I grew up in a very musical household. My grandfather was a professional musician, my mother was an avid organ enthusiast and there was always a radio playing somewhere in the house. We would enjoy singalongs at Shaky’s Pizza as often as possible and there was rarely a family gathering that didn’t include laughter and song.
All of this made my mother and I particularly good players of Name That Tune. One of the most popular television game shows of the mid to late 1970s, Name that Tune pitted two contestants against each other in a serious of music-themed rounds with different rules. Basically, the winner was the first contestant to correctly guess the name of a song performed by the show’s "band". There were opportunities to win cash prizes and cars playing rounds like “Melody Roulette”, “Money Tree” and (my favorite) “Bid-A-Note”. The high scorer after three rounds would become the day’s champion and earn a chance to play the Golden Medley round … naming seven tunes within thirty seconds. I remember the host, Tom Kennedy, was usually pretty corny but fun.
Recently, it was announced that Name That Tune will be returning to television! FreemantleMedia, the production company behind American Idol, The X Factor and America’s Got Talent, has decided to expand its empire by obtaining the rights to the classic game show format.
This isn’t the first time that talks of a reboot have made the news. Several years ago MTV tried to create versions of the competition on its three big networks (MTV, VH1 and CMT) but it never happened. CBS was unsuccessful in 2006. So, it’s been about twenty-five years since the last original episodes aired regularly in the United States.
If anyone can make this work, I think FreemantleMedia can. They’ve successfully brought new versions of Family Feud and Let’s Make A Deal to television and managed to successfully transition The Price Is Right from the Bob Barker era into its present format. Plus, they’ve made money doing it.
Consider yourself challenged, Mother! Once Name That Tune is back on the air we’ll be able to watch it together again!
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