Music for Television—Roseanne

ASCAP plays an enormous role in television, which would be hard to imagine without music. Advertising jingles and theme songs for the evening news, variety shows, awards ceremonies, and situation comedies all benefit from music's unique ability to say things that words can't express. The television series Roseanne ran successfully from 1988 through 1997 on ABC. Its familiar theme song, composed by Dan Foliart and Howard Pearl, made the sounds of the harmonica and the saxophone as much a part of the cast as the actors that play the Dan and Roseanne Conners family of Lanford, Illinois.

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  • Dan Foliart and Howard Pearl. "Roseanne Barr Theme." Original manuscript score, 1988. ASCAP Foundation Collection, Music Division, Library of Congress (036.00.00)
    [Digital ID # as0036]

  • Roseanne. "Crime and Punishment, Part II, Show # 614." Shooting script, 1992. ASCAP Foundation Collection, Music Division, Library of Congress (037.00.00)
    [Digital ID # as0037]

Paul Williams, Jim Henson, and the Muppets

ASCAP president and song writer Paul Williams (b. 1940) enjoyed a long and fruitful relationship with puppeteer Jim Henson (1936–1990) and his Muppet creations. Williams first appeared on The Muppet Show in 1976 and later, with co-writer Kenneth Ascher (b. 1944), wrote the score and theme song for the 1979 hit The Muppet Movie. The film’s “The Rainbow Connection” has been performed and recorded by such diverse artists as Less than Jake, Willie Nelson, Jane Monheit, and by Williams himself.

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  • Paul Williams with the Muppets, 1976. Photograph. ASCAP Foundation Collection, Music Division(019.00.00)
    [Digital ID # as0019]

  • Paul Williams. "The Rainbow Connection." Holograph draft of lyrics, 1979. ASCAP Foundation Collection, Music Division, Library of Congress (020.00.00)
    [Digital ID # as0020]

Paul Williams Testifies before Congress

Protecting the rights of music writers and publishers is a full-time job. Current ASCAP President Paul Williams (b. 1940) is captured here updating members of Congress on new challenges facing ASCAP as it moves into its second century of service.

Paul Williams testifying before the United States Congress, March 15, 2012. Reproduction. ASCAP Foundation Collection, Music Division, Library of Congress (013.00.00)
[Digital ID # as0013]

Deliciously Wicked

The musical Wicked (2003) helped to usher in a new era on Broadway by captivating a much younger audience. Stephen Schwartz (b. 1948) created a “musicalization” of Gregory Macguire’s (b. 1954) novel Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West. Composing the music and writing the lyrics for this award-winning show, Schwartz captured the imaginations of young people through the music, words, and story of Wicked. In the photograph shown here, Stephen Schwartz (right) receives an ASCAP Foundation Award from fellow musical theater composer Adam Guettel (b. 1964). Guettel is the son of composer and author Mary Rodgers (b. 1931) and the grandson of composer Richard Rodgers (1902–1979).

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  • Stephen Schwartz. Wicked. Piano-vocal score, 2003. ASCAP Foundation Collection, Music Division, Library of Congress (030.00.00)
    [Digital ID # as0030]

  • Stephen Schwartz. "End of Show" from Wicked. Holograph piano-vocal score, 2003. ASCAP Foundation Collection, Music Division, Library of Congress (031.00.00)
    [Digital ID # as0031]

  • Adam Guettel and Stephen Schwartz, n.d. Reproduction. ASCAP Foundation Collection, Music Division, Library of Congress (032.00.00)
    [Digital ID # as0032]

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