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promoguy98

Discovered composers & publishers of music themes

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During a late-night deep dive into TV news history (I've got all the time in the world during this quarantine) I found some interesting information on the WAGA 1977/Outlet News Theme. @Samantha found some information back in 2014 that Hayes Productions helped produce the image with Anderson Advertising, and a 1977 article from the San Antonio News-Express talks about how the promotion and theme were developed. KSAT was the original client for this package, and it was introduced with the debut of Don Colson as news anchor in June 1976. It spread to other stations in the Outlet Company, including WDBO in Orlando (not in the NMSA, and the article shows a sample of their opening). The composer of the theme was Mike Byrn, and I couldn't find much information about him. 

San_Antonio_Express_Sun__May_1__1977_.jpg

KSATPart2.jpg

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TServo2049 actually talked with Byrne in 2014, but he did ask me not to share the information he told me with the public. Unfortunately much of what was said has not circulated publicly since.

 

KMOL '79 is also his work (he did a total of 3 to 4 themes) as is WAGA '79 (which the NMSA has since incorrectly lumped into X Belongs as sample 3). Not everything Hayes did had Byrne's music.

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I have a "good feeling" the 'WRAL 1982 News Theme' & image is by JAM Productions.

 

 

The female vocalist in the above promo sounds like the same one as in this promo for WVRN in Richmond, "It's a Good Feeling to Know" which was made for WJZ by JAM Productions and is paired to their The News Leader music package.

 

 

Is anyone able to back this up with more evidence? The WRAL theme and song is giving me strong JAM vibes.

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Is KSNW 1985 (though I think it was earlier cause KETV used it in 1983) also JAM? Has some similar sounds to WRAL.

 

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Posted (edited)

The "WLIG 1986 News Theme" - according to the NMSA - has a name, y'all.

 

The theme WLIG (now WLNY) used in the mid-1980s for their newscast is actually a production music track called "Newsweek" - from the album "Ideas In Action" - by DeWolfe Music.

https://dewolfemusic.com/search.php?id=15564951&code=futATJ

 

 

WWBT here in Richmond used the theme back in the early '80s for their newscasts. (see 0:24)

 

 

 

Edited by tw-804

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On 5/23/2020 at 10:36 AM, Samantha said:

TServo2049 actually talked with Byrne in 2014, but he did ask me not to share the information he told me with the public. Unfortunately much of what was said has not circulated publicly since.

 

KMOL '79 is also his work (he did a total of 3 to 4 themes) as is WAGA '79 (which the NMSA has since incorrectly lumped into X Belongs as sample 3). Not everything Hayes did had Byrne's music.

 

This is all accurate to what I'd learned from my correspondence. Hayes Productions (but not Mr. Byrne) also would appear to be behind "It's a New 4" for KTVY, based on 1.) it appearing in what appears to be an animation demo reel of theirs which NewsActive3 posted some years back, alongside KMOL '79, WAGA '79, and the 1976-77 Outlet group package; and 2.) the lead vocalist on the separately uploaded full promo, Johnny Hooper, confirmed to me in a separate conversation that it's his voice on the song, and that he would travel from Dallas to San Antonio a couple times a year to sing jingles there.

 

(Side note: While I don't believe Hayes was behind "17 and You" for WJKS, I also feel like I hear Hooper's voice in the group of that ID jingle, and my research suggests that might have also been done in San Antonio and not in Dallas. There's a copyright registration for "Seventeen and you" by one Robert H. Bruce; there was/is also a Robert H. Bruce in San Antonio, who ran United Audio Recording.)

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Posted (edited)

Also, on the subject of WRAL, I don't think it's JAM. I'm also not sure it's the same singer on both those videos - they sound similar, but quite a few female vocalists from the South do.

 

And that KSN thing doesn't sound like the usual Dallas vocal group we'd hear on JAM stuff, either.

 

My current thoughts about WRAL 1982's possible place of origin go to a city that produced a lot of broadcast advertising music, but which nobody ever really talks about: Nashville. The reason I am thinking this is not even because of the music (though the vocalist on that WRAL promo vaguely reminds me of Janie Fricke, of all people), but because of the animation.

 

Allow me to introduce you to a Nashville-based production company called Cascom. For those who have never heard of them, but know about the stock animations you see in a ton of old news opens and promos and stuff, especially for smaller stations - think of the laser outline cameraman with the mustache, the four spotlights, the rotating globe in the shiny ring, the city in the distance with the searchlights, all the stuff in that WLIG open - that was them.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bpjjYyCIg64

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bpjjYyCIg64 (I keep getting an error that YT doesn't allow embedding of this video, so just click on the link.)

 

(And apparently, they were also involved in the distribution of those even more ubiquitous Cranston-Csuri CGI graphic templates that showed up everywhere in the mid/late 80s; they never owned nor were under common ownership with Cranston-Csuri, so it must have been some kind of licensing agreement, or maybe they contracted Cranston-Csuri to do them for lack of their own CGI production. I'm really not sure.)

 

Cascom produced those generic animations (well, excepting the Cranston-Csuri stuff, of course) and syndicated them as a generic package, but they also did custom stuff (some of which was repurposed into the generic effects package - for example, the really long demo has a package of elements you can see in promos online for a couple Australian stations like SAS-10 Adelaide, and you can also spot starburst effects from United Artists Theaters trailers and camera shutter effects from General Cinema policy trailers, which they animated under contract for an Atlanta-based outfit called Cinema Concepts, which later merged with Cascom around 1987 or so, but evidently split back off from them later). The WRAL animations really look like the Cascom stuff I've seen - even knowing that so much of these backlit animation graphics looked similar and used similar tricks, no matter who made them - so if the animation was done in Nashville, might the music have also been done there?

 

The fact that WRAL 1982 also showed up on KTXL, a station who definitely used Cascom's generic graphics, and had custom animations that looked very similar, also makes me wonder. So does the presence of a vaguely familiar voice in the "Take Off With Forty" song (and also possibly in "Go for the Stars"), who reminds me of the female vocalists in old Pepper-Tanner/William B. Tanner jingles. Those were done in Memphis, and I believe that some Memphis session singers (like Janie Fricke) eventually moved to Nashville, they're close enough that there could have been back and forth. I'm not that sure of the extent of Cascom's involvement in broadcast music, but it is food for thought.

Edited by TServo2049
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Posted (edited)

🚨ATTENTION to notable TVNTers near Chicagoland! 🚨

Ladies and gents, the classy WGN Nightbeat theme has FINALLY been identified. From CPM library, track entitled "gadabout" (CPM-004A-41)

Major credit: Museum of Classic Chicago Television 👏

 

Edited by justin2kx
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16 hours ago, TServo2049 said:

Also, on the subject of WRAL, I don't think it's JAM. I'm also not sure it's the same singer on both those videos - they sound similar, but quite a few female vocalists from the South do.

 

And that KSN thing doesn't sound like the usual Dallas vocal group we'd hear on JAM stuff, either.

 

My current thoughts about WRAL 1982's possible place of origin go to a city that produced a lot of broadcast advertising music, but which nobody ever really talks about: Nashville. The reason I am thinking this is not even because of the music (though the vocalist on that WRAL promo vaguely reminds me of Janie Fricke, of all people), but because of the animation.

 

Allow me to introduce you to a Nashville-based production company called Cascom. For those who have never heard of them, but know about the stock animations you see in a ton of old news opens and promos and stuff, especially for smaller stations - think of the laser outline cameraman with the mustache, the four spotlights, the rotating globe in the shiny ring, the city in the distance with the searchlights, all the stuff in that WLIG open - that was them.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bpjjYyCIg64

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bpjjYyCIg64 (I keep getting an error that YT doesn't allow embedding of this video, so just click on the link.)

 

(And apparently, they were also involved in the distribution of those even more ubiquitous Cranston-Csuri CGI graphic templates that showed up everywhere in the mid/late 80s; they never owned nor were under common ownership with Cranston-Csuri, so it must have been some kind of licensing agreement, or maybe they contracted Cranston-Csuri to do them for lack of their own CGI production. I'm really not sure.)

 

Cascom produced those generic animations (well, excepting the Cranston-Csuri stuff, of course) and syndicated them as a generic package, but they also did custom stuff (some of which was repurposed into the generic effects package - for example, the really long demo has a package of elements you can see in promos online for a couple Australian stations like SAS-10 Adelaide, and you can also spot starburst effects from United Artists Theaters trailers and camera shutter effects from General Cinema policy trailers, which they animated under contract for an Atlanta-based outfit called Cinema Concepts, which later merged with Cascom around 1987 or so, but evidently split back off from them later). The WRAL animations really look like the Cascom stuff I've seen - even knowing that so much of these backlit animation graphics looked similar and used similar tricks, no matter who made them - so if the animation was done in Nashville, might the music have also been done there?

 

The fact that WRAL 1982 also showed up on KTXL, a station who definitely used Cascom's generic graphics, and had custom animations that looked very similar, also makes me wonder. So does the presence of a vaguely familiar voice in the "Take Off With Forty" song (and also possibly in "Go for the Stars"), who reminds me of the female vocalists in old Pepper-Tanner/William B. Tanner jingles. Those were done in Memphis, and I believe that some Memphis session singers (like Janie Fricke) eventually moved to Nashville, they're close enough that there could have been back and forth. I'm not that sure of the extent of Cascom's involvement in broadcast music, but it is food for thought.

 

WWL in New Orleans used the "SIP 1 (Station Image Package 1)" for their news opens, and the "globe" animation for their movie opens. However, they intercut clips from movies in their library and added their own titles to those opens, as seen here. I'm wondering where the music came from, though. (This was from ewjxn's collection, but I brightened up the original video):

 

 

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Cool theme! If that 1981 date is correct, then it seems that it was commissioned for KTXL first, not WRAL.

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1 hour ago, Casey Buck said:

Cool theme! If that 1981 date is correct, then it seems that it was commissioned for KTXL first, not WRAL.


You may be right. This was before WRAL started using that theme for its "Action News 5" broadcasts. As I was listening to the KTXL theme montage, I did notice a drum beat on the KTXL/WRAL theme on YouTube at 2:35. And then, I went over to SouthernMedia's News Search Archive and listen to TM Productions' NewsBeat which featured a drum beat at :12. This leads me to believe that a jingle company such as TM Productions may have had something to do with the theme. However, I may be wrong.
 

(drum beat can be heard at 2:35)

http://www.newsmusicsearcharchive.com/#3,1,300
(drum beat for "NewsBeat" can be heard at :12)

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Here is another unidentified theme worth sharing: The closing theme to WLKY's "21 Alive News" from August 15th, 1986 
 


You can listen to the theme at 6:20.

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2 hours ago, KnoxvilleTVFan said:

Here is another unidentified theme worth sharing: The closing theme to WLKY's "21 Alive News" from August 15th, 1986 
 


You can listen to the theme at 6:20.

*32 alive.

On 5/29/2020 at 2:05 AM, KnoxvilleTVFan said:


You may be right. This was before WRAL started using that theme for its "Action News 5" broadcasts. As I was listening to the KTXL theme montage, I did notice a drum beat on the KTXL/WRAL theme on YouTube at 2:35. And then, I went over to SouthernMedia's News Search Archive and listen to TM Productions' NewsBeat which featured a drum beat at :12. This leads me to believe that a jingle company such as TM Productions may have had something to do with the theme. However, I may be wrong.
 

(drum beat can be heard at 2:35)

http://www.newsmusicsearcharchive.com/#3,1,300
(drum beat for "NewsBeat" can be heard at :12)

 

I think the drum beat in question, is actually closer to Tuesday1 from Tuesday productions.

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The WLKY close is from an image package called "Looking Better all the Time" that apparently originated with WBTV Charlotte in 1983, but we know literally nothing else. KAMR also used this theme.

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On 5/30/2020 at 1:38 PM, Samantha said:

The WLKY close is from an image package called "Looking Better all the Time" that apparently originated with WBTV Charlotte in 1983, but we know literally nothing else. KAMR also used this theme.

The singers in the promo sound almost like Dallas to me. This MIGHT have been the work of VTS, who was based in Asheville, NC but recorded most of their stuff in Dallas (as well as having several working connections with FirstCom founder/TM co-founder Jim Long), but I certainly won’t be able to confirm anything from Hal Brown, because the Oodles World venture he was running at the time of our correspondence turns out to have been a Ponzi scheme, he pled guilty to defrauding investors of $22 million, he’s awaiting sentence and he may well spend the rest of his life in prison (he’s 70, the maximum sentencing totals up to 50 years).

 

So bizarre to find this out, he seemed like such a nice guy over the phone, always willing to discuss his VTS work with me (at least until I started always getting his voicemail; this was a few years ago, but perhaps it did have to do with the Oodles con getting longer and longer, I guess I’ll never know). He seemed sincere over the phone, but I guess like they say, “beware the nice ones.” So we’ll have to search for news articles and other stuff (or I’d have to establish contact with someone else who was involved with VTS) if we ever want to know about VTS’ involvement in this or anything else we don’t know about.
 

Fortunately, we know a lot as it is (not all of it reflected on NMSA - see: WRTV’s “Making a Difference” package which is still listed there as WRTV 1990/Unknown), but I don’t believe I ever got an answer from him on this package (I had my suspicions, I remember wanting to ask him, and I believe I even emailed the audio to him back when we were still talking, but I feel like I’d remember if I got confirmation one way or the other).

Edited by TServo2049
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Whoaaaaaaaa. Didn't see that coming. For context:

 

https://www.foxcarolina.com/investigations/doj-asheville-man-defrauded-investors-of-13-5m-in-ponzi-scheme-defrauding-more-than-23/article_fabe97ee-da90-11e9-a1ac-af8b001b5238.html

https://www.foxcarolina.com/news/feds-asheville-man-pleads-guilty-to-22-million-ponzi-scheme/article_00ab454e-3d97-11ea-80c7-ffb6ea5ccb81.html

 

I'm not gonna derail this thread, but....... Wow.

 

Meanwhile, speaking of Nashville... Here's some pretty high-profile broadcast work from 1986. TV Worth Watching, anyone?

 

445496499_ScreenShot2020-05-31at22_07_25.thumb.png.a5062bbda5577cf2720b635d51628b11.png

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Wow what a story - too bad for all involved

 

Was hoping some of the KCRA Where the news comes first mystery could be solved via VTS but maybe it was other shops

Edited by sfomspphl

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From what I remember, Earl Grizzell did the original 1983(?) iteration without any involvement from VTS, then did the more well-known 1986 "symphony" update at VTS (where he worked from 1986-90). Since he's the guy who wrote the theme, perhaps he'd know more about the later themes which used the melody.

 

There's a 1995 copyright assignment document referencing Grizzell's original 1986-87 WNTCF registration, with Grizzell as party 1 and Kelly Broadcasting as party 2. So Kelly could have had some kind of rights to the melody and commissioned the themes from unrelated producers. (Granted, that document is dated 1995, several years after said mystery themes, so who knows?)

Edited by TServo2049

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So it appears the WFLA 1981 look lasted one year and four days. Yes I’m sharing this here cause I don’t know who composed the theme.

DD4C4FFE-23E9-4F48-A035-0196906D583A.jpeg

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2 hours ago, Info Junkie said:

So it appears the WFLA 1981 look lasted one year and four days. Yes I’m sharing this here cause I don’t know who composed the theme.

 

Someone else discovered it has the same melody as a WCVB promotion "Channel 5 & You" IIRC (I think that was it, but I may be wrong. But it was definitely WCVB). EDIT: I should clarify-there was a promo that WFLA aired "The Look...Alive" that had the same melody as the WCVB promotion. 

 

I also wonder what WFLA was using in the 1979-81 era. 

Edited by 8Viewer

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1 hour ago, 8Viewer said:

 

Someone else discovered it has the same melody as a WCVB promotion "Channel 5 & You" IIRC (I think that was it, but I may be wrong. But it was definitely WCVB). EDIT: I should clarify-there was a promo that WFLA aired "The Look...Alive" that had the same melody as the WCVB promotion. 

 

I also wonder what WFLA was using in the 1979-81 era. 

Here is a link to that promo from the Internet Wayback Machine. You have to hit continue go to the 70s, then 1977 and then click on Bob Hite sails to Tampa, the promo then plays.

 

https://web.archive.org/web/20050326181659/http://media.tbo.com/wfla/flash/timeline/popup.htm

Edited by jerseyfla

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Link doesn’t work, unless I need to enable flash which I can’t do via iPhone.

47 minutes ago, jerseyfla said:

Here is a link to that promo from the Internet Wayback Machine. You have to hit continue go to the 70s, then 1977 and then click on Bob Hite sails to Tampa, the promo then plays.

 

https://web.archive.org/web/20050326181659/http://media.tbo.com/wfla/flash/timeline/popup.htm

 

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