"Movin' On Up;" the Background!

Deacon Greg Kandra–who is due to move The Deacon’s Bench over to Patheos on December 13–is busy hanging up bookshelves and making the place ready. As evidence of his excitement he’s posted the greatest TV-Theme song ever written.

An interesting background story on that memorable song. If you remember the series Good Times, you may recall Ja’net Dubois being cast as Florida’s friend and neighbor, Willona.

What most don’t realize is that Dubois, was an dis an accomplished musician and singer. When she learned that The Jeffersons would be spinning off from All in the Family, she asked producer Norman Lear if she could write the theme song.

Lear was not interested and gave her a flat-out “no.” He had used known composers for other sitcom themes and wanted to stick with what he knew.

The persistent Dubois nagged at him, again and again; finally, just to get her off his back, Lear agreed that she could at least submit a theme for his consideration. She co-wrote “Movin’ On Up” with composer Jeff Barry and then sang the theme herself, backed by a gospel choir.

The rest, as they say, is history.

And the lesson here–it’s the same one Churchill gave us: Never give up. Never, never, never give up.

That’s how you get the de-luxe apartment in the sky-high-high.

If you haven’t seen Deacon Greg’s new digs yet, go take a look!. He’s sort of got a piece of the pie-highahhhhhhh

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • Apprentice Grinch

    I loathe that theme song.

    Always have.

  • Sherwood Schwartz


    I was always partial to the Peppermint Trolley Company’s version of “The Brady Bunch”

  • AMDG

    The theme song is from The Jeffersons, the pic is from Good Times!

  • Dex

    Loooong time reader, first time commenter (I think).

    Another source of the “never give up” message was Jim Valvano, in one of the most inspirational speeches ever given: link

    (Sorry to somber up the cheerful thread, but Jimmy V’s message seemed especially timely, given today’s news about Elisabeth Edwards.)

  • Dad of Six

    AMDG- I think the worthy Anchoress wanted to show a photo of Ms. Dubois…She is the woman torquise on the left. It’s been awhile (~35 years), but I think Michael is in the middle and Florida his mom is on the right.

    Somehow I always think of the Obamas when I hear that theme song!

  • HV Observer

    I second the comment from the Grinch above.

    You realize, of course, that the greatest theme song ever is back in circulation. I refer, of course, to the Hawaii Five-0 opening credits.

    Looks like we have the beginning of a discussion here.

    [Hawaii Five-O IS a great theme song. But it has no words. I am referring specifically (or should have in the piece) to sitcom themes. My husband and I were just talking about this the other day. The only current sitcom, I think, that has a singable themesong, anymore is "The Big Bang Theory." -admin]

  • Sal

    Oh- well in that case: Gilligan’s Island.

    Question: been looking for an unbreakable resin Nativity for the grandkids. Don’t often shop in the Christmas: Modern search on eBay and our own nativities are decades old, so we haven’t been in the market.
    Please tell me: where did all the animal nativities come from? The ones where the figures are cats or hedgehogs or Chihuahuas? I was never a huge fan of the children’s pageant Nativities, but at least they were humans.
    Who would think Baby Jesus as a Boston Bull Terrier pup is appropriate?

    [Put resin nativity into the Aquinas search box in my sidebar (or the amazon one) and see if that helps! -admin]

  • Sal

    Seems I need to slow my Grinch roll: these are dogs dressed up as everyone but the Infant Jesus. Kind of a canine Christmas play. Still not great, but not as bad as it could be.
    my apologies.

  • AMDG

    Dad of Six:

    I have been having massively annoying computer problems and the first time I read this post, only the first paragraph appeared, not the DuBois backstory.

    I stand corrected, a position I am used to by now.

  • Margaret

    @Sal– we have a set of Fontanini nativity figures that our numerous children have been pretty hard on. They’ve held up quite well. Nice looking, not the kitschy big-eyed children style at all…

  • Nerina

    Well, I LOVE that theme song! The Good Times one was alright, too.