Adam Wade
Pat Hernon
Musical Chairs 1975.png
CBS Daytime: 6/16/1975 – 10/31/1975
Don Kirshner-Jerome Schnur Productions

"Pull up a chair and play along with our three Musical Chairs challengers (insert the names of the first three contestants) a (insert occupations) from (insert their towns and capitals) and our returning champion (insert name) a (insert occupation) from (insert town and capital) who's already won (insert amount) on the musical variety game show, Musical Chairs, with Derek Smith and the Musical Chairs Orchestra, and spotlighting our special guests for this week, (insert the three musical guests)! And here's the host of Musical Chairs, our Musical Chairman, Adam Wade!"

Musical Chairs (not to be confused with the short-lived 1955 NBC game show of the same name) was a daytime game show produced by Don Kirschner and Jerome Schnur in 1975 for CBS.

Gameplay[edit | edit source]

Four contestants competed in three rounds. In each round, either host Wade or a guest vocalist performed a song. When the song stopped, Wade asked the contestants which of three choices was the next line of the song. Sometimes there would be a regular question attached to the song.

For the first question of each round, the first three players that rang in with correct answers (their lecterns would light up in front with numbers 1-4 indicating the order in which the players locked in their answers and then the letters A, B, or C, corresponding to their answers) received money. For the second question, the first two players that answered correctly received money, and for the third question, the first player that answered correctly won money. Each game consisted of three $50 questions, followed by three $75 questions, and finally three $100 questions. The third round was also when the low-scoring player was eliminated after each question by having his "chair" (and desk) removed from the game via a breakaway wall (which would be used later on MTV’s Remote Control).

In the final weeks of the show, the rules were altered to have each round use a $50 question, a $75 question, and a $100 question. The rules of being the "first three", "first two", and "first" were now used for Rounds 1, 2, and 3 respectively, as the low-scoring player was now eliminated after each of the first two rounds.

In any case, the player with the most money after the final round won the game.

In either format, round three had special rules regarding how to win the game: if the leader rang in first and answered correctly on the third question, the game ended and he/she became the day's champion. If not, another song was played for $100. The game would then continue in this manner until the leader answered one more question or the opponent answered enough questions to overtake the leader.

Bonus Round[edit | edit source]

Musical Chairs had several different bonus rounds during its short run, according to the imperfect memories of the newsgroup

Format #1[edit | edit source]

The first had players matching the first line of a song with the second line on a board, with a 60-second time limit.

Format #2[edit | edit source]

For a while after that, the winning contestant just had his total winnings doubled, with no true end game.

Format #3[edit | edit source]

By about early September, a new end game was added: Champions chose one of three categories, heard the melody of a song, and then had to arrange ten lyrics from that song in order on a board within 30 seconds. The payoff was $100 per correct placement, with the champion winning $2,000 if all ten were correctly slotted.

Trivia[edit | edit source]

Singer Adam Wade was the first African-American to host a game show. He paved the way for many Black game show hosts to follow.

Music[edit | edit source]

Derek Smith and the Musical Chairs Orchestra

Theme Lyrics[edit | edit source]

Sung by Adam Wade

Let's play a game of Musical Chairs

And give yourselves a round of applause!

Let's see if we can remember the words

To all our favorite songs

And when the music stops

And they give you a choice

Is it A: I love you!

B: I need you!

C: Will you meet me after the show?

Let's play a game of Musical Chairs

And give yourselves a round of applause!

Studio[edit | edit source]

Ed Sullivan Theater, New York City, NY

Rating[edit | edit source]

72px-TV-G icon svg.png

Tickets[edit | edit source]

Links[edit | edit source]

Musical Chairs @ Game Shows '75

YouTube Videos[edit | edit source]

All episodes have the original commercials.
A full episode from September 11 (Carole/Steve/Ronnie/Gerri; Special Guests: Irene Cara, Mary Stuart, The Spinners)
A full episode from October 27 (Arlene/Larry/May/Carol; Special Guests: Larry Kert, Sister Sledge, Shari Lewis)
A full episode from October 28 (Diane/Joe/Lauren/Arlene; Special Guests: Donna Cellini, Ralph Carter, Ernestine Jackson, Bobby Rydell)

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