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October 7, 2008 10:49 PM   Subscribe

Someone finally figured out the lyrics to the WKRP in Cincinnati closing theme song. (SLYT)
posted by evilcolonel (34 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite

 
(meow)
posted by Guy Smiley at 11:01 PM on October 7, 2008


Bonus points for the ending.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:06 PM on October 7, 2008


My aunt used to date Gordon Jump.

and I'm done - carry on!
posted by figment of my conation at 11:09 PM on October 7, 2008 [2 favorites]


Always loved that song.
posted by rokusan at 11:13 PM on October 7, 2008


The real crime is how much of the show's music was butchered in syndication, of course.

Just read through that list and weep.
posted by rokusan at 11:17 PM on October 7, 2008 [2 favorites]


Wow, rokusan, thanks for that - I tried watching syndicated episodes a few years ago and the cognitive dissonance was too much for me largely because of the bizarre music and dialogue changes, and now I know why!

Danged broken copyright/licensing laws. Phooey. This was one of my favourite shows growing up and it was at least partially because of the real music they played. It felt very much grounded in its time.
posted by batmonkey at 11:23 PM on October 7, 2008


WKRP is supposed to be pronounced "W Crap". It's shorthand for "Bush policy".
posted by twoleftfeet at 12:29 AM on October 8, 2008


I'm curious. What changes did they make to WKRP in syndication? I was a HUGE fan of the show back in the day. I haven't seen it in years and only recently have seen it listed as being back on air. If hey somehow ruined it I won't bother to watch. As G-d as my witness, I thought turkeys could fly.
posted by shockingbluamp at 12:46 AM on October 8, 2008


HA I was just going to say that I send this clip to my family every Thanksgiving.
posted by louche mustachio at 12:48 AM on October 8, 2008 [2 favorites]


In one of the Whole Earth Catalogs was an actual account of some small town chamber of commerce in South Dakota doing a turkey drop. I think the turkey episode was lifted from that piece that was even funnier than the WKRP one.
posted by Bitter soylent at 2:12 AM on October 8, 2008


Wow, I cannot believe it but the original Whole Earth turkey drop thing is available here.
posted by Bitter soylent at 2:27 AM on October 8, 2008 [1 favorite]


Background on this song:
The closing theme, "WKRP In Cincinnati End Credits", was a hard rock number composed and performed by Jim Ellis, an Atlanta musician who recorded some of the incidental music for the show. According to people who attended the recording sessions, Ellis didn't yet have lyrics for the closing theme, so he sang nonsense words to give an idea of how it would sound. Wilson decided it would be funny to use lyrics that were deliberately gibberish, as a satire on the incomprehensibility of many rock songs.[10] Also, since CBS always had an announcer talking over the closing credits, Wilson knew that no one would actually hear the closing theme lyrics anyway.
posted by Ike_Arumba at 4:25 AM on October 8, 2008 [7 favorites]


My aunt used to date Gordon Jump.

Was that before or after he appeared in that Very Special Episode of Diff'Rent Strokes?
posted by jonp72 at 5:06 AM on October 8, 2008 [1 favorite]


Not that you couldn't find it yourself, but I know I'm lazy. Jim Ellis' website, where he reveals the secret mystery lyrics.
posted by From Bklyn at 5:39 AM on October 8, 2008


shockingbluamp -- check out rokusan's link.

Though there's another, more specific list out there, detailing all the song changes. I know because I contributed to it.

You can also, ah, acquire the old episodes intact, but in very poor quality.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 5:47 AM on October 8, 2008


Oddly enough, I always thought that Ted Stepien's softball drop off Cleveland's Terminal Tower was the inspiration for the turkeys, but it appears that Stepien could've learned from WKRP but did not.
posted by plinth at 5:50 AM on October 8, 2008 [1 favorite]


Oh, I loved this show. I had a mad crush on Bailey.

Yes, I was a baby lesbian geek. Baby geek lesbian. Whatever. Why do you ask?
posted by rtha at 6:16 AM on October 8, 2008


This was merely amusing until the poodle had the lid on. Then it was totally worth it.
posted by middleclasstool at 6:30 AM on October 8, 2008


Metafilter: "I wouldn't do it if a poodle had a lid on."
posted by ericbop at 7:07 AM on October 8, 2008 [1 favorite]


Not that you couldn't find it yourself, but I know I'm lazy. Jim Ellis' website, where he reveals the secret mystery lyrics.

That version isn't even the same as the one used in the show! But a cool link, thanks.
posted by evilcolonel at 7:12 AM on October 8, 2008


My aunt used to date Gordon Jump.

Was that before or after he appeared in that Very Special Episode of Diff'Rent Strokes


Pedophile who screened inappropriate cartoons !

Also: Wasn't there an episode where Johnny Fever was listening to Animals by Pink Floyd? Did that get changed, I didn't see it on the list?
posted by Liquidwolf at 7:31 AM on October 8, 2008


Pedophile who screened inappropriate cartoons !

Holy shit, I'd forgotten about that. That was riveting TV to me, a little kid who was terrified of all the "Stranger Danger" stuff my mom was drilling into my head. The world seemed like it was full of monsters, and even Arnold wasn't safe.

Looking up Jump's IMDB profile also lead to this, which I had no idea ever existed.
posted by middleclasstool at 9:04 AM on October 8, 2008


WKRP reminds me that Jan Smithers is powerful cute.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 9:53 AM on October 8, 2008


I linked to this in AskMe a few months ago in a thread about the song.
posted by nanojath at 10:29 AM on October 8, 2008


Jan Smithers on the cover of Newsweek, 1966
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 10:36 AM on October 8, 2008 [2 favorites]


Poor Gordon Jump. I never saw him the same way after Diff'rent Strokes.

...come to think of it, I never saw the phrase "Diff'rent Strokes" the same way either...
posted by salishsea at 10:50 AM on October 8, 2008 [1 favorite]


Joke only about your face, Willis!
posted by nanojath at 11:21 AM on October 8, 2008


I love all of this. WKRP was made of win and awesome.
posted by littlerobothead at 11:36 AM on October 8, 2008


The unaccounted-for syllable at the end of the "whack-a-mole ditto" line is bothering me. It sounds like it should be "hot" or "heart." (I always heard the line as "rock and roll in our hearts," but will gladly trade out my version for one in which Limbaugh takes a mallet to the head.)

"God as my witness, Andy, I thought that turkeys could fly."
posted by cirocco at 12:21 PM on October 8, 2008


Liquidwolf: Poor quality clip of the Pink Floyd scene here.
posted by rocket88 at 3:31 PM on October 8, 2008 [1 favorite]


Pearl Jam suffers from the same problem.
posted by MiltonRandKalman at 4:19 PM on October 8, 2008


When I was a kid I wanted to grow up and be Johnny Fever. I think I've succeded except that I doubt anyone would pay me to DJ.
posted by jonmc at 5:05 PM on October 8, 2008


YES!
posted by thankyoujohnnyfever at 9:51 PM on October 8, 2008 [1 favorite]


According to people who attended the recording sessions, Ellis didn't yet have lyrics for the closing theme, so he sang nonsense words to give an idea of how it would sound.

I always thought that the vocal line was originally meant to be a horn part, and the sax player didn't show up for the session; hence the extemporaneous gibberish lyrics.
posted by obloquy at 8:38 PM on October 9, 2008


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