|Dennis James 1974-1975 (Daytime)|
Tom Kennedy 1974-1981 (Syndicated), 1977 (Daytime)
Kathie Lee Gifford (Johnson)
|Jerri Fiala & Dennon Rawles|
|Ralph Edwards Productions|
|Station Syndication (nee Sandy Frank Productions)|
This is chronicling the 1970s version of Name That Tune.
This version allow contestants, usually one male and one female, who were selected from the studio audience, to score points as well as cash and prizes by winning music-related games.
Regularly played sub-games on the show included:
- Ring That Bell: Seen only on the Dennis James version, this was a throwback to the original 1950s series; two bells were suspended from the ceiling, with each contestant about 20 feet away. The first contestant to correctly "ring the bell and name that tune" scored. Five tunes were played, and the player who correctly guessed three (or the most) tunes won the round and 10 points.
- Pick-A-Prize: A game played only on the 1977 daytime series, this one had the contestants shown an assortment of prizes, then alternating between listening to tunes and trying to name them for a prize of their choice each time. The first player to name three tunes won the round and 10 points.
- Pick-A-Tune: Featured early in the first season of the Kennedy version; each tune would feature a list of words which included the words in the tune's title. Players eliminated words so that only the words in the title remained.
- Cassette Roulette: This was played during the first few months of Kennedy's version. Eight over-sized 8-track tapes were displayed, each containing a category, with a corresponding tune played (the contestants alternated in choosing). Four of the "cassettes" also contained a bonus prize, which would be awarded to the contestant who named the tune. Seven tunes were played, and the first player to name four (or the most) tunes won the round and 10 points.
- Money Tree: Played for two years from 1975 to 1977, this game had both players given their own "tree" with a hundred $1 bills on it. While one player tried to guess a tune (up to three were played), his/her opponent would remove bills as fast as possible from the first player's tree until that player guessed correctly or ran out of time; the player with the most money left on his/her tree at the end of the round won (though it wasn't uncommon to see both trees stripped clean). The game was retired because Kennedy didn't like its greedy nature, not to mention contestants having a tendency to cut their fingers on the metal edges that held the bills in place.
- Melody Roulette: This was played in both versions (replacing Cassette Roulette during the first season of Kennedy's). A two-level wheel (originally just a one-level wheel) was spun onstage to determine a cash prize for identifying the tune. Five tunes were played, and the first player to name three out of the five tunes won 10 points. If this amount had not been reached after all tunes were played, the points were awarded to the player who had named more tunes correctly. In case of a tie, five points were given to each contestant. All contestants win or lose got to keep the cash in this round.
- Early in the Kennedy run (as well as the daytime show with Dennis James), the wheel contained categories, with the contestants selecting one before each spin and receiving $100 if theirs was landed on. However, the categories were later replaced by money amounts ranging from $20–$1,000 (later $100–$1,000 in the Kennedy version) ($50–$500 on the 1977 daytime version). Also, in the early days of the Kennedy run, each player selected a $200 space on the wheel, and if it landed on one of those spaces the player would win $200 right there in addition to the tune's value. The James version also had this rule, but they each picked a $100 space on the wheel. In 1976, an outer wheel was added, which held a space or spaces marked "Double" and was spun in the opposite direction of the inner; later in the '70s version, it also featured a space offering a new car, but it could be won only once (in 1979, this plus one of the "Double" spaces were replaced by two more generic "prize" spaces, which worked the same way).
- Sing-a-Tune: This was played in the Kennedy version. Contestants wrote down the names of tunes sung by the show's vocalist, a then-unknown Kathie Lee Johnson (later Gifford), who would famously and humorously replace the titles in the lyrics with 'la-la-las'. Five (originally three) tunes were played; the player whom named the most tunes out of three/five wins 10 points and a prize package (splitting the points in case of a tie, and they each received the prize package). Kathie Lee left the show around 1978, and was replaced by the team of Monica Burrus (also known as Monica Francine Pege) and Steve March Tormé, the son of legendary crooner Mel Tormé and stepson of $64,000 Question emcee Hal March. The round was deleted altogether in 1979.
- Build-a-Tune: This was played only on the short-lived 1977 daytime version; the orchestra would play a tune, starting with minimal instrumentation and more gradually added until it became a typical full orchestral arrangement. Five tunes were played; as usual, the winner received 10 points and a prize package, and a tie saw the points being split, and the 2 players each received the prize package.
- Bid-A-Note: This was the show's signature game played as the third and final round of the main game in both versions (the next-to-last round from 1978-1981). Here, the host would read a clue to a song, and the players would alternate bidding as to how few notes they needed to identify the song (as in "I can name that tune in three notes"). The maximum bid is seven notes. Bidding ended when one contestant finally challenged the other to "Name That Tune", or when one player bid one note. After bidding, the pianist's hand would show up on split screen to play the notes, after which the player had to name that tune. If the player was correct, he/she scored the tune, but if the player could not name it, the tune went to his/her opponent. The first player to score three tunes (occasionally two) won 20 points (10 in the last two seasons) and a prize (most often a trip).
- In the last two seasons, the contestants had a choice of six clues to start minus one on each new tune. The six clues were originally delivered by model Jerri Fiala; but in the final season, they were delivered by one of the two singers (Monica or Steve).
- Golden Medley Showdown: This was the final round in the final two seasons of the syndicated version. The band played a series of tunes for the duration of 30 seconds, with the clock stopping as soon as someone rang in. At the end of 30 seconds, the contestant who had named the most tunes correctly won 20 points and maybe the game.
The player with the most points at the end of the three rounds proceeded to the "Golden Medley" bonus round. If there was a tie at the end of the game, one last tune was played; the first player to buzz-in and name that tune then went to the Golden Medley.
In this version, prizes were awarded for each correctly identified song. If the contestant gave an incorrect answer at any time during this round, the game ended immediately. However, the player could pass on a tune by buzzing in and saying "pass". If time remained on the clock after all tunes were played, the contestant could attempt the passed tune(s) again. Naming all seven tunes in 30 seconds won the entire prize package, plus (starting in 1976) the chance to return to the show in a later episode (or episodes) in an attempt to win the $100,000 grand prize.
On the NBC daily version from 1974-1975, the Golden Medley consisted of six tunes; each one was worth $200, and naming all six in 30 seconds was worth $2,000. Whether or not a contestant won the Golden Medley, that contestant returned the next day; five-time winners received a car and retired undefeated. At the end of the show's run, it was changed to five tunes per day, and only four wins needed for the car, but a contestant had to win the Golden Medley in order to return the next day. This was the only version to have returning champions.
In the 1970s weekly version, each tune was worth $500 in prizes (usually, a contestant who got six won a car on the nighttime version), and any contestant who named all seven tunes won $15,000 in prizes. Starting in 1976, a $15,000 winner would return at the end of the next week's show and try to identify one more "Mystery Tune" for a $100,000 cash prize. On the 1977 daytime version, each tune was worth $250 in prizes, and all seven won $2,500 in prizes.
The $100,000 Mystery Tune
The contestant entered into a Gold Room backstage, where security guard Jeff Addis opened a safe to reveal a wheel with manila envelopes on it. After selecting an envelope, the contestant was escorted the onstage into an isolation booth (which was wired so that he/she could only hear Tom and the piano). Then Addis opened the selected envelope, handed "The $100,000 Pianist" (depending on the version, either Michel Mencien or Joe Harnell) the sheet music for the song, and handed Tom a sealed business-size envelope. The pianist then played the song while a 30-second timer counted down; once the timer reached 10 seconds, the piano player stopped, and the contestant in the booth had to guess the song's exact title before the timer expired; the contestant was only allowed to give one answer. After the contestant exited the booth, Tom then opened the envelope and read the background information and copyright for the song. An audio recording of the contestant's guess was played, and Tom announced the song's title. If the contestant guessed correctly, he/she won $10,000 a year for a decade; this was also a feature of the short-lived 1977 NBC daytime version and played exactly the same, only the payoff was a lump sum of $25,000.
The tunes were usually songs featuring music that contestants and viewers are familiar with, but whose titles were either unknown or not easily discernible (for example, one of the songs was "Fugue for Tinhorns" from Guys and Dolls, but the contestant answered "Can Do", which was part of the lyrics).
Two contestants won $100,000 in 1976, and three in 1977, including one that had been told at first that his answer was incorrect (he said "If You Will Marry Me", and the answer Tom had was "The Bus Stop Song"), only to be brought back when the show's musicologists discovered that a song called "If You Will Marry Me" existed with the same music. (Two of the tunes were Someday My Prince Will Come from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and Entry (or Entrance) of the Gladiators, the song most people associate with the circus).
In 1977, eleven of the twelve Golden Medley winners who did not win $100,000 returned for a three-week tournament (the twelfth was taking a 52-day Mediterranean cruise, which was one of the Golden Medley prizes, at the time). In the first two weeks, there were five or six players; it was played like a normal game, except that in Melody Roulette, only the first two players to answer two tunes continued, and the Golden Medley was turned into a competitive game called Golden Medley Showdown (the clock stopped when either player buzzed in or five seconds elapsed) worth 20 points, while Sing a Tune and Bid a Note each scored 10 points. The two winners came back on the third week, playing Melody Roulette, Sing a Tune, and Bid a Note for 10 points each, and Golden Medley Showdown for 30, to determine the $100,000 winner. Unlike the mystery tune prize, this $100,000 was in cash and prizes. Runners-up won $2,500.
In 1978, the mystery tunes were removed, and the show (which had switched to a disco set and theme) consisted entirely of nine-week "blocks". The first six weeks consisted of two-player games, consisting of Melody Roulette, Bid a Note, and Golden Medley Showdown; this was played like the 1977 tournament except that as Sing a Tune was no longer played, Melody Roulette pitted three players and the first two players to name two tunes played the remaining two games. After six episodes played in this fashion, the six winners return to play, three at a time, over two episodes. Every ninth episode would be a tournament final; the winner of each tournament won $10,000 a year for the next ten years, while the runner-up won a consolation prize. A number of celebrity specials filled out the season.
- One of the first $100,000 winners was the charismatic Tommy Simmons, an older gentleman who usually wore a glittering gold suit coat when he competed. He also appeared on Name That Tune's "sister" show, Face the Music, as well as Match Game '76.