Saturday, 26 September 2015

Theme Time : Bob James - Taxi

Yet another firm family favourite that I grew up with, Taxi was a US sitcom created by the team who would go on to make Cheers, which centred on the lives of the employees of the Sunshine Cab Company at the fleet garage in Manhattan. It starred Judd Hirsch, Marilu Henner, Danny DeVito, Tony Danza, Jeff Conaway, Andy Kaufman and Christopher Lloyd to name but a few. It ran from 1978 to 1983 and, if its on TV today, I still watch it.

Two time Grammy award winning jazz musician Bob James composed the memorable theme tune. Entitled Angela, it was only ever intended for a small sequence in the third ever episode entitled Blind Date which featured Judd Hirsch's seasoned cabbie Alex asking out a phone operator called Angela on a blind date, purely because of her sexy voice. When he meets her, he finds that she's an overweight woman who is used to being spurned because of her size. Nevertheless, they strike up a good friendship. It's a lovely bittersweet episode with a great performance from Suzanne Kent as Angela Matusa (who would return to the show a year later for another episode) and the theme suits it perfectly. So much so that the producers found this tune more to their liking than the up tempo number James had originally offered them for the show's theme tune. A switch was made, and the rest is history.

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