Ghostbusters: The Strange True Story Behind The Iconic Theme Song

Ray Parker Jr.’s infectious and unforgettable theme for the 1984 film Ghostbusters is an iconic piece of movie history that almost wasn’t.

Ray Parker Jr.’s infectious and unforgettable theme for the 1984 film Ghostbusters is an iconic piece of movie history that almost wasn’t. Of course, the fun song that gifted viewers the phrase “Who ya gonna call?” (as well as a star-studded music video) became just as big of a hit as the Ghostbusters film itself, but that was far from a sure thing in the months leading up to the film’s release. From the other songs considered to the amount of time Ray Parker Jr. was given to complete his task, the story behind the Ghostbusters theme is as captivating as the song itself.

Given the success and quality of the original Ghostbusters, it’s a remarkable fact that the movie’s production was both troubled and rushed. Extensive rewrites to the original Ghostbusters script, budget concerns from the studio, and a concise production window are just a few of the hurdles that creators Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis, and Ivan Reitman faced while making their film. As music is generally one of the last elements to be added to a movie, the hectic and hurried nature of Ghostbusters’ development made finding the perfect theme song even more of a challenge.

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