The poll for the Highlight Reel for Mr. T is winding down, and a large plurality believe his career so far has been jibber jabber. Let's change gears. This week's poll is for favorite TV theme song for action shows, which include cop shows, detective shows, westerns, spy dramas, what have you. Here are eleven choices, listed from oldest to most recent. There are links to youtube if you don't know some of the songs, or have just forgotten them. If you know them, there's a good chance you haven't forgotten them. Most are very catchy.
Dragnet As a cop show, it really wasn't an action show, much in the same way Law & Order isn't an action show. But those first notes put it on the list.
Peter Gunn This is Henry Mancini at his coolest, and Henry was pretty damn cool.
Bonanza Music by David Rose. Lyrics exist, but your life is better if you never hear them. Both my brother Michael and Namaste Nancy voted that this be on the list, and here it is.
Rawhide Music by Dmitri Tiomkin, sung by Frankie Laine. It's my personal favorite of the western themes. He-yaaaaa!
Secret Agent Sung by the very under-rated Johnny Rivers.
Spider-Man This one is on the list because it was nominated by Karlacita! It tells a great story in one minute and one second.
Mission: Impossible The video is from the 1988 version of the show. I chose it because it has the best sound quality. This is the cool of Henry Mancini taken to its logically cool conclusion by Lalo Schifrin. This tune and Brubeck's Take Five are the most natural sounding songs in 5/4 that I know.
Hawaii 5-0 Another great late sixties action theme.
The Rockford Files I like this one, but besides that, I felt like I had to include at least one tune by Mike Post, who wrote about a jillion TV themes.
Miami Vice Here's a theme written by Jan Hammer with almost no recognizable tune. It's all about the rhythm and that 1980's synthesizer feel.
Venture Brothers (closing) The Venture Brothers is my favorite show on Cartoon Network's Adult Swim by a considerable distance, and the music of J.G. Thirlwell is a big reason why.
It's possible to vote for more than one theme and I'm going to leave the voting open for a little more than a week. In a perfect world, people could recommend other theme songs and I could add them to the list, but once votes are cast, I'm not allowed to change the list. If I ran my own website, that's one of the first things I'd change.
UPDATE: If you have any favorite action show theme songs that aren't on the list, post a comment. Next week, the leading vote getters from this list of ten will be pitted against favorites from the commenters.