Wonder Woman is the current queen of pop culture. The new blockbuster film puts a fresh spin on a superhero that dates back three quarters of a century. Gal Gadot's Wonder Woman is both altruistic and physical, a fish-out-of-water demigod. It's a thoroughly modern take on Diana Prince.
Still, when you walk out of the movie theater, we bet you'll be singing the 1970s theme song. "Wonder Woman! All the world's waiting for you! And the power you possess!" That's just a brilliant, exuberant TV tune — and it'll be forever linked to the character.
It's no wonder the song is such an earworm. There were some ace songwriters behind that funky number. Charles Fox composed the music, while Norman Gimbel penned the lyrics. As a duo, Fox & Gimbel crafted some of the most memorable songs in television history. They also had their hands in some immortal pop songs, too.
Of course, their TV tunes were pop songs in their own right. Together, the two wrote the theme songs to both Happy Days and its spin-off Laverne & Shirley ("Making Our Dreams Come True"). Performed by Pratt & McClain, "Happy Days" shot all the way to No. 5 on the pop charts, while the latter, sung by Cyndi Grecco, climbed to No. 25 on Billboard's Hot 100. Fox & Gimbel also worked with Sid and Marty Krofft, composing the theme to The Bugaloos.
The Oscars were also fond of Gimbel & Fox, who saw their wonderful songs for Foul Play (Barry Manilow's "Ready to Take a Chance Again") and The Other Side of the Mountain (Olivia Newton-John's "Richard's Window") nominated for Oscars.
Arguably, none of Fox & Gimbel's collaborations had quite the impact of "Killing Me Softly with His Song," which became a No. 1 hit in 1973 thanks to the soulful pipes of Roberta Flack. Two decades later, the Fugees soared to No. 2 with their hip-hop cover version.
Gimbel also helped bring bossa nova to America, as he wrote the English language lyrics to Brazilian gems like "The Girl from Ipanema" and "Summer Samba." Yes, all this from the brain who came up with "In your satin tights / Fighting for your rights!"
The many connections from the Wonder Woman theme to the rest of the musical universe do not stop there. This song is essentially the Kevin Bacon of TV themes, especially when you factor in the performers.
"The Charles Fox Singers" belted out the vocals, though they were professionally known as the Ron Hicklin Singers. The vocalists had previously na-na-na-na-ed in the Batman theme. Yep, DC Comics pals Batman and Wonder Woman have a theme song connection, too. Additionally, the Hicklin Singers performed on the themes to That Girl, Love, American Style, Flipper, and Angie. They also could be heard on many of the Partridge Family's records. Oh, you also heard them harmonize in advertising jingles for McDonald's ("You deserve a break today") and Kawasaki ("Let the good times roll").
John Bahler, the husband of Janet Lennon of the Lennon Sisters, took the lead vocal duties on "Wonder Woman Theme." The connections go on and on….
Yes, that groovy little ditty in Wonder Woman is a portal into a world of pop music.
Saturdays at 10 AM