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.