The 1970s and 1980s were a golden era for TV theme songs, and the Three’s Company theme song was one of the most memorable ever.
But, while you may have “Come and Knock on Our Door” permanently burned into your brain, chances are you don’t have the full story.
Here, then, are five facts you didn’t know about the Three’s Company theme song … keep them in mind the next time you’re watching John Ritter — er, Jack Tripper — watching girls on the beach.
It Came from Sesame Street
OK, maybe the Three’s Company song didn’t come directly from Sesame Street — you won’t hear Big Bird singing it or Ernie humming it while he carries glasses of water to his bedroom to put out a fire.
But the two shows share some strong musical roots.
In particular, Joe Raposo wrote “Come and Knock on Our Door.”
Before that — and after — Raposo wrote music for kids’ shows, including the Sesame Street theme, “‘C’ Is for Cookie”, “Bein’ Green”, and theme songs for The Electric Company and Shining Time Station.
The Carpenters also took one of his Sesame Street songs, “Sing”, to #3 on the Billboard charts in 1973.
So, yeah, the Three’s Company song came from Sesame Street.
At least sorta.
Ray Charles Sang It
Again, not that Ray Charles.
I mean, there was no smiling R&B singer in sunglasses banging out chords on a piano while he belted out “take a step that is new” while Jack and Chrissy and Janet pranced across the opening screens.
No, this Ray Charles was a renowned musician who wrote, produced, organized, promoted … and, yes, even sang songs across many decades.
Charles was probably most famous for putting together The Ray Charles Singers, a featured act on Perry Como’s television show and record albums for 30+ years.
Charles teamed up with Julia Rinker Miller to sing “Come and Knock on Our Door” in one of the cheekiest vocal renditions you’ll find this side of a Right Said Fred riff.
But the Chairman of the Board Could Have (?)
Is it possible that the Three’s Company song could have had a heavier sound?
Weightier, bombastic, fame-laden … uh, organized (crime)?
Considering that one of Raposo’s best buddy’s in the music biz was none other than Frank Sinatra, seems like it could have happened.
I mean, can’t you just imagine The Voice belting out lines about dancing on the floor and rendezvous(es?)?
Yeah, it would have been magical, or something.
Of course, Raposa may have had to write in some contingencies to the lyrics for, um, getting rid of the third wheel in the event things didn’t work out.
They Got Letters!
You just know that ABC got all sorts of backlash from stodgy old (and young) viewers when Three’s Company debuted.
I mean, who ever heard of two single women shacking up with a single man?!?
Oh, the debauchery.
And since those were the olden days of the 1970s, you can be sure most of the feedback came in the form of physical letters (and maybe telegrams).
Fitting, then, that Charles sang the theme song here, because one of his enduring creations was a little ditty called, “Letters, We Get Letters.”
Old (old!) folks may remember that jingle as a staple of Perry Como’s show, but us whippersnappers got it stuck in our head thanks to The Late Show with David Letterman.
No French Line
Toward the end of the Three’s Company theme song, after the second verse (“come and dance on our floor”), there is a line that’s indecipherable for most Americans.
Pretty sure it has something to do with sleeping … “dorme” or “dorm” or “dormu” … or even “dahoo dores.”
Problem is, that line doesn’t exist.
Well, it exists, but it’s not exotic at all. And only slightly French.
“Down at our rendezvous.”
Sorta wish I hadn’t looked it up.
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End Date: Saturday 12/26/2020 22:58:38 EST
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