Eyewitness News (local news concept used nationally)

    (Individual Local TV stations, 1965 - Present)

    ["Eyewitness News" was a concept that grew out of a title.
     In the late 1950's several Westinghouse-owned TV stations had
     used "Eyewitness" as the name of their local news program. 
     In 1965, a News Director named Al Primo at Westinghouse affiliate
     KYW-TV began reshaping the format -- some might say "jazzing it up",
     with flashier opening graphics, using the "007" track from the 1963
     James Bond film "Doctor No" and later films as a musical intro. And
     with snappier pace between the news anchor and the field reporter
     (who acted as an "eyewitness" to the news), the sense of the 
     news being more immediate and impactful to the viewer clicked,  
     and the ratings proved the idea to be a hit.
     Three years later in 1968, Al Primo parlayed his success in 
     Philadelphia to a move to the ABC affiliate in New York City --
     WABC-TV, the network flagship station. For the WABC local news, 
     Primo created a makeover, not only with the "Eyewitness News"
     concepts that he originated in Philadelphia, but with the 
     addition of what became known as "happy talk" between the
     anchors to build a pseudo-family, with which TV viewers could
     relate (and hopefully become hooked on watching.)
     For the 1968 New York news theme, another film cue was selected -- 
     this time from the 1967 Southern drama, "Cool Hand Luke" (with
     Paul Newman in the title role.) The cue, written by film composer
     Boris ("Lalo") Schifrin, was known as the "Tar Sequence." Using
     nervous rhythms, staccato punctuations and suspended brass chords,
     Schifrin combined traditional orchestral studio instruments with
     a harmonica, a banjo and a bass guitar. The effect was appropriate
     for the odd visual sequence in which a prison road crew lays down 
     fresh asphalt on a road in record time to spite their handlers.
     Who knew it would become the quintessential local news theme for
     the hyped-up 1970s?
     After the ABC flagship station showed the concept was working,
     the title and format was adopted by several ABC owned and operated 
     affiliates as well as many other stations during the 1970's. And
     most stations adapted that same "Cool Hand Luke" cue for their
     news theme, usually editing parts of the rhythmic music out of 
     sequence to score the animation of the news opening.
     Later jingle composer-arranger Frank Gari adapted the Schifrin 
     cue to provide a new recording with the more logical sequence
     of musical phrases needed for a news opening and closing.]

Theme 1 (1963): "007"

    [aka: "Zero Zero Seven";
     aka: "Double-Oh Seven";
     aka: "The James Bond Theme"]

    [The familiar James Bond logo theme was adapted for the
     first crude effort to jazz up the local "Eyewitness" news in 
     Philadelphia with a more contemporary flavor, and add a bit of 
     excitement to the opening.
     Although it was catchy and familiar, probably no one confused the
     TV news anchors with Sean Connery. So it must have seemed a bit
     "over the top" and pretentious.
     Although Monty Norman was credited with the original "007" melody
     on bass guitar and other low-pitched instruments for "Doctor No", 
     it is the John Barry adaptation (with muted trumpets) used first
     on "From Russia With Love" that most people remember, and was
     apparently the version used for the local TV news theme.]

     Composers: Monty Norman (British PRS/ASCAP) and
                John Barry (British PRS/BMI)

     1978 Publisher:

     2007 Publishers: Eon Productions, Ltd. (PRS)
                         of London, England;
                      CBS Catalogue Partnership, (ASCAP)
                         div. of C B S, Inc.; and
                      EMI Unart Catalog, Inc. (BMI)
                         c/o EMI Music Publishing
                         of New York, NY;

     Composition Date: 1963

     Copyright Date: Oct. 24, 1963; EFO  28 645.
     Renewal   Date: Nov.  1, 1991; RE  578 406.


Theme 2 (1968): "The Tar Sequence, from 'Cool Hand Luke'"

    [The familiar quintessential "Eyewitness News" THEME was edited
     from a particular cue in the film which occurs about an
     hour into the film. In this sequence, the prison chain gang
     (including Paul Newman and George Kennedy) decide to confound
     the guards who thought they were assigning particularly hard
     labor to the crew. Newman gets an idea (and the others follow) 
     to speed up their work shoveling sand on a road following a tar
     truck which is spraying a new surface on the road. Newman's 
     strategy is to  not only "shove it in the faces" of the guards, 
     but because they got done so quickly, it turns out there is
     then a little free time for relaxation later where the prisoners
     can savor their little gambit. 

     Their frantic efforts to shovel sand as fast as the truck can
     spray tar becomes a kind of grass-roots mutiny, which provides 
     a means for them to create a short-lived but very sweet moral 

     Schifrin scored the "Tar Sequence" as a classic man-against-the 
     machine dramatic sequence. He wrote a nervous violin and 
     xylophone ostinato figure behind a broader melody. This melody
     is played by the violas, cellos and horn, with a syncopated
     counterpoint from the brass and woodwind sections. This cue
     suggests urgency, in the context of the mechanical process,
     with an overtone of danger. There is also an element of triumph
     as the rebellion grows and succeeds.

     Somehow this Argentinian composer's semi-jazz semi-traditional
     scoring of this nervous moment of mutiny set on a Southern
     asphalt road, with all its diverse elements described above, hit
     just the right emotional note to introduce a nightime big-city 
     news report. (Who would have thought?? :-)

     This THEME was heard on most of ABC's major market stations 
     news broadcasts every night beginning in 1968, sometimes 
     for as long as 20 years.

     The "Tar Sequence" was edited out of order and some of its
     figures were repeated, in order to form a dramatic News Open.

     This THEME proved so popular with the ABC Owned and Operated
     affiliated stations and their "Eyewitness News" concept,
     that Frank Gari Productions was contracted to expand upon
     the basic cue, and build an entire News Music package
     around it (see Theme 4 below.)

     In the 1994 book "Overtones and Undertones" by Royal S. Brown,
     Schifrin explains that the name "Lalo" is a common nickname for
     Claudio which was his second name; and after he came to the U. S.,
     he legally changed his name from Boris to Lalo]

     Composer: Lalo Schifrin (BMI)
              [professional name of Boris Claudio Schifrin]

     1978 Publisher: Warner-SevArts Music (BMI)

     2001 Publisher: Warner-Tamerlane Publishing Corp. (BMI)
                        c/o Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.
                        of Los Angeles, CA

     Composition Date: 1967

     Copyright Date: Feb. 16, 1968; Eu  36 856.
     Renewal   Date: Jan.  3, 1996; RE-720-200.


Theme 3: "Eyewitness News Tonight Closing Theme"

    [aka: "Closing Theme No. 3"]

    [This is from a custom news music package which was used
     on a few of the ABC Owned and Operated local TV stations
     after they tired of the edited "Tar Sequence" cue. 

     Unfortunately, this package was short-lived in some cases 
     when audience demand in several markets resulted in 
     a return back to Schifrin's "Cool Hand Luke" cue, which
     was adaptated by Frank Gari Productions into a full News
     Music package (see below).]

     Composer: Frank William Becker (ASCAP)

     2001 Publisher: Frank Becker Music (ASCAP),
                        of Hidden Hills, CA

     Copyright Date:
     Renewal   Date:


Theme 4: "Eyewitness News from 'News Series 2000'"

    ["News Series 2000" is the name of a News Music Package from 
     Frank Gari Productions which adapted Schifrin's basic motifs
     from the "Tar Sequence" of "Cool Hand Luke" (see above). Gari
     and Baker created several cuts specifically for News Themes
     in various edited "pull-out" versions of various lengths. But
     the origin of Schifrin's original cue is obvious throughout.]

     Adapters/Arrangers: Danny Baker (BMI), and
                         Frank Daniel Gari (BMI)

     2001 Publisher: Dingletown Music (BMI),
                        of Westlake Village, CA

     Copyright Date:
     Renewal   Date:


Theme 5: "Eyewitness News"

    [As the concept of "Eyewitness News" spread, other music houses
     created custom news packages with Openings and Closings for
     local stations which wanted their own original THEME with the
     same excitement and style of Schifrin's "Tar Sequence." 

     This is one from "Network Production Music" affiliated with
     the jingle company, "Tuesday Productions" of San Diego...]

     Composer: Craig Everett Palmer (BMI)

     2001 Publisher: Network Production Music Publishing (BMI),
                        of San Diego, CA

     Copyright Date:
     Renewal   Date:


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