How The Jetsons Theme Song Became A Hit Of Its Own

The theme song for “The Jetsons” is a peppy, upbeat “spacey” big band/lounge number that introduces each character by name. “Meet George Jetson, his boy Elroy, daughter Judy, Jane, his wife.” Each character has a miniature theme of their own embedded into the unifying theme. Like with “The Flintstones,” the theme for “The Jetsons” communicates facts about the show rather than just serenading viewers. It was catchy enough that young fans could hum it to one another in the schoolyard.

In 1985, a lot of Curtin’s theme songs — as well as many other notable TV theme songs — found their way onto the compilation CD “Television’s Greatest Hits: 65 TV Themes! From the ’50s and ’60s.” This was to be the first in an eight-volume line of TV theme and commercial jingle compilations put out by TVT Records. These CDs were immensely popular, and were, for many years, the only way to listen to certain theme songs that had been lost to time. Because some of the original masters for the older TV shows were lost, several themes were re-recorded with a new orchestra. One of the themes requiring re-recording was “The Jetsons.”

According to the Times, the re-recorded version of the “Jetsons” theme was given to radio stations, and some DJs with a healthy taste for kitsch began playing it as part of their regular rotations. It became requested enough that within months, the theme hit #9 on the Hot 100. “Every time I hear that damn thing I’m amazed,” Curtin was quoted as saying. “Man, that tune swings. […] If it doesn’t swing, the heck with it. The music has to have some excitement, some reason.”

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It seems that TVT Records’ playful archiving practice led to a newfound appreciation for Curtin’s songwriting acumen.

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