Good Times Trivia Trio No. 1

Marilyn and Alan Bergman, who wrote the lyrics for the Good Times theme song, were inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1980.
Jimmie Walker’s denim hat was a mainstay in his wardrobe on the show for several seasons.
  • The theme song to Good Times was sung by Jim Gilstrap and Motown singer Blinky Williams with background vocals provided by a gospel choir. It was composed by Dave Grusin, with lyrics by Alan and Marilyn Bergman. The Bergmans were an acclaimed songwriting team who, during their careers, received four Emmys, three Oscars, and two Grammys, and were inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. In addition to Good Times, the Bergmans penned the lyrics for TV shows like Maude and Alice, and numerous films including The Way We Were, In The Heat of the Night and The Windmills of Your Mind, for the movie The Thomas Crown Affair. The Bergmans were married for more than 60 years, until Marilyn’s death in January 2022.
  • For several seasons of Good Times, beginning with the first episode, Jimmie Walker almost constantly wore a floppy denim hat. According to Walker’s memoir, he bought the hat before he auditioned for a role as a street hood in Badge 373, a 1974 film directed by Howard Koch and starring Robert Duvall. Walker purchased the hat thinking it would make him look “more urban, more street.” He got the part. (But his lines were dubbed by an actor who sounded “blacker!”)
Ralph Carter starred in Raisin with Joe Morton.
  • Laurence Fishburne was originally cast as the youngest Evans child, Michael, but the producers really wanted Ralph Carter, who had a contract committing him to Raisin on Broadway; for his role in the musical, Carter was nominated for the 1974 Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Musical. (Here’s a clip of Carter performing the number “Sidewalk Tree” at the 1974 Tony Awards, where he was introduced by Esther Rolle.) Fishburne had participated in two weeks of rehearsals with the Good Times cast when Norman Lear bought out Ralph Carter’s contract – which meant that Fishburne was out and Carter was in.

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