Game Shows Wiki

The topic of this page has a Wikia of its own: Name That Tune.

Red Benson (1952–June 1954)
Bill Cullen (September 1954–March 1955)
George DeWitt (September 1955–1959)
Richard Hayes (1970)
Dennis James (1974–1975, daytime)
Tom Kennedy (1974–1981, syndicated; 1977, daytime)
Jim Lange (1984–1985)
Peter Allen (1990)
Elizabeth Banks (2018)
Jane Krakowski (2021-Present)
Kathie Lee Gifford (Johnson) (1977-1978)
Monica Burrus (Francine Pege) (1978-1981)
Steve March-Torme (1978-1981)
Dancers (1978–1979 season only)
Jerri Fiala & Dennon Rawles
Stan Sawyer
Bob Kennedy
Wayne Howell
Johnny Olson
John Harlan (1974–1985)
Charlie O'Donnell (1990)
NBC Radio: 12/20/1952 – 4/10/1953
NBC Primetime: 7/6/1953 – 6/14/1954
CBS Primetime: 9/2/1954 – 3/31/1955, 9/27/1955 – 10/19/1959
Unsold Pilot for Daily Syndication: 1970
Name That Tune 1974 2.png
NBC Daytime: 7/29/1974 – 1/3/1975
Syndication: 9/9/1974 – 5/23/1981 (reruns aired until 9/1981)
NBC Daytime: 1/3/1977 – 6/10/1977
Name That Tune 1984 Pilot.png
Syndication (Daily): 9/10/1984 – 6/7/1985 (reruns aired until 9/6/1985)
Name That Tune 1990 Pilot.png
Unsold Pilot for Syndication: 1990
Unsold Pilot for CBS: 2006
Unsold Pilot for CBS: 2018
Name That Tune 2021.png
Name That Tune 2022.png
FOX: 1/6/2021 - Present
Tel-O-Tune Productions in association with Harry Salter Productions (1952–1959)
Tulchin Productions, Ltd. (1970)
Ralph Edwards Productions (1974–1981)
Sandy Frank Productions (1984–1985)
Marty Pasetta Productions (1990 Pilot)
Fox Alternative Entertainment (2021-Present)
Prestige Entertainment (2021-Present)
Eureka Productions (2021-Present)
Century Broadcast Communications (1970)
Station Syndication (nee Sandy Frank Productions) (1974–1985)
Orion Television (1990 Pilot)

Name That Tune was a game show that put two contestants against each other to test their knowledge of songs.


Main Game[]

1950s Version[]

The contestants would stand across the stage from two large ship's bells and the band would start playing tunes. When a contestant knew the tune he/she would run across the stage to "ring the bell and name that tune!" Four tunes were played in each game, and each tune was worth increasing dollar amounts as follows:

  1. $5
  2. $10
  3. $20
  4. $40

In the George DeWitt era, there were only three tunes, worth $10, $20 and $30 respectively.

The player with the most money after all the tunes had been played won the game and advanced to the bonus game called "The Golden Medley". In the DeWitt era, when there was a tie (not possible under the first scoring system, except at 0-0), both players played as a team.

1970s–1980s Versions[]

These two versions allowed contestants, usually one male and one female, who were selected from the studio audience, to score points, as well as win cash and prizes, by winning music-related games.


Regularly played sub-games on the show included the following:

Melody Roulette[]

This game was played in all versions, and could either be the first or second round (depending on the season). The host spun a two-level wheel (originally just a one-level wheel) onstage to determine a cash and/or bonus prize for identifying the tune. Five tunes were played (seven in portions of the Lange version), and the first player to name three (or four) of them scored 10 points. If this amount had not been reached after all the tunes had been played, the points were awarded to the player who had correctly named the most of them. In case of a tie, five points were given to each contestant on the James and Kennedy versions, while the Lange version had a final tiebreaker tune played. In the James and Kennedy versions, all contestants got to keep the cash won in this round, but the winner received a(nother) bonus prize; in the Lange version, however, only the winner of Melody Roulette got to keep the cash with no bonus.
James version
Originally, the wheel contained categories (such as specific artists), with the contestants selecting one before each spin and receiving $100 if theirs was landed on; the categories, however, were later replaced by money amounts ranging from $20 to $1,000; as with the category version, each contestant had a $100 space of their own, receiving $100 if the wheel landed on their space.

  • Configuration: $20, $500, $50, $200, $100, $100, $1,000

Kennedy version
Originally, the wheel was similar to the cash wheel from the James version, but each player had a $200 space, although they still automatically received that money as a bonus if it was landed on. From 1976 to 1977, the lowest value on the wheel increased to $50, and from 1977 to 1981, it was $100. The 1977 daytime version had a wheel with values ranging from $50 to $500. In 1976, an outer wheel was added, containing two spaces marked "Double" (spaced evenly apart) and spun in the opposite direction of the inner. From 1977 to 1980, it also featured a third space offering a new car (again, these spaces were evenly separated), but it could be won only once per episode; in 1980, this was replaced by two generic "prize" spaces, which worked the same way, along with only one Double space. The 1977 daytime version had the outer wheel with two Double spaces.

  • Nighttime Configurations
    • First Two Seasons: $1,000, $50, $200, $100, $200, $500, $20
    • Season 3: $50, $400, $100, $200, $500, $300, $1,000
    • 1977–1981: $100, $500, $400, $300, $500, $200, $1,000
  • Daytime Configuration: $500, $100, $200, $50, $300, $100, $50

Lange version
Initially, the dollar amounts ranged from $100 to $500, with money being awarded after every tune and the wheel being spun again for the next tune. This rule was changed about halfway through the run, with the spaces on the wheel now being worth between $250 and $1,000; also, the wheel was spun only once, and the money was awarded to the winner of the round. In three of the five pilot shows, the contestants spun the wheels themselves to determine their own fate: one contestant spun the inner wheel, while the other spun the outer. When it went to series, it was reverted back having Lange do both jobs, as the wheel was enlarged. Finally there were three "Double" spaces on the outer wheel in the pilots, which was reduced to one for the series.

  • Configurations
    1. $100, $300, $100, $400, $100, $200, $100, $500
    2. $1,000, $750, $500, $250, $1,000, $750, $500, $250
Miscellaneous Games[]

These were played in the round opposite Melody Roulette and included to following:

  • Ring That Bell – As on the 1950s version, two bells were suspended from the ceiling, with each contestant standing about 20 feet away. The first contestant to correctly "ring the bell and name that tune" scored it. Five tunes were played, and the contestant who correctly guessed the most of them won the round and 10 points. This game was used for all but the last seven episodes of the 1974 daytime series.
  • Pick-A-Prize – Only played on the 1977 daytime series, this game had the contestants be shown an assortment of prizes. A tune would then play, and the first player to buzz in and name that tune scored it and selected a prize to take home; after that, the players would alternate listening to tunes and trying to name them for a prize of their choice each time, starting with the player who lost the first tune. The first player to name three tunes won the round and 10 points.
  • Pick-A-Tune – Each tune would feature a list of words which included the words in the tune's title. Contestants eliminated words so that only the words in the title remained. This game was featured early in the first season of the 1974 syndicated series.
  • Cassette Roulette – Eight oversized 8-track tapes were displayed, each containing a category. Contestants alternated in choosing a tape, and the corresponding tune was played. Four of the "cassettes" also contained a bonus prize, which would be awarded to the contestant who correctly named the tune. Seven tunes were played, and the contestant who correctly named the most of them won the round and 10 points. This was played during the first few months of the 1970s syndicated version before being replaced by Melody Roulette (see above).
  • Money Tree – Featured in the Kennedy run from 1974 to 1977, this game had both players being given their own "tree" with 100 $1 bills on it. While one contestant tried to guess a tune (up to three were played), his/her opponent would remove bills as fast as possible from the first contestant's tree until that contestant guessed correctly or ran out of time. The contestant with the most money left on his/her tree after they both had a turn received 10 points and a prize package (though it wasn't uncommon to see both trees stripped clean). This game was retired because Kennedy didn't like its greedy nature, not to mention contestants having a tendency to cut their fingers on the metal edges that held the bills in place. The 1974 daytime series also used this game for its last seven episodes, from 12/26/1974 to 1/3/1975.
  • Sing-A-Tune – After hearing a chorus sung by the show's vocalist, a then-unknown Kathie Lee Johnson (now Gifford), the contestants would write down the name of the tune, while Johnson would replace any words normally part of the song's title with "la-las." Five tunes were played (originally three), and the player who named the most tunes correctly received 10 points and a prize package. If contestants were tied, they each received the prize package and 5 points. This game was played only during the 1977–1978 season. Johnson left the show in 1978 and was replaced by the team of Monica Burruss and Steve March Tormé, the son of legendary crooner Mel Tormé and stepson of $64,000 Question emcee Hal March.
  • Build-A-Tune – The orchestra would play a tune starting with minimal instrumentation, and would gradually add more until it became a full orchestral arrangement. Whoever named more tunes out of five received 10 points and a prize package. If both players were tied, each of them received five points and the prizes. This game was only played on the short-lived 1977 daytime version.
  • Tune Countdown – This round was used in the pilot episodes for the Lange version, and was the replacement for Sing-A-Tune until it was finally scrapped in favor of Tune Topics. Players simply buzzed in and named tunes for the duration of 20 seconds, with the clock stopping as soon as someone rang in. When time expired, the contestant who had named the most tunes correctly won 10 points and a prize. A variant of this format was used as the Golden Medley Showdown on Kennedy's version from 1978 to 1981, with the exception being that the contestants were given 30 seconds, and the clock stopped automatically if no one buzzed in within five seconds.
  • Tune Topics – This was the mainstay second round of the 1984 series. The orchestra would play five tunes with a specific theme. Originally, one topic was exclusively shown, but it was quickly changed to one of five categories chosen at random by a computer. The contestant who identified the most tunes out of the five scored 10 points, and, as with Melody Roulette, a sudden-death tune was played if the contestants were tied after the initial five tunes had been played; should both players guess incorrectly, the procedure was repeated.

This was the show's signature game, played as the final round of the main game in all versions (except on the Kennedy version from 1978 to 1981 and during the tournament in the Lange version, where it was the penultimate round). The host read a clue to a song (in the last two seasons of the Kennedy version, the contestants had a choice of six clues minus one for each tune played), and the contestants alternated bidding as to how few notes (from a maximum of seven) they needed to identify the song (as in, "I can name that tune in three notes"). Bidding ended when one contestant challenged the other to name the tune, or a bid of one (or even zero) note(s) was given by a player. After bidding, the pianist's hand would show up on split screen to play the notes, afterwhich the player had to name that tune. Correctly identifying the song scored that tune, while missing it gave it to the opponent. It took three points (occasionally two) to win the game, and 20 points (10 in the last two seasons of the Kennedy version and in the non-finals of the tournament in the Lange version) and a prize (most often a trip).

The player with the most points at the end of the three rounds proceeded to the "Golden Medley" bonus round. If there was a tie at the end of the game, one last tune was played; the first player to buzz-in and name that tune advanced to the Golden Medley.

1990 Pilot[]

A revival was planned in 1990 set up by Pasetta Productions & Orion Entertainment hosted by Peter Allen. It did not sell, though its format was later reused for the 1994 CD-I game hosted by Bob Goen.

The First Two Rounds[]

The contestants faced a game board with four categories and four notes next to each; for a total of 16 tunes. Each note represented a tune and each tune was worth money. The player in control picked a category and then the bands started playing a tune under that category. The first player to buzz-in with the correct title, s/he won the money for that tune. But buzzing-in with an incorrect title not only gave the opponent(s) a chance to steal with the tune resuming from where it stopped, but eliminated that player from the next tune (ala Face the Music). Certain tunes have bonus questions worth the same amount as the tune. After each tune, the note representing the tune pushed in. Correct answers also controlled the board and chose the next category. The rounds were played to time or until all the tunes were played.

In round one, the board's 16 notes hid random money amounts from $100 to $200 in $5 increments. After choosing a category, the player in control then chose a tune by number.

In round two, each category had a bank which started at $100 and grew by $10 per second the longer a tune played. Not naming the tune at all carried the bank over into the next tune.

The two players with the highest scores moved on to Bid-A-Note with the third place player eliminated from the game; although all three contestants kept whatever money they won.

Round 3: Bid-A-Note[]

This was the played just like the previous versions, with Peter himself playing the notes.

2021 version[]

The first round is played under different rules per show, but contain six tunes worth from $1,000-$6,000. In case of time constraints, if a tune is unsolved, it's edited from the show.

Title Track: Each set of three songs have a different category.

By Request: The players can choose from six categories.

Remix'd: Songs played in a different style.

Spin Me Round: A wheel determines the category the next song will come from.

On Shuffle: Songs played from six different artists.


Same as always, but with a maximum of 10 notes instead of 7 and if a player is challenged to "Name That Tune" and fails to do so, the opponent does not automatically win it. Instead, he/she gets all 10 notes to "Name That Tune" in an attempt to steal for the current value. The four songs range from $10,000-$25,000. Most money wins.

Golden Medley[]

The Golden Medley was a bonus round where the day's winner attempted to identify a certain number of tunes within 30 seconds.

1950s version[]

In the original series, all the tunes played were selected by home viewers. Each correct tune won money for the winning contestant as well as the home viewers. The first correct answer was worth $25, and each subsequent correct answer doubled the money. There were seven tunes, and naming all of them awarded $1,600 and gave a home viewer a chance to come to the New York studio (where the show was taped at that time), and play along with the studio contestant in a special round called the "Golden Medley Marathon".

The Golden Medley Marathon[]

In the Golden Medley Marathon, the winning home viewer and the winning studio contestant worked as a team. This time, the two players had to correctly name five tunes within 30 seconds, and if they could, they split $10,000 and returned on the next show with an attempt to do it again. They could keep coming back for up to four additional weeks and potentially win a combined $50,000.

All subsequent series[]

For the 1970s and 1980s Name That Tune series, the Golden Medley was played for a grand prize and each tune correctly guessed earned the champion a prize of some sort.

As before (with one exception), the goal was to identify a certain number of tunes (mostly seven) within 30 seconds to win the grand prize. The champion stopped the clock by hitting a buzzer, which was a cue for the band to stop playing, and could either give an answer, or pass if he/she was not sure. Once all the tunes were played, the champion went back to play the passed tunes (if there were any).

Play continued until the champion correctly named all the tunes and won, until he/she ran out of time, or if a wrong guess was given at any point, which resulted in an automatic loss.

James's version[]

The winning player had to correctly name six (later five) tunes. Each correct guess was worth $200, and if the contestant could name all of them within 30 seconds he/she won $2,000. Champions played until they had won four games or had been defeated, and any champion that won the main game four times won a new car.

Later in the run, corresponding with the change to five tunes, a champion had to win the Golden Medley in order to return on the next show. Also, the car was only awarded if the champion won the bonus round four times.

NOTE: This was the only version of the show to have returning champions.

Kennedy's version[]

In the syndicated version, each tune was worth $500 in prizes (usually, a contestant who got six won a car), and any contestant who named all seven tunes was awarded a $15,000 prize package. On the 1977 daytime version, each correct tune was worth $250 in prizes, and naming all seven awarded a $2,500 prize package.

The Mystery Tune[]

From 1976 to 1978, Golden Medley winners were given a chance to win a major cash prize on the following episode by identifying one more song at the end of the show. In the 1976-1977 season, the song was selected by the producers, but for the 1977-1978 season, the contestant entered a "Gold Room" backstage, which contained a safe with a carousel inside containing various manilla envelopes; each envelope contained the sheet music for the song (with the title covered by a piece of tape) and a smaller envelope, containing the copyright information for the song, as well as its title. When the round began, security guard Jeff Addis opened the safe, and the player chose an envelope. Addis then escorted the contestant onto the stage and gave the show's pianist the sheet music, and Kennedy the smaller envelope. In either case, the contestant entered an isolation booth, which was wired so that only the piano and Kennedy could be heard. The tune was played for 20 seconds, and after that the contestant had 10 seconds to provide a guess.

After a guess was made, it was recorded and the contestant left the booth while Kennedy opened the smaller envelope and read the song's copyright information. The recording of the contestant's guess was then played back, and finally Kennedy announced the correct title. If the contestant's guess matched it exactly, he/she won $10,000 a year for a decade.

When Name That Tune returned to daytime in 1977, the Mystery Tune was brought along with it. It was played in the same way, except that a correct guess awarded the contestant a flat $25,000.

The tunes were usually songs featuring music that contestants and viewers are familiar with, but whose titles were either unknown or not easily discernible (for example, one of the songs was "Fugue for Tinhorns" from Guys and Dolls, but the contestant answered "Can Do", which was part of the lyrics).

Two contestants won the $100,000 in Season 3, and three in Season 4, including one who had been told at first that his answer was incorrect (he said "If You Will Marry Me", and the answer Tom had was "The Bus Stop Song"), only to be brought back when the show's musicologists discovered that a song called "If You Will Marry Me" existed with the very same music. (Three of tunes were "Someday My Prince Will Come" from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, "Dancing on the Ceiling" from Evergreen, and "Entry (or Entrance) of the Gladiators", which is the song most people associate with the circus).

On shows when the Mystery Tune was played, the front game was abbreviated to where each round was best-of-three.

$100,000 Tournaments
In 1977, eleven of the twelve Golden Medley winners who did not win the $100,000 returned for a three-week tournament (the twelfth was taking a 52-day South American cruise at the time, which was one of the Golden Medley prizes). In the first two weeks, five or six players competed in an otherwise normal game; however, in Melody Roulette, the first two players to correctly identify two tunes advanced, and the Golden Medley was turned into a competitive game called Golden Medley Showdown (the clock stopped when either player buzzed-in or five seconds had elapsed) worth 20 points, while Sing-A-Tune and Bid-A-Note each scored 10 points. The two winners came back on the third week, playing Melody Roulette, Sing-A-Tune, and Bid-A-Note for 10 points each, and Golden Medley Showdown for 30, to determine the winner of a $100,000 prize package. The runner-up in each match won $2,500 as a consolation prize.

In 1978, the show (which had switched to a disco set and theme) discarded the Mystery Tunes and the entire season was set up to have four nine-week $100,000 tournaments. The first six weeks consisted of two-player games, featuring Melody Roulette and Bid-A-Note for 10 points each, and Golden Medley Showdown for 20. The six winners returned for a three-week tournament, which was played like the 1977 tournament, except that only three players played Melody Roulette, and the first two players who correctly identified two tunes played the remaining two games for 10 points each. Every ninth episode would be a tournament final, in which the winner won $10,000 per year for a decade, while the runner-up received a car as a consolation prize. A number of celebrity specials filled out the season.

Lange's version[]

The daily 1980s Name That Tune conducted its Golden Medley in the same manner as the Kennedy series had. Each tune was worth at least $250 in prizes for a correct answer, and correctly guessing all seven won a trip. Any contestant that won the Golden Medley over the course of a month returned at the end of it to play in the $100,000 Tournament of Champions.

$100,000 Tournaments[]

Each tournament episode varied in the number of contestants playing, depending on how many players qualified for the tournament. If more than two players were playing on any particular episode, a qualifying round was played in lieu of Melody Roulette, with the first two players to identify two tunes advancing to the next round. Those players then played Tune Topics and Bid-A-Note for 10 points each and the Golden Medley Showdown for 20 points. The player with the most points at the end of the Golden Medley Showdown advanced in the tournament, and a sudden-death tune was played if necessary as before. For games with two players, the game was conducted as it normally would with the Golden Medley Showdown worth 40 points.

The winner at the end of the tournament won $10,000 in cash, a new Pontiac Fiero, an emerald and diamond necklace, a Schafer & Sons grand piano, a Hitachi home entertainment system, a pair of Jules Jurgensen gold watches, home entertainment furnishings (including a spa from Polynesian Spas), a Caribbean vacation courtesy of Costa Cruises and a timeshare condominium at Desert Breezes Resort in Palm Springs, CA. The runner-up won a trip (usually to Hong Kong, but sometimes Tahiti, and worth about $2,000 to $3,000) as a consolation prize.

For several weeks of non-tournament shows in late 1984, a "Home Viewer Sweepstakes" was held. The day's winner picked a name out of a drum, then randomly selected a prize from the $100,000 prize package. A Golden Medley win earned that prize for the home viewer, while a loss won him/her a consolation prize.

Super Champions Tournament
For the first two weeks, fourteen $100,000 winners from the Kennedy series were brought back to compete for a second $100,000 in what was called the Super Champions tournament, the winner of which was Elena Cervantes.

1990 Pilot[]

In the 1990 pilot, naming all seven tunes won $25,000.

2021 version[]

Each tune is worth $10,000, and all seven won $100,000.


At the end of the 1976–1977 season Kennedy and the crew produced a raunchy, not-for-air self-parody. The contestants were played by bandleader Tommy Oliver and model Jerri Fiala, while the show's musicologist Harvey Bacal led the band.

While the episode began normally (with a different female contestant returning to try for $100,000), very quickly it descended into an abundance of four-letter words and very risqué humor. The episode also poked fun at the 1950s quiz show scandals as the Money Tree round had only a few bills on one of the trees, along with Kennedy showing the female contestant most of the answers throughout.

While "in-studio" and consolation prize plugs were read normally, various things would happen onscreen, such as certain portions of the art cards being covered up by dots, or the "models" (actually male staff members in drag) breaking something on the onstage prize.

The episode ended with Kennedy saying goodbye "and up yours!", followed by the normal credit roll. All of the show's cast and crew (including announcer John Harlan) participated in the episode.

Clocking in at 45 minutes, the episode was never shown on television nor were clips used in any blooper specials for 30 years. The master tape was kept in private collections for years until resurfacing in 2007 on a game-show video presentation website, which presented the episode in full with warnings of mature content.


One time during Tom Kennedy's reign as host, before the day's Golden Medley, security guard Jeff Addis was entering the combination to the safe, but he couldn't open it. Kennedy asked him why, then told everyone that Addis forgot the combination, and everyone (including Kennedy and Addis) broke out in laughter.

Another time, but during the Jim Lange run, two bloopers occurred in one episode and during Round 1 (Melody Roulette). The first of which was when Jim announced the amount for the first tune; the amount landed on was $500, but Jim said "$500,000" (confusing it with $100,000). Jim acknowledged the mistake at the start of Tune Topics. Later in that same round, contestant Annie Erickson had just correctly named the tune, which was "Please Help Me I'm Falling", when, as luck would have it, she actually fell down. Her opponent was former Face the Music contestant and future $100,000 winner Michael Lagmay.

Memorable Contestants[]

  • In 1957 juvenile actor Eddie Hodges and Marine Corps pilot John Glenn teamed up to win $50,000 in the Golden Medley Marathon. Hodges went on to appear in The Music Man, while Glenn became even more famous as an astronaut and senator from Ohio.
  • Another memorable contestant from the DeWitt era was teenage singer Leslie Uggams, later a regular on Sing Along with Mitch. She also had her own short-lived variety show on CBS in 1969.
  • One of the first $100,000 winners on Kennedy's version was the charismatic Tommy Simmons, an older gentleman who usually wore a glittering gold suit coat when he competed. He also appeared on Name That Tune’s "sister" show, Face the Music, as well as Match Game '76.
  • Lange-era contestant Alfred Bogdalioff was noted for heckling female opponent Diana Davis (another former Face the Music contestant, then known as Diana Edelman) during the game. This was most obvious during Bid-A-Note, when he said sarcastic things like "Oooooh… I'm SHAKING!" and "I'm REALLY impressed!" (in response to an opening bid). He also used goofy (and at least one potentially offensive) hand gestures towards Davis. Bogdalioff beat Davis 3-2 in Bid-A-Note and won the game, but failed to win the Golden Medley, naming six of the seven tunes before the 30 seconds ran out.
  • Another Lange-era contestant named Annie Erickson correctly named the tune "Please Help Me, I'm Falling" during Melody Roulette, seconds before she fell down herself (as mentioned above).
  • Al Lowe, creator of the Leisure Suit Larry series of computer games, appeared as a contestant.
  • For still another Lange-era contestant named Hap Trout, his Golden Medley win is notable since he got two of the tunes correct after initially passing on them, only to then name them before the next respective tunes were played.
  • Another Lange-era $100,000 winner (and yet another Face the Music alumnus) named Michael Lagmay set a record during the Golden Medley Showdown: he answered 16 tunes correctly over opponent Hap Trout's four. Also notable was that the scoreboard on Michael's podium fouled up a bit when he got 10 tunes correct, for reasons unknown.

Name That Video[]

This was a short-lived variation on Name That Tune that aired on VH1. Hosted by Karyn Bryant, it aired in 2001.

Foreign versions[]

United Kingdom[]

A British version of the show emerged originally in 1956. Marion Ryan was the singer in a popular musical quiz called Spot The Tune[1], on Granada Television for 7 years, with a total of 209 half-hour programmes. Hosts for this version included disc-jockey Pete Murray, Canadian pop singer Jackie Rae, and comedians Ken Platt and Ted Ray. The big band in support was that of Peter Knight and his Orchestra. In this version, the contestants had to guess the title of a song after hearing only a small sample, and the winner of the most cash had to try to name as many £5 tunes as possible within 40 seconds. The show also featured a jackpot tune which reached at least £600 on one occasion.

It was revived later as "Name That Tune" on ITV originally as a slot on the popular entertainment series London Night Out but because the game was so popular, producers Thames Television decided to turn Name That Tune into a half hour weekly series of its own in 1983. The big band in support was that of Alan Braden and his orchestra.

From 1976 until 1983 the show was hosted by Tom O'Connor. Lionel Blair took over from him in 1984 until the series was dropped from the ITV schedules in 1988. Maggie Moone and Irish trio Sheeba sang the songs that contestants had to guess, while the pianist (whose hands were a regular feature) was Ronnie Price. Nick Jackson served as the announcer.

In 1997, the series was revived on Channel 5 with Jools Holland as host for two series until 1998.

On Saturday, 5 May 2007, the show was revived briefly for Vernon Kay's Gameshow Marathon on ITV, with Peter Dickson as announcer.


A daily version called Hast du Töne? (Do You Have Sound?) aired on VOX from 1999 to 2001. Matthias Opdenhövel was the host. Gameplay was somewhat different from the US version, but the final round was the same as the Golden Medley.


Ugaday Melodiyu (Guess the Tune), hosted by Valdis Pelšs, aired daily on ORT from 1995–99, and was produced by the VID TV Company. Gameplay based on 1990 US pilot; later, however, the series was presented as Ugadai i kompaniya (Guess and company) called Ugadaika (Guessing), by Pelšs also, but it was not as successful as the first version. In 2003, the program was revived and aired for two years on Channel One Russia. Gameplay remained the same, but the only difference was the size of prizes. On 2 January 2013 the program was once again revived with new look and with celebrities as players.


Qual é a Musica (What Song Is It?" or "Which Song Is It?"), hosted by Silvio Santos, has been a hit on SBT for the past two decades. It is hosted by Silvio Santos. The show is currently placed on hiatus pending cancellation.


Il Musichiere (The Musicians) aired on Saturdays from 1957–60 on the then-named Programma Nazionale, but ended after host Mario Riva accidentally fell from the stage and subsequently died. Sarabanda (Sarabande), a similar program, aired from 1997–2004 on Italia 1.


Jaka to melodia? (What tune is that?) airs 7 days a week on TVP1. First episode was broadcast on September 4, 1997. The program is hosted in 1997 to 2018 by Robert Janowski, an actor and singer. From September 1, 2018 to June 12, 2019 to the program is hosted by Norbi, but on September 7, 2019 by Rafał Brzozowski.

The show is noted for starting and ending each episode with a musical performance by either the in-house band and singers, or guests, or sometimes both. Performances also occur at random points throughout the show, usually after a correct answer. These performances are usually shorter in length than the proper song's length to accommodate a 30-minute time slot. The game is played entirely for cash, with the show's winner playing for 10,000 zloty. On final on the month/year the game is played entirely for cash, with the show's winner playing the Golden Medley for 80,000 zloty. On some occasions, the host of the show will sing.


The Vietnamese version was called Nốt nhạc vui (Happy Notes). 272 episodes of the show were aired weekly from January 14, 2004 to March 25, 2009. It became popular and it was among the most watched TV series of Ho Chi Minh City Television. Thanh Bạch was the host of that version.

Contestants played in a 5-show limit rule, which a contestant would retire from the show after (s)he won 5 shows throughout 5 weeks.


Versions also aired in Australia, Armenia, Canada, France, Ukraine, Poland and Spain. Recently, Romania and Hungary launched versions of the show. Other countries to get versions include Azerbaijan, Morocco, Portugal, Slovakia and Turkey.

Theme Lyrics[]

1977-1978 Name That Tune Theme Lyrics:

Name That Tune,

Have some fun.

You can play

With a special someone!

It’s so exciting,

And we’re inviting

You all to Name That Tune!


Name That Tune,

Try your hand,

And it could

Mean a hundred grand, hey!

The nation’s playing,

The nation’s saying:

"Hey, I can Name That Tune!"


Name That Tune,

Try your hand,

And it could

Mean a hundred grand, hey!

The nation’s playing,

The nation’s saying:

"Hey, I can Name That Tune!"


Episode status[]

The 1950s version was likely destroyed, given network practices. The 3/10/1955 episode (with Bill Cullen) and a DeWitt highlight episode from the final season (with Johnny Olson announcing) exist on the trading circuit, while episodes from 1954, 1956, and 1957 are held by the Paley Center for Media[2].

The status of the locally produced Richard Hayes series and the NBC daytime series hosted by Dennis James and Tom Kennedy are unknown. It is unclear whether any of the stations that aired Hayes' version kept their tapes, but the James and daytime Kennedy versions were likely destroyed given NBC's practices that continued into 1980. A clip from a James episode was used in a 1988 "Game Show Hosts Special" episode of FOX's The Late Show, and a full episode from December 26, 1974 is known to exist.

The syndicated Kennedy run is intact. Since producer Ralph Edwards' death, the episodes are in the possession of his estate; this presumably includes the "self-parody" episode described above, but this cannot be confirmed.

The Lange version is fully intact and was rerun on American television on a fairly heavy basis for almost a decade. CBN (now Freeform) was the first to air reruns of the series, from September 2, 1985, to August 29, 1986. USA Network picked it up on January 2, 1989, and ran it until September 13, 1991 (including the pilots). The series was last seen on The Family Channel (now Freeform), which aired it from June 7, 1993, to March 29, 1996. Reruns can now be seen on the streaming service Tubi.[3]

Production Locations[]

New York City, NY (1952–1959)
Los Angeles, CA (1974–1985)
Sydney, Australia (2021-present)[4]


72px-TV-G icon svg.png

Revivals/appearances in other media[]

  • According to an ad in Broadcasting Magazine, Television Program Enterprises (TPE) bought the rights to Name That Tune, and supposedly renewed the show for a second season, but that plan fell through later.
  • A 1997 episode of the CBS sitcom Cybill, appropriately titled "Name That Tune", featured the title character Cybill Sheridan played by Cybill Shepherd becoming the vocalist on a new version of the show; Tom Kennedy guest-starred as himself.
  • In late 2001, following his success producing the US version of Weakest Link, Phil Gurin of The Gurin Co. acquired the US rights to Name That Tune, intending to revive the show. The new version produced by Gurin never made it to the air, and the rights returned to Sandy Frank Entertainment.
  • In 2002 the game was played on an episode of The Today Show in which Tom Kennedy dropped by, as part of their Game Show Legends Week; it pitted Katie Couric and Ann Curry against Matt Lauer and Al Roker.
  • In 2006, it was announced that CBS[5]was developing a new primetime version of the show, with Donny Osmond as host. The pilot included a new bonus round called the "million dollar minute", in which contestants would try to earn a grand prize of $1,000,000 by naming 15 songs in sixty seconds. The pilot was taped in December 2006. According to Variety, CBS decided against airing the show and relinquished the rights in late 2007.
  • In 2007, it was announced that MTV[6]would do a revival of Name that Tune for MTV, VH1 and CMT and were expected to debut during the first half of 2008; however, plans for it were scrapped later on.
  • In 2011, a live-stage version of Name That Tune as Name That Tune Live![7]hosted by Chris Philips and Marley Taylor appeared at a Las Vegas casino and hotel called The Imperial Palace. However, after its brief stint[8]it was closed in 2012.
  • In 2012, it was announced that FremantleMedia has secured the rights to Name That Tune. According to[9], "Fremantle's goal is to reboot the guess-the-song show for a new generation, and if it does so, it will accomplish something that's eluded numerous producers and networks over the last decades, including MTV Networks". Unfortunately, it was never made.
  • In 2017, it was announced via Deadline Hollywood[10]that CBS (the network that once rejected the Donny Osmond revival in 2006) has order a pilot for a new version of Name That Tune developed by Ralph Rubenstein and Noah Rubenstein of Prestige Entertainment Group, which owns the rights to the title. The two executives produce with veteran reality showrunner David Hurwitz and reality agent-turned-producer/manager John Ferriter of The Alernative. Casting[11]is slated to begin shortly on the pilot, which is produced by CBS TV Studios. On March 21, 2018, it was announced (via Buzzerblog) that award-winning actress, director, producer and future host of Press Your Luck Elizabeth Banks[12]would host the pilot.
  • It was recently announced that FOX will revive the show with Jane Krakowski as host and Randy Jackson as bandleader.[13] It will have various old games from the older versions including the iconic Bid-A-Note round. The winning contestant will go on to the $100,000 Golden Medley round. The show will be paired with a spinoff of The Masked Singer called The Masked Dancer hosted by Craig Robinson. But another popular music show similar to this is called Beat Shazam with Jamie Foxx.

In Popular Culture[]

In Wheel of Fortune: Deluxe Edition a puzzle features Name That Tune under the category of "Title".

WOF Deluxe Edition Name That Tune.png

Additional Notes[]

Name That Tune featured many unusual buzzer sound effects throughout its run, especially in the Lange version. In the pilot episodes, the buzzers have a spacey "warbling" effect during the upfront game, then have a different effect (similar to an electronic telephone ring) during the Golden Medley. When the actual season began on Lange's version, they alternated between these effects and several versions of the "phaser" type sound used for most of this season; however, only one effect was used per episode. At about the same time the format for Melody Roulette was changed, the buzzer effects changed again slightly, but the difference is only noticeable to those listening for it. Also on the Lange version, there were three sets of two podiums each with different colors: during Melody Roulette, the scoreboards were red and the ring-in lights were pink; in Tune Topics had dark blue scoreboards and light blue ring-in lights; and in Bid-A-Note, the scoreboards were orange, and the ring-in lights (only seen during the tie-breaker) were sort of pale blue (though earlier tapings had the scoreboards & ring-in lights dark and light yellow, respectively).

When a contestant lost the Golden Medley in the Lange version, some of the lights on the show's large logo between the main stage and the orchestra remained steady while the credits rolled; a bonus win resulted in a full flashing "animation" of the logo.

A $100,000 win in the Kennedy version resulted in every kind of siren imaginable going off and the set lights flashing wildly. In the Lange version, there were no sound effects; however, strobe lights would go off, followed by streamers descending in a curtain from the frame of the show's logo, and finally enough confetti and multi-colored balloons being released from various spots in the ceiling to nearly smother the host, contestants, and audience. In addition, the new Pontiac Fiero would roll in, sometimes with a second "avalanche" of the stuff mentioned above.

Additional Pages[]

Name That Tune/Merchandise
Name That Tune/Catchphrases
Name That Tune/Gallery
Name That Tune/Video Gallery


External links[]

YouTube Videos[]