Apr 22, 2009

MoJoe Retro

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An Online TV Treasure Trove

As the first entry in MoJoe TV indicates, I’m a pretty obsessive fan of classic TV marketing. When YouTube launched, I spent hours and hours watching old network image campaigns—from “Still the One” (ABC) to “Let’s All Be There” (NBC). I get really, really excited over small things such as the original version of HBO’s old Saturday “starship” movie open.

Needless to say, I pretty much plotzed when I stumbled upon the Television Production Music Museum.

Other Web sites like to collect TV themes. I love theme songs, don’t get me wrong. But they’re about as common (and widely available) as rats in a New York City apartment house.

But the TV Production Music Museum houses much rarer gems.

ABC’s “Come On Along” jingle? Check.

The old “Nick Nick Nick” idents for Nickelodeon? It’s there, there, there.

“Looking Good Together” from CBS’ 1980 fall launch? Yup. Including a recession version CBS could repurpose today: “Times are turning hard they say, and hard times there may be….”

And, yes, there are themes as well. But not just the ones widely available on iTunes.

I smiled for a full hour after discovering the 1980s version of the “Entertainment Tonight” theme song, complete with cheesy synth sounds and laser effects.

You’ll find both the “PM Magazine” theme as well as its homelier cousin, the “Hour Magazine” theme. (No luck with an “Evening Magazine” download, though.)

There are multiple versions of the music from “Donahue”—even a smooth jazz take! The supercool music to CBS’ ahead-of-its-time “West 57th” is on the site (buried under a section of music by Edd Kalehoff, one of my newfound idols). There’s the theme for “Card Sharks,” natch, as well as the riff that played whenever someone won a round.

And yes, you can even find that 1970 modern jazz classic, “TWX in 12 Bars”—better known as the theme to “Wall $treet Week.” That Louis Rukeyser was one cool cat.

Forget the Paley Center. I’ve found my new favorite TV museum.

  • Posted April 22 at 3:35 PM

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