(CBS, 1950 - 1958) (ABC, 1958 - 1961)
[This prototypical game show began on CBS radio in 1949,
using a theme based upon "Hickory Dickory Dock". It was one
of the networks' radio series that was ported to television
Bud Collyer (1908 - 1969) was a New York city native born
Clayton ("Clay") Heermance Jr. As a young actor, he was trained
in radio drama in its heyday, and was cast as the original
voice of Superman/Clark Kent on Saturday morning radio and in
several theatrical short films. But his career was to blossom
into the big leagues of early television as a kind-faced
emcee of game shows including "Beat The Clock" (1950),
"Masquerade Party" (1952), "On Your Way" (1953),
"Talent Patrol" (1953), "Feather Your Nest" (1954),
"To Tell The Truth" (1956), "Number Please" (1961) and others.
The announcer for this series was a familiar voice heard
on several daytime CBS quiz shows -- Bernard ("Bern") Bennett.
Announcer Bennett was the subject of a 1957 contest in which
"Beat The Clock" viewers were asked to submit drawings of what
he might look like. Over 20,000 people did, and the winner was
flown from Indiana to New York to appear on the show (along
with Bennett who was finally shown on camera.)
From 1969 - 1974 another version of the show was produced by
Mark Goodson in First-Run Syndication. The host for the first
three seasons was the ubiquitous Jack Narz. During the
final two seasons, the "behind-the-scenes announcer" Gene Wood
was given the opportunity to step in front of the camera
to perform hosting duties.
NOTE: CBS also tried to revive the concept once more for
daytime, with Monty Hall as emcee from 1979 - 80.]
Theme 1 (1950 - 1956): "Hickory, Dickory,
[theme verified by collector Ray Clark; the adapter/arranger
was probably the TV show music director/bandleader Milton DeLugg;
Collector Mark Koldys reports in Feb., 2002 after watching
rebroadcasts on the Game Show Network, this THEME was used
only through the end of the Sylvania sponsorship of the series;
We've received other reports (see below) of a Sylvania jingle
used as the Opening Theme (during the Sylvania television
sponsorship years.) So presumably a DeLugg arrangement of
"Hickory, Dickory, Dock" would have ONLY been used over the
final Closing Credits during the Sylvania years of 1951 - 1955.
According to Gary Stark of Beachwood, Ohio, the Opening THEME song,
set to the nursery tune, had a custom lyric for the series, which
went like this:
"Hickory, Dickory, Dock...
Time to 'Beat The Clock',
Time for fun has now begun...
Let's all play 'Beat The Clock'"]
Composer: [Traditional nursery rhyme tune,
Milton DeLugg (probable arranger/adapter)]
1978 Publisher: [in the Public Domain]
1999 Publisher: [in the Public Domain]
[Several viewers of re-runs seen on the Game Show Network
have written to tell us of another Opening theme used when the
series moved to Saturday nights and was sponsored by the
Sylvania company (this ocurred in March, 1951.)
So far we've been unable to track down the composer of the
commercial advertising jingle which has the lyric below...possibly
it was written by the show's music director Milton DeLugg and/or his
wife-collaborator Anne DeLugg...
According to contributor "Sarah" who wrote to us in February, 2005, the
THEME lyric begins as follows:
"Lights of Broadway,
Sights of Broadway,
Sounds of Broadway
...the lyric then continued to plug Sylvania products who, according
to the jingle, make "better products", etc.]
Composer: [Composer(s) unknown at this time]
Theme 3 (Early 1956 - Sept. 1956): "Daisy Bell (A Bicycle Built For Two)"
[aka: A Bicycle Built For Two [U.S. title];
After watching re-broadcasts of the show on cable TV,
contributor Mark Koldys verified that this tune was used
as both Opening and Closing THEME played by a solo guitar
on episodes he saw on the Game Show Network.
As it turns out, the reason the "Daisy" song was used as
a THEME was because the so-called "summer sponsor" from
approximately June, 1956 until September, 1956 was "Fresh"
deoderant, a Mennen brand.
Contributor David Gideon tells us the "Fresh" advertising slogan
was "Fresh as a Daisy" (even their packaging included daisies.)
After the first episodes aired using this THEME, in which a solo
guitar played the tune instrumentally, a female vocalist was
added singing a lyric that began:
"Daisy, daisy, tell me your secret, do!..."
Her vocal was usually smothered in applause after that.
* * * *
Some facts about this old Standard song, which begins
with the lyric:
"Daisy, Daisy, tell me your answer, do!;
I'm half crazy, all for the love of you...":
The composer known as Harry D'Acre was actually a
collaboration of two people: one was an English songwriter
who also used the name Frank Dean (as per ASCAP) and
who may have been born Henry Decker. His writing partner
was a Mr. Coy whose first name is under investigation.
This fact is verified in a 1900 journal from South Africa
published as "The Johannesburg Pioneer Journals" in which
a person wrote that their Uncle Frank J. London had written
songs "in partnership with Harry Dacre (Frank Dean & Coy)
...of bicycle-built-for-two" fame.
The origin of the song is that Mr. D'Acre/Dean/Decker
visited the United States from England, and was trying
to ship a bicycle he bought here back to England, or
so the story goes.
According to "The Book of World-Famous Music" compiled by
James J. Fuld, he had to pay customs duty on the bicycle,
and so a friend joked "it was fortunate that the bicycle
was not built for two, as the duty would have been doubled."
This apparently triggered the idea for the love song set
in the context of a man pursuing his sweetheart on a
two-seater bicycle, and the song and its sheet music was
an instant hit on two continents.]
Composer: Harry D'Acre (ASCAP/PRS)
[aka: Frank Dean; professional name of
Henry Decker in collaboration with a Mr. Coy]
Original Publishers: T. B. Harms & Co., Inc.
of New York, NY;
Francis, Day & Hunter
of London, England
2006 Publisher: [in the Public Domain]
Copyright Date: August 19, 1892.
Theme 4 (Sept. 1956 - 1961): "Subway Polka"
[Pattillo credits this theme as running "12 seasons",
by which he probably meant 1950 - 1961...However, this
is most likely incorrect, since the LP which contained
"Subway Polka" wasn't released until 1955...
After watching re-broadcasts of the show on the Game Show
Network, contributor Mark Koldys verified that when the CBS
series changed sponsors from Sylvania to Hazel Bishop, this
THEME was used; Since the LP was released in 1955, that
would seem to be the earliest possible date of use...but
since the Fresh Deoderant sponsorship with its THEME "Daisy
Bell" ended in September, 1956 and the show was sponsored
by Hazel Bishop at that point, this seems like a logical
time when the THEME switch would have occurred.
There may also have been another THEME when the show
changed networks to ABC in 1958...but this has yet to be
Composer: Harry Geller (ASCAP/BMI)
1978 Publisher: [unknown]
1999 Publisher: [no listing in ASCAP or BMI]
LP: "New York, New York" (1955)
Harry Geller and his Orchestra
CD: "The Best of TV Quiz and Game Show Themes" (2000)
produced by The Sony Game Show Network,
Varese-Sarabande Records 302 066 159 2
Theme 5 (1969 - 1974): "New Beat The Clock
[Composer THEME credit for the Syndicated version of the show,
1969 - 74, according to Game Show fan Albert Martella; Verified
THEME title according to collector Ray Clark; although no
exact title matching this one was found in ASCAP or BMI,
the publishers below published "Beat The Clock Cues" which
were credited as co-written by both composers...]
Composers: Richard R. ("Dick") Hyman (ASCAP) and
Milton DeLugg (ASCAP)
1978 Publisher: Goodson-Todman Associates (ASCAP)
2000 Publisher: Mark Goodson Productions LLC (ASCAP)
c/o Pearson Television
of London, England, UK
Theme 6 (1979 - 1980): "All New Beat The Clock
[For the CBS revival version of the show, 1979-80.
Theme credit from Dave Mackey research of ASCAP repertoire,
who said that the bandleader of the small band (rhythm and
two horns) was Arthur B. Rubinstein. Additional cues by
Susan Otto and Gladys Shapiro...
this theme was commissioned by Robert Israel's Score Productions,
according to Game Show fan Albert Martella.]
Composer: Susan Otto (ASCAP)
[professional name of Susan Otto Israel]
1978 Publisher: [probably Goodson-Todman Associates]
1999 Publisher: Mark Goodson Productions, LLC (ASCAP)