Seaford resident part of song remake for updated TV show

By Lynn R. Parks

A much-loved 1990s television sitcom is getting an update, thanks to movie and TV streaming giant Netflix. Also getting an update is the show's theme song, written by Seaford-area resident Jesse Frederick.

"Fuller House" debuted Feb. 26. Singing the theme is Canadian pop star Carly Rae Jepson. In an interview with Rolling Stone magazine, Jepson said that "Full House," which ran on ABC from 1987 to 1995, was her favorite show when she was a child.

"I was offered this and wondering if it could fit into my schedule," she told the magazine. "I had a lot going on at the time. [But] I said, 'What? We have to make time for this! I'll come in the middle of the night, whatever it is.'"

Frederick, who sang "Everywhere You Look" for "Full House," was on hand when Jepson recorded the "Fuller House" version. She wanted to be "true to the original," she said. On the other hand, "If you try too hard to do something unnatural, it's never going to work out."

"I told her to do it her way," Frederick said. "And it turned out to be great."

Frederick was speaking from his family home on the Nanticoke River, where he lives with his wife, Holly. They have two grown sons, Kieran and Nikolas.

Frederick, who wrote music for dozens of television shows, including "Perfect Strangers," "Family Matters," Step by Step," "Better Days" and "Falcon Crest," said that working on "Full House" was a unique situation. "The production team, the cast - everybody was such a family on the set," he said. "It really was as it seemed on the show. If it was another old show that someone wanted to do today, I would have to think pretty hard before saying yes."

But for now, Frederick is enjoying the whirl of activity around the release of the first season of "Fuller House," and the announcement on March 2 that Netflix has commissioned a second season. Last Thursday, he appeared on "The Tonight Show"; the opening credits for the show included a theme song that he wrote specially for the occasion. "Let the light shine through, to everyone that you know," the chorus says. "Let the light shine through, Jimmy's on The Tonight Show!"

At the end of the program, Frederick joined house band The Roots for a song. Fallon also joining in was not part of the plan.

But "he got excited," Frederick said. "He got up there and sang with us."

Frederick grew up in Salisbury, Md., and Seaford, and graduated from Seaford High School. He went to the Shenandoah Conservatory of Music to study classical trumpet.

"I thought I was destined for that," he said. "But when I got to college, I met people who recognized a different thing in me."

He left the conservatory and in 1972, he released his first album, titled simply "Jesse Frederick," for Bearsville Records. A few years later, he formed the group The Kinetics and released a single for Columbia Records, "Don't Stand in the Shadow."

His foray into film started in 1980, when he sang for a lead character in the movie "The Idolmaker." Frederick recorded the songs, then actor Paul Land lip synched along for the filming. A hit from that film, "Here is My Love," was released as a single; the entire soundtrack came out on compact disc in 2013.

In 1984, he composed and performed music for the movie "The Flamingo Kid." His start in television came when he was asked to write a theme song for the new show, "Perfect Strangers."

By the late 1990s, Frederick, a new father, was ready to leave Los Angeles. He and Holly brought their family to Seaford and then embarked on a two-year sailing trip in the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea.

"That was an incredible experience, with the quality of life that we enjoyed, so far from everything and having to make sure that we knew what we were doing. It was inspiring and life-changing. I can write music by rote, but if I don't stop for a moment and get out, the work becomes more of a skill set than inspiration."

Now, Frederick spends his time writing "more meaningful music," as well as poetry. He is also working on a novel, with no publication date in mind.

"My career pathway has been very different from what I thought it would be when I was dreaming as a kid," he said. "But I'm happy. I'm blessed. I thank God every day for what I have. And I can't believe that at this stage in my career, I got a call asking me to be on with Jimmy Fallon. Can you imagine! I just pinched myself."

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