Saturday, February 3, 2024

Hot Hero Sandwich Project Archives: TV Week Article, Nov. 4 — 10, 1979

by G. Jack Urso

The Hot Hero Sandwich theme, a catchy, straight-ahead rock song, almost single-handedly sustained fan interest in the show. In my research, however, I found little directly from Bruce and Carole Hart about theme song until I came across this article from the Nov. 4 — 10, 1979, Sunday News TV Week. The complete article is provided below.

The theme song was written by Bruce Hart and Stephen Lawrence. Hart also co-wrote the lyrics for the theme song for Sesame Street, and along with Lawrence wrote the soundtrack for the NBC TV movie, Sooner or Later (which featured Hot Hero Sandwich music guest Rex Smith and Hot Hero Band member Mark Cunningham as a member of Smith’s band).

Personally, and I think I speak for many fans, the importance of the Hot Hero Sandwich theme song in sustaining the series’ memory cannot be underestimated. As a teen, I immediately connected with its message that just surviving all the daily dysfunction of our young lives is nothing else than heroic — and given the state of the world today, that journey has become a labor of Hercules.

At least the kids could have a damn good theme song.

NEW YORK — An original theme song, “Hot Hero,” will open each weekly telecast of “Hot Hero Sandwich,” the series utilizing music, comedy, celebrity interviews, film segments and animated sequences to focus on the fun and frustration of growing up.  It premieres on NBC-TV Saturday at noon.

The “Hot Hero” song is part of the musical accent placed on each program in the series. There will be guest performances by contemporary music headliners and additional original music will be written for the series by a diverse group of composers.

Bruce and Carole Hart are the creators and executive producers of “Hot Hero Sandwich,” part of NBC’s continuing commitment to the international year of the child.

The theme song was written by Bruce Hart (lyrics) and Stephen Lawrence. Said Hart: “We’ve tried to capture the spirit of ‘Hot Hero Sandwich’ — adolescents doing the best the can to cope with experiences and changes in their lives which can be pretty wild at times. With the upbeat music, the lyrics say, in part: ‘Got out of bed today/Got to school okay/Did what I could do; Pretty much like you/You’re a hero, too.’

“Carole said it for us when she described the show this way: ‘It’s about going through the wonder, the worry, the exhilaration and pain of adolescence and it focuses on the inner feelings common to all teen-agers. Our sub-text is: Look, you’re not crazy – you’re normal. This is just the way things are.’ “

The theme song and other special material will be performed on camera by the Hot Hero Band, whose members are Richie Annunziato, Robert Brissette, Marc Cunningham and Mike Ratti.  The show’s music director is Felix Pappalardi.

Bruce Hart and Stephen Lawrence previously collaborated on the score for “Sooner or Later,” and NBC World Premiere movie created and produced by the Harts. An album featuring original songs from “Sooner or Later” became a Gold Record. One of the tunes, “You Take My Breath Away,” sold more than one million copies and was on the Top 10 lists of best-selling singles, as ranked by Billboard, Cashbox and Record World.

“Hot Hero Sandwich,” has been recommended to schools across the nations by the National Educational Association.

The NEA said: “Adolescence — that complicated period in our lives when both social and physical changes usher us to the world of adults — is brought into sharp focus by ‘Hot Hero Sandwich.’ Through the use of comedy, celebrity interviews and contemporary music, it communicates the universality of the adolescent experience and presents a positive outlook designed to be instructive as well as entertaining. This series is highly recommended.”

 The Hot Hero band performing the theme song.

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1 comment:

  1. Thanks for resurrecting the show. I remember the theme song, brings back good memories.