The History of the "Days of
Our Lives" Theme Song
Theme composers Charles Albertine, Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart
The first version of the "Days of Our Lives" theme, including the original voiceover by announcer Ed Prentiss. This version of the theme was used from 1965-1972. Series star Macdonald Carey would begin voicing the intro in March, 1966.
The second version of the "Days of Our Lives" theme, which aired from 1972 until June 18, 1993.
The current "Days of Our Lives" theme, which was updated to include computer graphics and a new voiceover by Macdonald Carey. It debuted on June 21, 1993.
The full instrumental theme of "Days of Our Lives" aired during the closing credits until November 2001.
"DAYS OF OUR LIVES"
THEME SONG HISTORY
Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart were first approached to write the theme to "Days of
Our Lives", Ted and Betty Corday asked them to come up with something that
sounded similar to "Sunrise, Sunset", a song which the Cordays had just seen
performed in the Broadway play "Fiddler on the Roof."
Boyce and Hart's first two submissions to the Cordays were quickly rejected. Boyce was ready to call it quits, but Hart told Boyce he had one last idea before they abandoned the project. They went to a recording studio, and Hart played music on an organ that sounded like music he remembered hearing when his mother listened to various radio soap operas. Boyce gave some additional suggestions and they returned to the Cordays for their third and final attempt. This time, they were a success. Announcer Ed Prentiss spoke the following lines over the instrumental theme: "Like sands through the hourglass, so are the days of our lives. Days of Our Lives, a new dramatic serial starring Macdonald Carey." The "Days of Our Lives" theme was heard for the first time by the American public on Monday, November 8, 1965. It has been heard daily ever since, over 11,000 times.
Composer Charles Albertine was brought on to "flesh out" the theme composed by Boyce and Hart, as well as write many background cues for the program. In an exclusive interview with Jason47, Mr. Albertine's son, Bruce, explains Albertine's involvement with the theme: The Albertines had moved to California in 1964. By that time, one of Albertine's compositions, "Bandstand Boogie", had been the theme song for "American Bandstand" for over ten years. He then began composing the background music for many of the Screen Gems comedies, including "Hazel", "Bewitched" and "I Dream of Jeannie." Screen Gems then assigned him to flesh out the theme which Boyce and Hart had submitted to the Cordays. The theme they submitted had only been done as a demo on an organ. The Cordays wanted something new and different: a theme to be played by a small orchestral ensemble. This would break new ground in daytime serials since, up until that time, they had only been accompanied by keyboard music.
Albertine wrote the orchestration for the ensemble, which included adding the signature flute-and-bells broken arpeggio that begin the main title. He borrowed this portion note-for-note from his earlier critically acclaimed work "Music for Barefoot Ballerinas" written for Larry Elgart in 1952. In addition, he also wrote a bridge (middle section) for the extended theme song that was played during the closing credits crawl. However, NBC ceased using the closing credits theme in November 2001.
Charles Albertine died in 1986 and Tommy Boyce died in 1994, while Bobby Hart recently gave an interview about the theme song. Check out what Bobby Hart and Caroline Boyce, the widow of Tommy Boyce, have to say about the longest-running theme song in NBC's history in the video below:
BELOW: NBC's official music use sheet, which details the music used on the "Days of Our Lives" pilot episode that aired on November 8, 1965. As seen below, Boyce, Hart and Albertine are listed as the composers of "Main Theme" and "Closing Theme." They also co-wrote the instrumental background themes of "Horton's at Home", "The Future Mrs. Merritt", "Rejected", "Quick the Hospital", and "How Could You Do It?." Albertine was the sole composer of the background music "Horrors", "Bad Times" and "Everything's O.K." Another composer, Barry Mann, is credited with just one song in the pilot, "Tony and Marie."
The special Cruise of Deception theme song opening, used for just 11 episodes from June 11-June 25, 1990.
The special "Days" theme that debuted on May 25, 2004 (and aired several times after that) to coincide with the reveal that the many characters who were "killed off" by the Salem Stalker were actually still alive.