, but also the same guy who is credited with writing the theme songs for The Facts of Life and Diff’rent Strokes– is responsible for carrying the TV theme song torch from here on out. Rest in peace, Sherwood.
Here’s the theme song for the Brady Bunch; bet you know every word by heart!
And here’s Gilligan’s Island…
[Photo Credit: Getty Images]