Gary Portnoy (born June 8, 1956) is a singer/ songwriter from New York, best known for co-writing and singing the theme songs to two U.S. television sitcoms:
Both songs were written by Portnoy and Judy Hart Angelo. (They also composed the theme to the long running television series Mr Belvedere.) In addition, both shows aired on NBC.
Gary Portnoy and Judy Hart Angelo were composing the score to an off-Broadway musical, Preppies
, in the early 1980s when Glen and Les Charles, two of the producers of Cheers
, heard their opening number, "People Like Us". They wanted to use the song as the theme for their upcoming sitcom. However, the producers of Preppies
wouldn't release it. Portnoy and Angelo then set out to write a new theme for Cheers
. After their first two attempts were rejected, "Where Everybody Knows Your Name
" was finally selected as the theme song for Cheers.
Prior to writing the Cheers theme, Mr. Portnoy had found success as a highly regarded young songwriter. His songs had been recorded by Dolly Parton ("Say Goodnight" from Dolly, Dolly, Dolly, co-written by Susan Sheridan) and Air Supply ("I'll Never Get Enough" co-written by Jeanne Napoli and Judy Quay) among others, and he had recorded a self-titled album for Columbia Records that was released in 1980. (That album was recently re-released on CD by Sony Japan). He had also written several songs for the critically acclaimed NBC series Fame. One of the songs from Fame, "I Still Believe In Me" (co-written by Susan Sheridan), went on to be nominated for an Emmy Award for best original song. He also co-wrote the song "It's Gonna Be a Long Night" with Estelle Levitt. Both Fame songs were featured on the album The Kids from Fame
As a result of his television work of the 1980s, Mr. Portnoy received an Emmy nomination for "Cheers" and six consecutive ASCAP awards for the Most Performed Television Themes of the year.
After that, Mr. Portnoy took an extended hiatus from the music business. In the late 1990's he and co-writer Gloria Nissenson began making regular visits to Nashville and some of the songs that they wrote there appear on Portnoy's 2004 CD Keeper. Keeper also includes the original full-length version of the Cheers theme.
January 2007 brought the release of Gary Portnoy's latest CD Destiny. It includes 11 new songs and a never before released full length version of the Mr. Belvedere theme as sung by Portnoy (Leon Redbone's recorded version of the song was Mr. Belvedere's original theme).
Destiny (2007, Argentum Records)
- "I Wanna Sing Again"
- "A Younger Time"
- "Big Brother"
- "Talk Of Jesus"
- "Life On The Outside"
- "Mr Belvedere"
- "Oh, Jessie"
- "I Know Something"
- "Manhattan Heartache"
- "The Only One"
Keeper (2004, Argentum Records)
- "What Day"
- "This Is Forever"
- "Where Everybody Knows Your Name (Cheers Theme)"
- "The Best Days"
- "Mess When I´m In Love"
- "God Bless This Day"
- "It's Gonna Be A Long Night"
- "The Driver"
- "Half Moon"
- "The Lady Is A Liar"
- "Late Night Confession"
- "When The Night Ends"
- "You Can't Get Away With That"
- "Goodbye Never Felt This Good"
- "Come To Me Tonight"
- "Say Goodbye"
- "Say Goodbye (Reprise)"
Recorded by other artists (partial list)
- "When I'm Loving You" (co-written with Paul Vance)
- recorded by Gail Wynters for her 1977 RCA album Let The Lady Sing
- "Shee Moe Foe" (co-written with Irwin Levine)
- recorded by Mac Davis for his 1978 Columbia album Fantasy
- "I'll Never Get Enough Of You" (co-written with Jeanne Napoli and Judy Quay)
- recorded by Samantha Sang for her 1979 Private Stock album From Dance To Love
- "On The Run" (co-written with Jeanne Napoli)
- recorded by Cheryl Ladd for her 1979 Capitol album Dance Forever
- "Say Goodnight" (co-written with Susan Sheridan)
- Recorded by Dolly Parton for her 1980 RCA album Dolly, Dolly, Dolly
- "Late Night Confession" (co-written with Juli Davidson)
- recorded by Glen Campbell for his 1980 Capitol album Something Bout You Baby I Like
- "Move A Little Closer" (co-written with Jeanne Napoli)
- recorded by Keith Barrow for his 1980 Capitol album Just As I Am
- "I'll Never Get Enough of You" (co-written with Jeanne Napoli and Judy Quay)
- Recorded by Air Supply for their 1981 Arista album The One that You Love
- "When the Night Ends" (co-written with Ruth Rosen)
- recorded by Engelbert Humperdink for his 1981 Columbia album Don't You Love Me Anymore
- "Say Goodnight" (co-written with Susan Sheridan)
- Recorded by Engelbert Humperdink for his 1981 Columbia album Don't You Love Me Anymore
- "I Still Believe In Me" (co-written with Susan Sheridan)
- Recorded by Debbie Allen and Erica Gimpel as featured on the 1982 RCA album The Kids from Fame
- "It's Gonna Be a Long Night" (co-written with Estelle Levitt)
- Recorded by Lori Singer as featured on the 1982 RCA album The Kids from Fame
- "I Was Only Trying To Help" (co-written with Ruth Rosen)
- Recorded by Valerie Landsburg as featured on the 1982 RCA album The Kids from Fame Again
- "Face To Face" (co-written with Judy Hart Angelo)
- Recorded by Valerie Landsburg as featured on the 1983 RCA album The Kids from Fame Sing For You
- "Come to Me Tonight" (co-written with Susan Sheridan)
- Recorded by Roberto Carlos on his 1990 Columbia album From Brazil with Love
- "Mr.Belvedere Theme" (co-written with Judy Hart Angelo)
- Recorded by Leon Redbone as featured on the 1996 TVT album Television's Greatest Hits Volume 6
- "This Is Forever" (co-written with Gloria Nissenson and Carol Ann Brown)
- Recorded by Samantha King on her 2002 album "This Is Forever" on SKMG Records
- "The Horse" (co-written with Gloria Nissenson and Matt Rossi)
- Recorded by Mammoth Jack on their 2002 album "Mammoth Jack" on Broken Bow Records