‘Cheers’: This Major Pop Star Inspired the Song ‘Where Everybody Knows Your Name’

by Jeremy Spirogis
The cast of Cheers at the bar

Cheers wouldn’t be the identical with out “Where Everybody Knows Your Name,” one of the well-known examples of tv theme music. In the identical vein, “Where Everybody Knows Your Name” wouldn’t be the identical with out a sure pop star. Why? A melancholy track by a well-known singer impressed Gary Portnoy whereas writing the Cheers theme. Here’s a have a look at the imaginative and prescient the Cheers producers had for the track.

The cast of Cheers at the bar
The solid of Cheers | Paul Drinkwater/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal through Getty Images through Getty Images

Why the ‘Cheers’ producers couldn’t use the track they wished for the present

According to Yahoo! Entertainment, Portnoy wrote a track known as “People Like Us” for a musical known as Preppies. The producers behind Cheers wished Portnoy to rewrite the track so it might be the Cheers theme. However, Portnoy didn’t have the rights to the track so he needed to write a brand new track. The Cheers producers had a particular imaginative and prescient for the brand new track. 

“They wanted something that evoked a smoky bar at 2 in the morning. So right off the bat, I’m thinking Frank Sinatra’s ‘One More for the Road.’” The track Portnoy is referring to is Sinatra’s “One for My Baby (and One More for the Road).” Sinatra launched a number of variations of the observe within the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s. Considering 1950s nostalgia was big within the 1980s, it was good to base the theme for a 1980s sitcom like Cheers on a 1950s track.

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“One for My Baby (and One More for the Road)”

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The Cheers theme doesn’t sound very similar to “One for My Baby (and One More for the Road).” The former has some spark to it whereas “One for My Baby (and One More for the Road)” is about as sullen as a pop track could be. However, Portnoy acknowledges that “Where Everybody Knows Your Name” begins out sounding downtrodden earlier than lifting your spirits throughout its refrain. 

The odd circumstances below which Gary Portnoy recorded the track

The Cheers producers weren’t positive who ought to sing the track. “There was some debate as to whether I should sing it or whether they should try to get somebody famous, because there was nobody famous in the cast,” Portnoy recalled.

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The Cheers theme

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Ultimately, the producers had Portnoy sing the track below uncommon circumstances. “They just said, ‘Go in and do what you do, and try to recapture the sound on the demo’… they wanted us to keep that intimate, ‘bar at 2 in the morning’ kind of sound.” Portnoy recalled. “There were only four of us on this huge stage. It was kind of like standing on a football field.”

How the world reacted to ‘Everybody Wants to Know Your Name’

So did Portnoy’s inventive choices repay? “Where Everybody Knows Your Name” peaked at No. 83 on the Billboard Hot 100. It stayed on the chart for 4 weeks. Considering tv themes hardly ever turn out to be pop hits, this was an enormous achievement. “Where Everybody Knows Your Name” grew to become Portnoy’s solely track to achieve the chart in any respect, making him the uncommon one-hit surprise whose one hit was a tv theme. “Where Everybody Knows Your Name” grew to become a basic tv track — and it wouldn’t be the identical with out Sinatra.

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