‘Cheers’ theme song writer reveals versions that were rightfully rejected

Gary Portnoy, who created the Cheers theme song along with Judy Hart-Angelo, and also performed it, joined CNN’s Don Lemon for the special, Where Have All the Theme Songs Gone?, where he revealed the very humble beginnings of the iconic song, including two earlier shots at it that were rejected.

The first two songs that Portnoy and Hart-Angelo pitched were called “My Kind of People” and “Another Day.” After those were rejected, Portnoy said he came up with the melody for the Cheers theme song when just searching for anything that would work. But even when he and Hart-Angelo got the melody right, the words left A LOT to be desired.

The song began, “Singing the blues when the Red Sox lose, it’s a crisis in your life. On the run ‘cause all your girlfriends wanna be your wife.”

Needless to say, this song was also rejected, but just the lyrics.

Portnoy said that he and Hart-Angelo booked studio time before even writing the new lyrics, and the song was written in a cab on the way to the studio to record what would eventually become one of the most iconic theme songs in television history.

Portnoy’s response when the network finally accepted the song? “Holy s**t.”

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