Sunday, July 25, 2021

Musical Games

Kicked off the morning with a quick breakfast and the original cast album of Hello Dolly! Carol Channing played the eccentric, determined early 20th century matchmaker for years and won a Tony in the role. Charles Nelson Reilly got a rare romantic role as Cornelius Hackle; Eileen Brennan is his Irene Malloy. Reilly's "It Only Takes a Moment" is so lovely, it would be associated with him for the rest of his life. Brennan introduces "Ribbon Down My Back," while Channing gets to tear into the title song and the opening "I Put My Hand In."

Hurried off to work even before the record ended. Work was more-or-less the same as yesterday. I swept the store and did carts in the morning; once more help arrived, I focused almost entirely on outside. Ran into trouble when I tried to empty the trash can in the employee's lounge during my last hour. It was so full, it broke, spilling a half-full container of orange juice across the floor. One of the kids having lunch helped me clean up some of it, but I mopped the orange juice myself. (I wish people would empty containers before they throw them away, or at least wash them out.)

The weather helped. It was cool and cloudy when I rode to work. By the time I headed home, the sun came out...and the heat and heavy humidity with it. I was sweating buckets when I got in.

Changed and finished Hello Dolly! while having a snack, then worked on writing. Richard insists that he's not there to play, but Betty hands him a flamingo anyway. The Knave of Hearts (producer Ira Skutch) and Bill Daily the White Rabbit finally suggest they have refreshments instead.

Threw on one of my K-Tel albums while adding scrambled eggs to the black bean dip from the other day. Music Express from 1975 definitely has one of their better selections. The Captain and Tenille's "Love Will Keep Us Together" and Frankie Valli's later ballads "Swearin' to God" and "My Eyes Adored You" were the hits here. Other favorites on this album include Elton John's "Philadelphia Freedom," the theme from The Rockford Files, "Jackie Blue" by The Ozark Mountain Daredevils, "Sky High" by Jigsaw, "Chevy Van" by Sammy Johns, and "I'm Not In Love" by 10cc.

Took a bath after the record ended. Ahhhh. I badly needed that after my long hours over the past few weeks. Felt so relaxing to just lay back and bask in the wonderfully warm water and listen to jazz. 

Finished the night online with more musical game shows. Musical games go back a long way. Stop the Music started off as a major radio hit in the 40's and became one of the earliest radio game shows to make the jump to TV in 1949. It's what the title says - the contestant will hear a song, stop it, then guess it. If they correctly guess the title, they win prizes. If not, a member of the audience gets to guess. Bert Parks is the genial host here.

There's not much left of What's This Song from 1964-65, the first national game show hosted by Wink Martindale. It's basically "Musical Password." Instead of guessing words, celebrities help contestants guess song lyrics by singing the first few bars of the song for them. Mel Torme and Broadway star Carol Lawrence help out in this 1965 episode.

Name That Tune is something of an expanded version of Stop the Music. People still stop songs and name them, but there's other games, including Melody Roulette (spin a wheel to decide on dollar amounts) and Bid-a-Note (bid on now many notes the other contestant can name). Tom Kennedy hosted this long-running syndicated favorite.

Turn It Up! was MTV's second crack at a game show in 1990. This time, they stuck to their original specialty and had contestants answer music trivia or guess the title or lyrics of a music video. After the low-scoring contestant in the first round is eliminated, two players go on to the bonus round to identify a song as more musical instruments are added to it. Jordan Brady hosted. It may have been a little too much or too knowledge-focused for the channel; unlike their previous game show Remote Control, it barely lasted six months. 

Don't Forget the Lyrics first turned up on Fox in 2007. Two contestants sang a song and filled in the missing lyrics. The more songs they got right, the more money they won, up to a possible million. The episode I watched from 2009 featured Meatloaf and his daughter Pearl having a wonderful time guessing the lyrics to popular songs like "Shout!" by the Everly Brothers and "Piece of Eight" by Janis Joplin. 

Sing along this summer with these song-filled games! (Look for the original commercials on What's That Song, Name That Tune, and Turn It Up.)

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