We’ve been hearing snippets the last few days of the “Mary Tyler Moore Show” theme song, “Love Is All Around,” written and sung by Sonny Curtis. “Who can turn the world on with her smile,” and “You’re gonna make it after all,” – changed from “You might just make it after all,” after the first season – are likely still floating in your brain.
Sonny Curtis came from Lubbock Texas. As a teenager, he played fiddle on the “Buddy and Bob” radio show, featuring another teenager, Buddy Holly. Curtis, Holly and Waylon Jennings also performed during intermission at the local movie theater.
One of Holly’s earliest recordings, “Rock Around with Ollie Vee,” was composed by Curtis, who also played guitar. Shortly after he left Holly’s band to tour with Slim Whitman. After Buddy Holly’s death in 1959, he re-joined the Crickets as singer and guitarist.
Sonny Curtis wrote “Walk Right Back,” a hit for the Everly Brothers, and “I Fought the Law,” the Top 10 smash for the Bobby Fuller Four, a song that has since become an anthem. Over the years, Curtis has been successful as a recording artist in his own right, with several records on the pop and country & western charts. In the 1980s, with former Crickets Jerry Allison and Joe B. Maudlin, he toured with Waylon Jennings.
After Mary Tyler Moore’s death, Sonny Curtis was interviewed about how he came to compose the song that is so closely identified with her. Read it here.