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Author Topic: Commercial music used as game show themes  (Read 1794 times)

Ian Wallis

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Commercial music used as game show themes
« on: May 17, 2019, 07:28:24 PM »
This topic has been touched upon before but I'm not sure anything conclusive was drawn from it.

In the '70s and beyond, it was most common for a game show to have its own specially composed music package.  Prior to that, it was more common to use commercial recordings as themes. or prize cues.  Somewhere along the line the rules may have changed, but at one time was there a "blanket license" that gave these shows the right to use it because it was widely available?

Cases in point:
Dating Game in the '60s and early '70s used many Herb Alpert pieces as regular cues, in addition to other commercial recordings heading into commercials
Match Game used "Swinging Safari" as its theme for several years
$10,000 Pyramid and Jackpot both used previously available pieces of music as their main themes
Love Experts had the top 40 hit "Spring Rain" as its theme

Then there were
Joker's Wild and Now You See It, both of which used commercially available tunes, reverted to something else for a couple of weeks, then back again (it was assumed at the time they hadn't secured the rights to use their respective themes)

At the TV station I worked for from 1987-90, we produced newscasts each night.  The audio person actually encouraged us to bring in instrumental recordings that could be used in the background during the sports segment.  Then around early 1990, the rules changed and one of the directors told us we couldn't use them anymore without paying a fee, and instead started using industry-produced "Network" CDs with instrumental music.

If the rules changed by 1990, I wonder why those two shows from the early '70s had the issue of temporarily changing their themes when the others who used the music were OK.  Did Chuck Barris pay Herb Alpert for the use of his music?  If it was a rights issue, was it just an oversite?  The other shows mentioned didn't seem to have any problems.

Any thoughts?
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Winkfan

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Re: Commercial music used as game show themes
« Reply #1 on: May 22, 2019, 12:56:30 AM »
You Bet Your Life used "Hooray For Capt. Spaulding" for its theme; which was apropos, because Groucho played the role of Capt. Spaulding in the 1930 movie "Animal Crackers" (his second Paramount film with his brothers).

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Tammy
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whewfan

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Re: Commercial music used as game show themes
« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2019, 04:18:00 PM »
Captain Spaulding had long been Groucho's signature song, just as "The Start of Something Big" was always associated with Steve Allen. I believe the Rafferty Blockbusters theme was also stock music, as well as the theme from Debt.

TwoInchQuad

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Re: Commercial music used as game show themes
« Reply #3 on: May 24, 2019, 11:22:48 PM »
The network programs have always been required to license their theme music-- it's just a lot more expensive to license a commercial recording, since you're paying both the publisher for the synch license **and** the record label for the use of the master recording.

And on the main topic, Eye Guess made delightful use of Herb Alpert's RCA recording of "Sugar Lips" as its theme.

- Kevin

Jimmy Owen

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Re: Commercial music used as game show themes
« Reply #4 on: May 25, 2019, 10:55:08 AM »
I thought it was Al Hirt.
Let's Make a Deal was the first show to air on Buzzr. 6/1/15 8PM.

Chief-O

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Re: Commercial music used as game show themes
« Reply #5 on: May 25, 2019, 07:17:43 PM »
......yes. I *do* know what "ope" means.

Jimmy Owen

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Re: Commercial music used as game show themes
« Reply #6 on: May 26, 2019, 03:47:36 AM »
I thought it was Al Hirt.

It was.
Al Hirt is close to Alpert, eye guess. :)
Let's Make a Deal was the first show to air on Buzzr. 6/1/15 8PM.

ActualRetailMike

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Re: Commercial music used as game show themes
« Reply #7 on: June 03, 2019, 09:47:08 PM »
Speaking of Al Hirt...

Bowling for Dollars, at least in the '70s, used an Al Hirt cover of Jay & the Techniques' "Keep the Ball Rollin'" as a jackpot cue.  Shorter sections were used as bumper music in some editions.  I suspect that the main theme was custom-written for the show, but I never found out for sure.  The theme may be heard here, if you cue to the ending at 23:10. There's a cool animation with it that was (in my experience) usually used for the show's opening.  The Al Hirt song can be heard briefly at the show's beginning, after the "digital countdown".

https://tcmedianow.com/bowling-for-dollars-with-tom-ryther-taped-in-november-1977-full-broadcast/

Bob Zager

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Re: Commercial music used as game show themes
« Reply #8 on: June 04, 2019, 11:59:23 AM »
Most recently:  Pharrell Williams' "Happy!" used as the theme music on the current "Funny You Should Ask!"

Also, "Book of Love" by The Monotones used in 1988 for "The Newlywed Game--Starring Paul Rodriguez"

I'm sure there is lots more, but those are worth mentioning.

byrd62

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Re: Commercial music used as game show themes
« Reply #9 on: June 04, 2019, 01:19:49 PM »
Most recently:  Pharrell Williams' "Happy!" used as the theme music on the current "Funny You Should Ask!"

Also, "Book of Love" by The Monotones used in 1988 for "The Newlywed Game--Starring Paul Rodriguez"

I'm sure there is lots more, but those are worth mentioning.

Funny you should mention Funny You Should Ask!, because its original 1968 version, weekdays on ABC with Lloyd Thaxton, used a commercially-released track by Patrick Williams and his orchestra entitled "Shades" for its theme music.

Chief-O

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Re: Commercial music used as game show themes
« Reply #10 on: June 04, 2019, 01:36:51 PM »
Funny you should mention Funny You Should Ask!, because its original 1968 version, weekdays on ABC with Lloyd Thaxton, used a commercially-released track by Patrick Williams and his orchestra entitled "Shades" for its theme music.

On that note, I should mention Williams' cover of "Get Back" being used for "Sports Challenge".
......yes. I *do* know what "ope" means.

mystery7

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Re: Commercial music used as game show themes
« Reply #11 on: June 06, 2019, 01:55:41 PM »
Since we mentioned bowling, Celebrity Bowling used "Everybody Loves My Baby" by King Richard's Fluegel Knights (a guilty pleasure of mine) as its theme.