Name That Tune Wiki
Jim Lange
John Harlan
Name That Tune 80s (1).png
Name That Tune 80s (2).png
Syndication: 9/10/1984-6/7/1985
Sandy Frank Productions

This is chronicling the 1980s 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:

  • Melody Roulette: A two-level wheel was spun onstage to determine a cash prize for identifying the tune. Five tunes were played (seven in portions of this version), and the first player to name three out of the five tunes (or 4 of 7) 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 in the pilot shows, while the series had a final tiebreaker tune played. Only the winner of Melody Roulette got to keep the cash.
The dollar amounts initially ranged from $100–$500, with money being awarded after every tune and the wheel spun again for the next tune. This rule was changed about halfway through the Lange run, the spaces on the wheel were now worth between $250 and $1,000, but the wheel was spun only once and the money was awarded to whomever won the round. In three of the five pilot shows, the contestants spun the wheels themselves to determine their own fate, one contestant manned the inner wheel, and the other spun the outer. When it went to series, it was reverted back having Jim do both jobs since the wheel was enlarged. Finally there were originally three "Double" spaces on the outer wheel in the pilots, but it was reduced to one in the series.
  • Tune Countdown: This round was used in the pilot episodes for the Lange version, and was the replacement for Sing-a-Tune until it was finally scrapped for Tune Topics. Players simply buzzed in and named tunes for the duration of 20 seconds, with the clock stopping as soon as someone rang in. At the end of 20 seconds, the contestant who had named the most tunes correctly won 10 points and a prize.
  • Tune Topics: This was the mainstay second round during the Lange version. All of the song titles fit into a given category. Initially, one topic was presented at the beginning of the round; later, five topics were displayed with one of them being chosen by a randomizer. Five tunes were played; the first to name three or the most tunes won 10 points and a prize.
  • Bid-A-Note: This was the show's signature game played as the third and final round except during the tournament. 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 (in one pilot episode, the male contestant actually bid zero notes twice, and then correctly identified the tune both times). 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 won 20 points (10 in the non-finals of the tournament in the Lange version) and a prize (most often a trip).

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.

Golden Medley

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. Each tune was worth at least $250 in prizes ($200 in prizes in earlier shows; in the pilots, a single prize was awarded, the value of which increased with each correct tune). If the player correctly named all 7 tunes in 30 seconds, they also won a trip and the right to compete in a monthly $100,000 Tournament of Champions.

$100,000 Tournaments

The rules were modified for the tournament shows; the non-final games began with three or four of the month's winners competing for two spots in the main game, with contestants needing to guess two tunes correctly to move on. Then, Tune Topics and Bid a Note were played for 10 points each, and Golden Medley Showdown for 20. Whoever had more points (or won a single-tune tiebreaker, if needed) advanced to the finals.

In case of two players, the semi-finals & finals games were played with all three upfront games with their regular point values, including the Golden Medley Showdown which was worth 40 points.

The winner at the end of the tournament won the $100,000 grand prize package which included: $10,000 in cash, a new Pontiac Fiero, an emerald and diamond necklace, a Schafer & Sons grand piano, a Hitachi home entertainment system, a pair of Jules Jurgensen gold watches, home entertainment furnishings (including a spa from Polynesian Spas), a Caribbean vacation courtesy of Costa Cruises and a timeshare condominium at Desert Breezes Resort in Palm Springs, CA. The runner-up won a trip (usually to Hong Kong, but sometimes Tahiti, and worth about $2,000 to $3,000) as a consolation prize.

For several weeks of non-tournament shows in late 1984, a "Home Viewer Sweepstakes" was held; the day's winner picked a name out of a drum, then randomly selected one of the above prizes. A Golden Medley win earned that prize for the home viewer while a loss won a consolation prize for the home viewer.

The Lange version premiered with a "Super Champions" tournament, featuring fourteen $100,000 winners from the Kennedy version competing for a second $100,000, which was won by Elena Cervantes.


  • New York - WABC
  • Los Angeles - KNBC
  • Chicago - WMAQ
  • Philadelphia - KYW
  • Milwaukee - WISN
  • St. Louis - KPLR
  • Kansas City - WDAF
  • Topeka - KSNT
  • Hartford - WTNH
  • Birmingham - WBMG (now WIAT)
  • Washington D.C. - WRC
  • Baltimore - WBAL
  • Harrisburg - WLYH
  • Boston - WNEV (now WHDH)
  • Buffalo - WIVB
  • Wilmington, NC - WECT
  • Nashville - WSMV
  • Seattle - KIRO
  • Lincoln, NE - KHGI
  • Green Bay - WLUK
  • Toledo - WNWO
  • Detroit - WXYZ
  • Grand Rapids - WOOD
  • Miami - WTVJ
  • Minneapolis - WTCN (now KARE)
  • Greenville, SC - WSPA
  • Albany - WRGB
  • Raleigh - WRAL
  • Orlando - WFTV
  • Mobile, AL - WKRG
  • Phoenix - KTVK
  • Sacramento - KXTV
  • San Francisco - KGO
  • Binghamton, NY - WMGC (now WIVT)
  • Syracuse - WIXT
  • Salinas, CA - KNTV
  • Des Moines - KCCI
  • Cedar Rapids - KCRG
  • Tri-Cities - WJHL
  • Wausau - WJFW
  • Columbus, OH - WCMH
  • Kirksville, MO - KTVO
  • Charlotte, NC - WCPQ (now WCNC)
  • Atlanta - WXIA
  • Norfolk - WVEC
  • Oklahoma City - KOCO
  • Portland, OR - KATU
  • Denver - KMGH
  • Cincinnati - WLWT
  • Fort Wayne - WANE
  • Houston - KHOU
  • Mason City - KIMT
  • Zanesville, OH - WHIZ
  • Mankato - KEYC
  • Omaha - KMTV
  • Dallas - WFAA
  • Fresno - KJEO

Memorable Contestants

  • Lange-era contestant Alfred Bogdalioff was noted for heckling female opponent Diana Davis (another former Face the Music contestant, then known as Diana Edelman) during the game. This was most obvious during Bid-A-Note, when he said sarcastic things like "Oooooh... I'm SHAKING!" and "I'm REALLY impressed!" (in response to an opening bid). He also used goofy (and at least one potentially offensive) hand gestures towards Davis. Bogdalioff beat Davis 3-2 in Bid-A-Note and won the game, but failed to win the Golden Medley, naming six of the seven tunes before the 30 seconds ran out.
  • Another Lange-era contestant Annie Erickson correctly named the tune "Please Help Me, I'm Falling" during Melody Roulette - seconds before she fell down herself (as mentioned earlier).
  • Al Lowe, creator of the Leisure Suit Larry series of computer games, appeared as a contestant.
  • Still another Lange-era contestant Hap Trout's Golden Medley win is notable since he got two of the tunes correct after initially passing on them, only to then name them before the next respective tunes were played.
  • Another Lange-era $100,000 winner (and yet another Face the Music alumnus), Michael Lagmay, set a record during the Golden Medley Showdown-- he answered 16 tunes correctly over opponent Hap Trout's four. Also notable was that the scoreboard on Michael's podium fouled up a bit when he got ten tunes correct, for reasons unknown.


For years, this version has been rerun on various cable networks including USA and The Family Channel (also under its previous name CBN; today it is called Freeform).

Today several episodes are now on Tubi.[1]