The Television Production Music Museum

I wrote about the Television Production Music Museum yesterday when asking for help identifying television announcers. But now I’d like to take a moment to talk about the museum itself. There have been and currently are lots of websites dedicated to television theme songs and opening/closing credits. The Television Production Music Museum, however, is quite a bit more than that.

Here’s how the museum describes itself:

The museum provides a permanent home for recorded works produced for the television industry. Currently there is no single place that collects these works & preserves them to honor the composer and their creative talents. There are a number of universities that have collections of television productions on videotape and kinescopes but none that specifically concentrates on the recorded works of television composers.

Dating back to 1972, the museum has a collection that includes television theme songs, promotional music and more. Some are one-of-a-kind recordings. Here, for example, are ten versions of the theme song from The ABC Movie of the Week. Here are 38 tracks of what I presume to be incidental (background) music from 1950s/1960 sitcoms. And here is an incredible collection of 98 tracks from the 1969-1974 version of Beat the Clock, recorded live by Dick Hyman as he played the organ during the show’s last week of production.

Of the “big three” networks, CBS is represented the most in the museum’s collection. Theme songs from ten different television seasons can be heard (including the 1974-1975 and 1977-1978 season) plus promotional music. Here are 21 tracks from the network’s 1991-1992 image campaign.

Personally, my favorite part of the collection is the theme song from Sons and Daughters, found in the 1974-1975 CBS album. I’ve never heard the full theme before and it’s wonderful. Very light and airy.

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6 Replies to “The Television Production Music Museum”

  1. I’ve heard just about all of Phil Green’s cues (originally written for Capitol’s famous “Hi-Q Production Music Library”), and most of them were used in several situation comedies [none that are widely seen today]. But some of them [in fact, almost all of the first 25 tracks] WERE used in Hanna-Barbera’s “QUICK DRAW McGRAW” series during its first season (1959-’60), as background music for “Quick Draw McGraw”, “Snooper & Blabber” and “Augie Doggie”. I recognized those cues right away! Especially “#10”, which was used at the end of several “Quick Draw” stories (where Baba Looey once noted. “I like that Queeks’ Draw! He’s got a ‘lot’ up here…no brains, just an empty lot! Adios!” {Iris in…}). In fact, Rhino records reissued some of those on their “Hanna-Barbera Production Music” CDs a few years back. And a few tracks {#5,6,13,19,20 and 21} were used in several Warner Bros. theatrical cartoons during the Hollywood musicians’ strike of 1958. AND, the beginning of #27 was used in several 1965 ABC Saturday/Sunday morning promos [two animated kids sitting in front of their TV: Girl: “What do we do on Saturdays?”/Boy: “Watch Casper the Ghost, Casper the Ghost, Casper the Ghost!”, etc.]. #28 was also heard in some ABC prime-time comedy promos in the fall of 1964- and WABC-TV in New York also used the beginning of that cue in some of their “4:30 MOVIE” promos [those featuring comedy] duirng the ’70s.

  2. The site is a wonderland of interesting theme TV music and a must-stop for anyone interested in the subject. It’s a shame a few original themes, like for Hollywood Squares and Jeopardy, aren’t there.

    As for the Green cues, they were originally written for the EMI Photoplay series and leased by Capitol for the Hi-Q library.

    The first cue is 1-PE-214 HAVING FUN from Hi-Q reel L 125. 23 through 34 are the long versions of the cues from reels L 93-94 in consecutive order.

    The ‘Parade’ library cue was used as a theme on a CBS Morning Show with Harry Reasoner and Mary Fickett. I think it’s a Valentino/Major cue as BMI credits it to Robert Ascher.

  3. The Harry Reasoner/Mary Fickett show on CBS’ daytime schedule was “CALENDAR” (1961-’63), a daily half-hour airing weekdays at 10am (et).

    1. It would be replaced in 1963 by the “CBS Morning News” – whose first anchor was to be Reasoner’s co-host on “60 Minutes” when it was first launched five years later . . . Mike Wallace.

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