We’re sitting there a couple of weeks ago, watching the kids from our church’s high school youth group doing a skit based on “The Dating Game” at their ’70s-themed fund-raising dinner. The lovely Janet turns to me and says, “You sound just like your dad.” (Dad is legendarily obsessive about the smallest details of railroading.) Everyone else at the table looks at me as if I have just arrived from Mars. They played that when they introduced the bachelorettes.
Never mind that “The Dating Game” debuted in 1965 and — to my mind, at least — is a relic more of the ’60s than of the ’70s.
The themes to unsold pilots like were reused as incidental music in ongoing game shows (the “True Grit Winners Theme” and “People Pickers Theme” are instantly recognizable), and music from his singles also turned up instrumentally in later series (e.g. Having authored all the themes, Barris was in the unusual position to issue a compilation by 1973 (the next collection of game show theme songs didn’t happen until late in the 1990s).
(Ironically, he’d started at ABC as a watchdog for Dick Clark’s provided Barris with many opportunities to exploit his songwriting muse.
In addition to the singles he released in 1968, he launched numerous TV projects, providing theme music for each series.
Barris wrote (or cowrote) nearly all of the music he used for the themes to his innovative game shows.
His songwriting accomplishments predate his success in television.
“I know that for anything this bad to happen, there has to be something just as good coming along to balance it out.”The revered songwriter, producer, pianist and singer — who died Monday at 77 of a heart attack after a performance in Madrid — was a key architect of the early rock and R&B music that flowed from New Orleans to the national stage, an artist whose widespread influence led to his eventual status as a patriarch of the city’s fertile musical mash-up.