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.


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:


“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”.

name-that-tune_6024 name-that-tune_6028 name-that-tune_6027 name-that-tune_5764 name-that-tune_5765

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

  1. StoryTroy

    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.

  2. StoryTroy

    “emshrined” is fancy talk for “enshrined.”

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

  3. Allee

    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 I promise to go and rescue poor Arlene.

  4. MyFunCloset

    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.

  5. Allee

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

  6. Mark

    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.



  7. Mike Kay

    Hi I love my George Dewitt name that tune game but don’t have the song list. Can you take a pictire of the inside of the box for side one and two for me please?