When my Dad and I used to go and watch Tranmere Rovers now and again in the early 90’s (usually on a Friday night) the team ran out to (and still do, I think) the theme tune from The Rockford Files.
It was a tradition that supposedly started sometime in the 80’s when their Friday kick-off coincided with The Rockford Files starting on TV – a jokey reminder that fans could have been tucked up at home in the warmth of their living rooms watching James Garner strutting his stuff as the iconic TV private eye, Jim Rockford.
It’s one of my favourite TV theme tunes, and whilst I’ve only ever seen about a dozen episodes (there were a whopping 122), it holds a special place in my heart:
Of course, by the time of The Rockford Files (which was made between 1974 and 1980), James Garner was already a star with dozens of Hollywood film appearances to his name. Washington Post TV critic Tom Shales once said Garner, “embodied the crusty, sardonic and self-effacing strain of American masculinity”, and legendary auteur, Robert Altman (who worked with him on the 1980 comedy, HealtH) once said, “I don’t know anyone in the business with his charm and charisma who can act so well.”
James Garner died yesterday aged 86. He leaves behind him huge body of work that includes incredibly popular TV shows like The Rockford Files and Maverick and countless hit films including, The Great Escape, Victor Victoria, Grand Prix, The Fan and Move Over, Darling.
Rest in peace.