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Hidden lyrics in news themes...

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I was just wondering-- have you ever heard of hidden lyrics within news themes (by which I mean, those that can be deciphered by listening closely to the beat/music of the theme)?

 

One I discovered is from KSTP Channel 5 (ABC in the Twin Cities) from way back in the day; the opening had a sound that went something like this:

 

"K-S-T-P, Eye-wit-ness News, K-S-T-P, Eye-wit-ness News, Up-date!" (This could presumably be used for the other dayparts as well.)

 

Or this, from WPLG Channel 10 (ABC in Miami, in the Eyewitness News days of that station):

 

"One-and-only, Channel 10!" (Or possibly "Eye-wit-ness News, Five-thirty!" [or "Five-o'clock" or "Six-o'clock," even]).

 

Have you ever listened closely to a news theme to try to decipher hidden lyrics?

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That KSTP signature was actually taken from KGTV, who commissioned The News Image, though KSTP did commission their own version in 1985.

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That KSTP signature was actually taken from KGTV, who commissioned The News Image, though KSTP did commission their own version in 1985.

 

Did not know that (that KGTV had that signature before that)!

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We actually had a thread on this many years ago... some of these come from accompanying image campaigns which are a no-brainer, but others are total hunches:

 

https://forums.tvnewstalk.net/index.php?threads/news-music-signatures-and-station-slogans.89/

 

Thanks for bringing that up-- I neglected to look within this forum for that thread, but thanks for the heads-up.

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Thanks for bringing that up-- I neglected to look within this forum for that thread, but thanks for the heads-up.

 

Oh no, it's okay! Not everyone would think to look for a thread from 2006, haha. I remembered it and thought it could aid in discussion.

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Oh no, it's okay! Not everyone would think to look for a thread from 2006, haha. I remembered it and thought it could aid in discussion.

 

It is-- there's a lot on there I didn't know about! One thing-- who was it who made the WPLG theme song of the early-90s? Was that Frank Gari (just guessing)?

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Sinclair's Glass/Curve's theme has hidden lyrics but it's only two words.

 

A-me-ri-ca, A-me-ri-ca, Sin-clair!.

 

If only we knew how grossly "patriotic" Sinclair was back in 2012.

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Sinclair's Glass/Curve's theme has hidden lyrics but it's only two words.

 

A-me-ri-ca, A-me-ri-ca, Sin-clair!.

 

If only we knew how grossly "patriotic" Sinclair was back in 2012.

That patriotism you speak of has existed since the News Central days.

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I was told that the CBS Enforcer has lyrics as well, is that true?

 

Its just mainly based off the WBBM theme of "I Love Chicago, Chicago My Home."

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Its just mainly based off the WBBM theme of "I Love Chicago, Chicago My Home."

Which itself was a folk song sung in the Chicago Public Schools in the 50's and sixties.

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Sinclair's Glass/Curve's theme has hidden lyrics but it's only two words.

 

A-me-ri-ca, A-me-ri-ca, Sin-clair!.

 

If only we knew how grossly "patriotic" Sinclair was back in 2012.

 

Hello, When WBFF Fox 45 was the first to use the current Sinclair graphics and theme music. It did have hiddens, but it went:

 

"Fox Forty-Five, Double-you Bee Eff Eff!"

 

If Seattle's KPLZ Star 101.5 uses the music as its lyrical audio logo it would go:

 

"Kay Pea El Zee, Star One Oh One Point Five!"

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Most themes from the 70’s-80’s where built around a “song” or image campaign, not necessarily a “hidden message”

I recall in a Frank Gari interview he talked about how this became, after his successful production of the WEWS “Catch 5” image, Ch. 5 management approached him wanting an instrumental package of recordings for news and for it to sound like Catch 5. He also talked about how he pioneered not only an image campaign with corresponding theme package but also syndication. If I can find that interview, I will post it, it is very informative and interesting!

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There's also WGCL's theme from when they changed their call letters to go with their ill-fated Clear News format-- it was directly based on the song "I Can See Clearly Now" (that song that's been in Claritin commercials in the past few years):

 

 

Did anybody else like Clear News? I think that if WGCL had stuck with it it could've developed a following, as something different compared to the other stations. (I would've swapped out that weird orange color for blue though, it made it look like they were on Nickelodeon.)

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Who designed those graphics for WGCL? It looks like the spinoff of KTLA’s 98-04 gfx by Linda Kane Design

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lots of creative people in this thread... but all wrong... those little melodies are actually cries for help from the composers... hidden in plain sight...

 

the signature for "impact"??? "help! i hate my job! i want to leave!"

image news?? "someone come help me get out of here!"

power news??? "this place blows. they don't pay me enough"

 

the list just goes on... terrible!!! someone help these poor people!!

 

ok... so not all of them are cries for help... some are just vanity from the composers... "the mission"? "my name's John Williams and this song is cool." or just plain laziness... the fox o&o theme? "fox paid me to write this song"

 

 

 

i hope this shows you can put anything to music if you put your mind to it!! :p:D;)

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lots of creative people in this thread... but all wrong... those little melodies are actually cries for help from the composers... hidden in plain sight...

 

the signature for "impact"??? "help! i hate my job! i want to leave!"

image news?? "someone come help me get out of here!"

power news??? "this place blows. they don't pay me enough"

 

the list just goes on... terrible!!! someone help these poor people!!

 

ok... so not all of them are cries for help... some are just vanity from the composers... "the mission"? "my name's John Williams and this song is cool." or just plain laziness... the fox o&o theme? "fox paid me to write this song"

 

 

 

i hope this shows you can put anything to music if you put your mind to it!! :p:D;)

I seriously read each one to the tune of each theme mention....

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Impact was commissioned for WTVT. I'm pretty sure the composer sat down and hummed this:

 

"Chan-nel - 13 - NEWS"

 

hmmm....

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Impact was commissioned for WTVT. I'm pretty sure the composer sat down and hummed this:

 

"Chan-nel - 13 - NEWS"

 

hmmm....

Or maybe TVT - 13. That's what I always thought...they used the branding for non-news type stuff back then in the later years of their CBS days.

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There's also WGCL's theme from when they changed their call letters to go with their ill-fated Clear News format-- it was directly based on the song "I Can See Clearly Now" (that song that's been in Claritin commercials in the past few years):

 

 

Did anybody else like Clear News? I think that if WGCL had stuck with it it could've developed a following, as something different compared to the other stations. (I would've swapped out that weird orange color for blue though, it made it look like they were on Nickelodeon.)

I liked the color scheme, but the news? Ughhhhhh.... I’m personally on the line to replace the orange with yellow or purple than blue.

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Something to consider here is the inherent flexibility of a set of notes without vocals to go with them. For instance, Advantage can very easily spell W-F-S-B, Eye-wit-ness News, but it also works as W-T-H-I, Ac-tion 10 News, W-A-P-T, Chan-nel 16, K-F-D-X-T-V, NewsCenter 3...just to name a few off the top of my head. It's especially subjective when you consider packages that weren't commissioned by any one specific station - many of the various group packages come to mind there.

 

There are exceptions, of course - there are several cuts in Seize The Day that actually have a female vocal over the logo of "WSMV, Working 4 You!", and as mentioned, an image campaign tends to make it very obvious. But I'd say it's widespread enough to be a rule of thumb.

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