John Williams is not the first famous movie composer to do a news theme for NBC. This funky theme, used during the latter period of the John Chancellor era of Nightly News, is composed by Henry Mancini. He has done incredibly recognizable themes such as The Pink Panther. Aside from his work for Nightly News, Mancini also composed an election theme for NBC and the NBC Mystery Movie theme. While his election theme would stay on for decades, his theme for Nightly News only lasted for a short time.
Network News Music is a website by Victor Vlam, who holds the Guinness World Record for the largest collection of news music. 1,876 hours, 2 minutes and 52 seconds. News music is rarely heard without voice-overs or fade outs to commercial, yet it leaves an impact on many people. Founded in 2002, this site is a museum for TV news themes past and present.
- ABC News
- CBS News
- NBC News
This is actually one of my favorite pieces of news music, period. It’s well-dressed, polished, unassuming, low-key, only raising its volume toward the very end. If we could have heard it in stereo back in the ’70s (like this track for one of Mancini’s albums) we could have heard the cool left/right/left right hand drums.