Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – 1959 “Name That Tune” Game

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Well, the obvious tunes I would name are “September”, “Boogie Wonderland”, “Neutron Dance”, “What Have I Done to Deserve To This?” and I guess “I’ll Be There for You”. The rest of my favorite tunes are here.  But if I have to credit an early source of inspiration for being in the music business and then becoming a songwriter it would have to be the TV show, “Name That Tune”,  upon which this game is based and which I watched  religiously as a wee nip.

There’s nothing more I like in a game from a Kitsch perspective then if it’s convoluted to play. On the other hand, I love the early  attempt at  injecting multimedia interactivity into it. Made in 1959 by Milton Bradley, you play “Name That Tune” by the player elected to be “Disk Jockey”  spinning the dial three times, calling out the numbers on which the arrows stops each time and then spinning the enclosed 78 on which actual TV host, George De Witt,  introduces himself, calls out a number and “plays” a tune.

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From here on in I don’t understand the instructions. But maybe you do as there’s still a foot of them to go through:

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“Name That Tune” ran from 1953 to 1959 on CBS with De Witt as the most popular host until it came back  from 1974-’81 with Tom Kennedy and later with Jim Lange. The game show became the template for a continuing slate of copycat shows as well as ones that borrow from it heavily including current fare like “Don’t Forget the Lyrics” and “The Singing Bee”.

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Categories: Games, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Lyrics, Memorabilia, Music, TV/Radio

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7 Comments

  • StoryTroy says:

    Very cool. I’d imagine the record would be scratched to hell and back after a few spirited games, though.

    Special request: would love to see the “Act Along With” records emshrined on AWMoK. I think I remember you having the one with Tallulah Bankhead… I’ve got my Vincent Price somewhere.

  • StoryTroy says:

    “emshrined” is fancy talk for “enshrined.”

    (me and the “return” key ain’t friends… I always hit ‘im too early)

  • Allee says:

    Emshrined is more appropriate for AWMoK!

    The record in this Name That Tune game looks like someone ate lunch on both sides, then ran it over with a truck and then dropped it from plane.

    I have an Arlene Dahl “Act Along With” record. It took a hit when my porch leaked and dripped all over a bunch of memorabilia on shelves below so it’s all puffy and mildewy but there’s enough of it left, including a mimeographed script, that’s recognizable. I will dig it out one day. If you get your Vincent Price up on awmok.com I promise to go and rescue poor Arlene.

  • StoryTroy says:

    Bummer! Did manage to get Vincent Price up.

  • MyFunCloset says:

    To add one more fact about Name That Tune history. The very first host was “Red” (Norman) Benson, at NBC from mid-1953 into 1954, then the show was picked up by CBS. First, it started as a radio program in 1952 or so. I only know this trivia because he was my Dad’s 1st cousin. If you google Red Benson with Name That Tune it fills in the TV history.

  • Allee says:

    Ok, I will look for Arlene as soon as I get some breathing space. Anxious to see Vincent!

  • Mark says:

    Hi Allee,

    I kinda borrowed your image for my personality website. Hope that’s OK. I made some changes to it too.

    Your CC license says its ok if I’m non profit, right?

    I am non profit… well, actually I’m ALL for profit but I’m not making any profit from my blog.

    Thanks,

    Mark

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