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Music Music Music - January 2

Happy New Year! This is Jason Block, recovering from December 31st hangover to pay tribute to the unsung heroes of the game show/reality show business....the musicians and composers who have made the most recognizable notes this side of Beethoven, Mozart and Bach.

This may not surprise you at all, but I am not ashamed to admit that on my new video iPod I have 2 CDs worth of classic game show themes AND I have the rare CD single “Come On Down” by Crystal Waters. If you have ever had the chance to go see the Price is Right live, it is the last song played before Rich Fields does his warm up. So I get to listen to it a lot.

The music for me, serves two purposes. Firstly, it triggers memories. One of the coolest events at GSC5 this past year was the first public performance of the “Ceramic Dalmatians”. This band which includes David Hammett and Mandel Ilagan played picture perfect renditions of a lot of the most famous game show themes of all time. My favorite reaction to it was when Travis Schario was setting up his version of Price as the band was playing music cues from the show. He was so impressed...he got the band to play him as he entered the room.

Who doesn’t get a chill up their spine as you hear the first 4 notes of the “Price” theme? That first “wank” of the bass line of “Match Game”? The nods of recognition from the “Yodeling” of
“Survivor”? Or those first guitar riffs of “American Idol”? The laughter as when you know that someone actually wrote lyrics to the Price is Right music cue “Splendido” as “Nothing But Furniture”!

The 2nd purpose is to recognize that people such as Bob Israel, Edd Kalehoff, Alan Thicke, Merv Griffin, and others are damn good musicians. When you listen to the music, you can tell they were very into the music of the time. Who doesn’t get the 70's funk of “Big Wheels (Wheel of Fortune) or “Blockbusters”. The high class music of the original “Hollywood Squares” theme?

The marching band music of “Treasure Hunt”. Again, there are tons of different musical styles that have been used to great effect on a game show theme.

So the next time you hear the Price theme, the wank music from a Match Game rerun, or any other show... think about what it would be like without the music. And realize that, in my world, the music is a big part of the game.

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