Themes from ‘Other’

“CBS News Nightwatch” 1982 – 1988 Theme

CBS News Nightwatch was an overnight newscast. It debuted in October of 1982 and was replaced with Up to the Minute in 1992. For most of its existence, Charlie Rose anchored the program. During his tenure, the program developed from being mostly a straightforward newscast to essentially a two-hour interview show. This theme was composed by Walt Levinsky, who also did other themes for CBS at the time such as the CBS Evening News, NFL Football and College Basketball coverage. It was replaced in 1988 by a theme from Edd Kalehoff.

Walt Levinsky – CBS News Nightwatch theme

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“60 Minutes”

In 1968 legendary broadcast pioneer (and executive producer until 2004), Don Hewitt, created a new kind of television program — the news magazine. It was supposed to do feature reporting that was informative and hard hitting. After a less than successful start the program caught on in the 1970’s and has been on top of the yearly Nielsens a total of five times! All the other networks were quick to enter this lucrative business and at times in TV’s history, it seemed there was practically nothing else on but these news magazines. In 1998, to cash in more on the success of this show, CBS created 60 Minutes II and, on their short-lived cable network, called Eye on People, they started airing 60 Minutes More. All but the original have since left the air. For this “theme”, you may need to turn up the volume a bit. Alright, it’s not a theme, just the sound of an Aristo stopwatch that 60 Minutes uses for its opens and bumpers.

Aristo stopwatch ticking (60 Minutes)

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“CBS Radio News” 1967 – 2001 Sounder

For many years, this was the sounder used to introduce the hourly news update from CBS News. It was composed by Eric Siday and his company called Identitones. Siday was a spectacularly successful pioneer in creating electronic sound logos. An early and famous example is the Maxwell House percolating coffee pot. It formed a contrast to the countless supposedly catchy but quickly tiring jingles that were on the air at the time. An added benefit: they were cheaper to produce because they didn’t require live musicians and residuals did not have to be paid to singers. His on-the-hour news sounder for CBS was on the air for a long time.

Identitones – CBS Radio News sounder
Identitones – CBS Radio Sports sounder

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