Johnny Carson ‘Tonight Show’ Theme Song Was First Recorded By Annette Funicello

As fans mourn the passing of one of the original ‘Mouseketeers,’ Annette Funicello on Monday, we’re taking a look back at the talented actress/singer’s fruitful career.

A member of the original Mickey Mouse Club on Disney, Annette’s career flourished from being a child star to later becoming a successful solo artist and actress.

It was during her time as a singer that legendary singer/songwriter Paul Anka wrote the song titled “It’s Really Love” for Annette, which she first recorded in 1959.

The song was a minor hit for Annette, but it would later get a new life after Anka used the melody for a legendary TV show. In 1962, he took the song’s melody and reworked it to famously become “Johnny’s Theme” for 30 years on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson.

Annette Funicello

Listen to the two versions below and compare!

Listen to Annette Funicello’s “It’s Really Love” below:

Now listen and compare to Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show theme song below:

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