ernie

Ernie, seated next to the tape recording equipment that he kept in his living room
during the 1970s. This was state-of-the-art during the decade.

Radio listeners in the Huntington, WV know Ernie Anderson as the host of "Take a Chance." Television viewers in the Huntington, WV area know him as the host of "High-Q." Television viewers with exceptional memories remember Ernie as the host of "Dialing for Dollars" segments. Ernie is "Mr. Game Show" of Huntington, WV, but above all that, he's the biggest game show fan in the city's history.

Part of that love of game shows drove him to hold his tape recorder up to the television and grab those great themes. Ernie also used the few connections he had at the time to snag theme songs from the promo reels sent to the ABC affiliate in Huntington. This was at a point when nobody could have foreseen CD releases or file-sharing. What follows are Ernie's game show themes, recorded straight from the promo reels and the TV all those years ago.


The Music:
OPENING
From an episode featuring the MVPs of 1980s game show panels.


CLOSING
No scatting in this version.
ART FLEMING FOR WGNT TRIVIA
Art Fleming appeared as a guest on WGNT whenever the radio version of "College Bowl" rolled into Huntington, WV. Each time, he cheerfully posed for photos with employees, signed autographs, shared stories, and stuck around to record promos for the station. Here's a promo for Ernie's midnight trivia contest.


ART FLEMING FOR WGNT TRIVIA #2

Another gem from one of Art's visits.

Beat the Clock
The Better Sex
1979 END THEME
Early in the run, before the abrupt addition of celebrities. Includes Jack Narz reading the least-pronounceable copy of his career when reminding us what show to stay tuned for.
MAIN THEME
Clean, from a promo reel.

OPENING
It's men vs. women in a battle of the sexes!

CLOSE
Gene Wood speaking...


PROMO
Art James asks us to stay tuned for the premiere episode, NEXT!
NIGHTTIME OPENING
It's the audio of the first nighttime episode of "Break the Bank" with Jack Barry. Funnily enough, the announcer is another guy named Ernie Anderson.

NIGHTTIME CLOSING
It seems likely that this is from the same episode.


The Big Showdown
Card Sharks
CLOSE
The infectiously-upbeat theme from the criminally short-lived quiz show.

1986 OPENING
Gotta be early in the run, since Gene doesn't say anything about a car.

1986 CLOSING
Huzzah, a long credit crawl!


CLOSING
"A Ralph Andrews Production."

CLOSING #2
"A Burt Sugarman Production in association with Ralph Andrews Productions." But that's not all. We have TV history on this one as Chuck Woolery jumps in during the end credits asking us to stay tuned to the premiere of "Wheel of Fortune," next!

END THEME
Kenny Williams signs off.



1970s CLOSING
Johnny O. signs off.

END THEME
Johnny O. signs off over the theme that would become more associated with "Card Sharks."



Dream House
Go!
HOUSE WIN
The celebratory music from a house win. Great electric guitar toward the end!

HOUSE WIN #2
This one includes the suspenseful "number-picking" background music.

END THEME
The format could not have been more confusing, but you have to give the Bob Eubanks version of the series credit where credit is due...That was a GREAT theme!

Ticket Plug
Johnny Gilbert's ticket plug and a disclaimer. Not much theme music here, actually.

|
High Rollers
Jackpot! (USA Version)
1974 OPENING
Kenny Williams does the spiel that you probably associate with Wink Martindale's 1987 revival.

OPENING
It didn't matter that the stakes were lower, this was still a great show.

END
An abrupt closing.


OPENING THEME
Ernie's son sounds very impressed by the car and $5,000.

END THEME
Jay Stewart speaking.

1984 OPENING
From the return of the marketplace of America.


CBS END THEME
a.k.a. "The Savers."

END THEME
a.k.a. "Joker's Jive" by Alan Thicke. Pretty sure this comes from the first syndicated season and not the CBS run. (It's a Jack Barry & Dan Enright Production, not just a Jack Barry Production.)

END THEME
Gene Wood signs off, and we get the NBC "yeeeeeee-hooooooooo!" as a bonus.


Jeopardy!
The Money Maze
1970s CLOSING
The pleasantly laid-back end theme from the original Art Fleming run. Don Pardo speaking...

NIGHTTIME OPENING
$25,000??? Are we sure this is Art Fleming's version?!

END THEME
Alan Kalter signs off.



END MEDLEY
This is either early in the series or late in the series, when the orchestra would end the show with a medley of songs instead of the theme.

$100,000 OPENING SPIEL
An eerie-sounding open from early in the $100,000 format.

MAIN THEME
From the end credits, with applause.


END THEME #1
End credits from the game where intuition could win our players $25,000 in cash.

END THEME #2
End credits from the game where people determine the difficulty of the question!

OPENING
The tape was damaged in a way that kept me from using the whole thing, so here's some help..."It's a nine-letter word. The clue is...Some of them are quacks."

CLOSING
Includes the Reg Grundy Production fanfare, and a shout-out to Exposure Unlimited, the fine group of people that I worked with for many months when I first moved out to LA.


OPENING THEME
Johnny O. introduces Jack Narz.

CLOSING
Johnny O. signs off.

MAIN THEME
Clean and from a promo reel, here's the theme as it was edited for air.

NIGHTTIME OPENING
It's Dennis James hosting, and Ernie's baby couldn't be more excited about it!


DAYTIME CLOSING
If only there was some way to determine the year for this one. :-P
CLOSING THEME #1
Jack Clark signing off.
CLOSING THEME #2
A longer cut.

CLOSING THEME
John Harlan speaking.

PREMIERE OPEN
No kidding...Alan Kalter's opening from the premiere broadcast, hosted by Mike Darrow.

PREMIERE CLOSE
The end theme from opening night.

$64,000 WIN
Brief clip of a contestant winning $64,000.

END THEME
The closing theme from the night of the big win.



$ale of the Century
Spin-Off
OPENING
Even when they cut the heart out of the show by introducing the Winner's Board, they still managed to have the most exciting opening on NBC.

END THEME
"Sale of the Century stars Jim Perry." Uh, I'm glad we got that cleared up.

OPENING THEME
It's Yahtzee except it's different! It's Spin-Off!

CLOSING THEME
A trippy-sounding number buried in the applause.



OPENING THEME
The original and long-forgotten ancestor of "Press Your Luck."
END THEME
The uber-repetitive, but somehow also uber-cool, closing theme.

Stumpers!
Wheel of Fortune
ALL-STAR OPENING
The awesome opening theme and spiel from an all-star week of this short-lived "Password" variation.
PREMIERE CLOSE
If you can believe it, it's the end theme from the debut broadcast. Charlie O says a mouthful.

The Who What or Where Game
The Wizard of Odds
POT LIMIT
The music played as the players determined their final wagers.


THEME (LATER YEARS)
The theme music from near the end of the run
CLOSING
Irrefutable proof that this show actually existed, with Sam Riddle signing off.

END THEME #1
Here we have an example of Ernie's persistence. There's no long credit crawl today, so he only gets 30 seconds of the theme...

END THEME #2
...So here we have the end of the following day's show, with a long crawl for more music!
OPENING
Gene Wood announces with so much enthusiasm that I just began writing down the last four digits of my phone number as I listened to this.