A few years ago I started collating a Spotify playlist of UK TV theme tunes. Over the years this has grown to over 200 tracks and nine hours of music. Unknown to me the playlist was public and I found out a few weeks ago that it has over 900 followers! Because of this exposure I thought I would write an explanation of what the playlist is, how it is maintained and how tracks get selected to get put on it.
The Original UK TV Themes Playlist
Is a Spotify playlist, curated by Gordon Hudson, using tracks legally available on the Spotify streaming platform. It started as 60s and 70s theme tunes, but has expanded from there. In many cases these tunes are from music libraries and listed under their original names. For example “Quiz Wizard” is the original name for the theme to Blockbusters. If you are looking for Gardening Today it is called “Ardente Elisabeth”. It’s like a musical quiz.
How the playlist is maintained
I add new tracks as I find them. They go into a holding list and get added every month or so. Spotify has a tendency to delete stuff from its library and sometimes replace unplayable tracks with sound-a-likes. So every few months I look for unplayable tracks and incorrect versions and replace them with other available copies. Sometimes tunes disappear completely (goodbye Rupert Bear by Jackie Lee).
How tracks are selected
All tracks need to be of a TV show that has been shown in the UK on any platform. They need to be the original versions. Sometimes this is hard to judge due to re-records. Coronation Street is the version used from the late 60s through to the 2000s, but it is not technically the original. Sometimes there are two, or more versions. For example, Mastermind has the original 70s version and the 2016 re-recorded underscore. Doctor Who has various versions as it has been reworked many times. I tend not to include many children’s ones other than the classics.
How to access the playlist
You will need a Spotify account. You can then access the Original UK TV Themes playlist here.
I also have a playlist of music from Friday Night Dinner which you can find here. The main theme is also in my TV themes playlist.