Garry Marshall, the man behind such classic US 70s sitcoms as The Odd Couple, Mork & Mindy, and Happy Days passed away last week at the age of 81. As a tribute I thought I'd focus on the theme to one of Marshall's other hit 70s sitcoms, the one which starred his younger sister Penny, Laverne & Shirley
The show ran from 1976 to 1983 and concerned the titular characters; single room-mates who worked at a Milwaukee brewery as bottlecappers. Penny Marshall played as tough-talking tomboy Laverne DeFazio and Cindy Williams starred as the perky and positive Shirley Feeney. The show was a spin-off from Happy Days (as indeed was Mork & Mindy, later) with the pair having been introduced on that show as friends of The Fonz (Henry Winkler) Like Happy Days, Laverne and Shirley was set in the recent American past, from 1958 to 1967.
Each episode title sequence started with Laverne and Shirley skipping down a Milwaukee street, arm in arm, reciting a Yiddish-American hopscotch chant: "1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 Schlemiel! Schlimazel! Hasenpfeffer Incorporated," which was a chant from Penny Marshall's childhood. This then lead into the series' theme song titled Making Our Dreams Come True, performed by Cyndi Grecco and composed by Frank Comstock, John Beal, Charles Fox and Jack Hayes. Accompanied by the Ron Hicklin Singers, Grecco charted at number 25 when the theme was released as a single in 1976, but her subsequent album, and a disco themed single entitled Dancing, Dancing failed to set the world alight. The positive message of striking out and following your dream inherent to the theme with its refrain of how the girls will do it 'our way' was later lampooned by Alexei Sayle for the theme to his sketch series The All New Alexei Sayle Show which was entitled Doin' It My Way
RIP Garry Marshall