Sadly, television icon Mary Tyler Moore passed away yesterday, aged 80. Best known for her work on The Dick Van Dyke Show and the 1970s sitcom The Mary Tyler Moore Show, she was active as an actress for over five decades, and was a supporter of many charities.
Moore’s role on The Mary Tyler Moore Show as Mary Richards, a single 30-something career woman at a Minneapolis TV station, was groundbreaking for the time and the series was hailed by feminists and fans alike as the first modern woman’s sitcom.
Sammy Davis, Jr., being a fan of the show, recorded a cover version of the theme song for The Mary Tyler Moore Show … no, not once, but twice! Having already recorded the theme from Shaft, “John Shaft”, on his debut album for MGM, Now, obviously Sammy decided that TV theme covers were a good idea. He later recorded a whole album’s worth of TV theme covers later in the 1970s.
The theme from The Mary Tyler Moore Show was titled “Love Is All Around”, and it quickly became one of the catchiest, most beloved themes in television history. It was written and performed on the show by Sonny Curtis, a member of Buddy Holly’s Crickets and the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, who also recorded a different version as a single on Ovation Records in 1970.
Sammy’s first version was recorded in July 1972 with a smooth arrangement by Don Costa, and was released on Sammy’s second MGM LP, Portrait of Sammy Davis, Jr. The cut appeared on Polydor’s Lounge Legends CD in 2002.
Sammy’s second version was recorded in February 1976 with a semi-disco arrangement by Al Capps. It was released on the 20th Century Records album The Song and Dance Man in 1976, and has never appeared on CD or for digital download.
The lyrics for each version are slightly different. In his first effort, Sammy uses the show’s Season 1 ending “You might just make it after all!”, whereas his 1976 version is updated with the show’s Season 2-7 lyrics “You’re gonna make it after all!”
In tribute to Mary Tyler Moore – enjoy these two Sammy Davis, Jr. contributions to the canon of TV theme covers!