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WGN Channel 9 - Station Sign-On (1980)

Here is a mostly complete Station Sign-On from WGN Channel 9. The National Anthem was cut.

The announcer doing the Station ID at the beginning is Carl Greyson and the voiceover for the Sign-On is Steve Hunter.

Followed by "WGN Television - 24 Hours a Day" ID with "Last Farewell" music (voiceover by Steve Hunter); which in turn is followed by part of opening titles of William Tell (a.k.a. The Adventures of William Tell), a British-produced syndicated adventure series that lasted 39 episodes from 1958 to 1959 and starred Conrad Phillips in the title role.

This aired on local Chicago TV in 1980.

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This clip aired in 1980, and is included in the following categories:

Viewer Comments

Since this sign-on announcement would have been a stock tape that was plugged in every morning, the announcer over the ID slide was probably just the studio announcer on duty.

I think the program was called "The Friendly Giant" or something...it was out of Europe.

Comment posted by SuperCFL on Wednesday, April 9th 2008 at 9:38am.

At first I thought it was "Robin Hood", but now that I think about it, I'm not really sure what that opening was. Too bad it wasn't "Sea Hunt" :-)
Comment posted by madsixtian on Wednesday, April 9th 2008 at 5:07pm.

The voiceover for the still of the receiver dish; I am pretty sure that was Carl Greyson. The VO. for the rest; I am not sure.
Comment posted by armitagenlowell on Wednesday, April 9th 2008 at 9:46pm.

I believe that show at the end is "The Adventures of William Tell" which was a syndicated UK import from the 1950's. I remember seeing it as a kid, but I didn't know it was shown as late as 1980.
Comment posted by bobk on Thursday, April 10th 2008 at 8:17pm.

Definitely Carl Greyson at the start like armitagenlowell said and unmistakably Len Johnson for the rest of it.
Comment posted by Erniebaud on Friday, April 11th 2008 at 4:53am.

You are correct that is The Adventures of William Tell. British show from the late 50's. WGN use to run this and the Biography series very early on weekend mornings.
Comment posted by telefrank on Saturday, April 12th 2008 at 6:45am.

At the end of this clip, it reminds me SO MUCH of the Ricola cough drop ads!
Comment posted by mgg75 on Monday, April 14th 2008 at 7:28pm.

Didn't the theme go like "HECANTELL, HECANTELL, HECANTELL"????.
Comment posted by Telenews on Friday, May 16th 2008 at 9:51pm.

Has a complete version of this sign-on (with the National Anthem intact) ever turned up?
Comment posted by SuperCFL on Sunday, June 21st 2009 at 9:37am.

So, that's what the '80s NAB bug looks like up close. I remember when Paramount Network Television used it between 1980 and 1982 on most of their shows including "Happy Days" and "Mork & Mindy." At least one or two Stephen J. Cannell shows had it also.
Comment posted by RocketBoy on Friday, June 10th 2011 at 12:56pm.

So if WGN serves viewers "24 hours a day," as they say in the station ID in this clip, why was there a sign-on announcement?
Comment posted by KBA on Friday, June 10th 2011 at 1:11pm.

A formality at this point. Sister-station WPIX Channel 11 in New York had a daily sign-on during the 1980's and into the '90's that can be found here (as voiced by the late Bill Biery who, along with Ralph Lowenstein, was the "Voice of 11 Alive" during that period).
Comment posted by W.B. on Friday, June 10th 2011 at 1:39pm.

The announcer doing the sign-on is Steve Hunter, not Len Johnson.

I always had the same question as KBA. For whatever reason, they would always do the entire sign-on routine every morning around 5:00 or so, even though they'd been broadcasting all night. Maybe it was some sort of legal requirement or something?

William Tell was a great show! It's been released on DVD, although for some reason they replaced the opening music on the DVD release, though with the same video (I believe).

Comment posted by RLaPorte on Sunday, January 29th 2012 at 3:16pm.

Sign-on V/O info changed, and info on what program was shown at the end of this clip added, to description.
Comment posted by W.B. on Sunday, January 29th 2012 at 4:59pm.

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This clip has been viewed 6717 times.
This clip debuted on FuzzyMemories.TV on Wednesday, April 9th 2008.
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Most Recent Site Comments

Comment posted in WSNS Channel 44 - Sign-On & ONTV Transition (1985) by FuzzyMemories on Wednesday, May 27th, 2015 at 12:29pm CT

Just to verify (which it turns out "Zappi" did ID back in 2010) - the music at the end during the transition to ONTV is "The Chicago Theme (Love Loop)" by Hubert Laws.


Comment posted in WGN Channel 9 - The 1985 Chicago Automobile Show Special (First 10 Minutes, 1985) by ChrisBCritter on Thursday, May 21st, 2015 at 3:34am CT

Check out the technician fleeing the shot at 3:45 as the Camaro comes into view! Lucky his yellow shirt matched the car to help camouflage his exit...


Comment posted in WMAQ Channel 5 - NewsCenter5 - "Mount St. Helens" (1980) by OldTVNut on Wednesday, May 20th, 2015 at 11:26am CT

Am I the only person who thinks that Jerry Taft should be surprised on his next birthday with this clip?


Comment posted in McDonald's - "We Do It All For You" (Commercial, 197?) by T.K. on Friday, May 15th, 2015 at 11:21pm CT

Can't beat the million-dollar sound of a jingle performed by the Ron Hicklin Singers. Even after 40 years, "At McDonaaaald's..." still sticks to the brain. It's been so long since a memorable uptempo jingle has been used in a national ad campaign, using one would stand out against all the maudlin and futuristic aural wallpaper used today.

If I'm not mistaken, that's a billboard for Ronrico rum visible through the window at 0:35. Even though no one at home was going to be putting this spot on "pause" in 1975, it surprises me they let that slip into something so tightly produced.


Comment posted in WGN Channel 9 - The 1985 Chicago Automobile Show Special (First 10 Minutes, 1985) by FuzzyMemories on Friday, May 15th, 2015 at 11:05pm CT

T.K. - You're correct - I hadn't noticed that, but this is the last regular appearance of Frazier Thomas on Family Classics that has yet been found. I don't have the opening for "The Black Swan" but I do have the last half hour or so including the complete ending, some of which you see here. I'll have to give this a proper posting at a later time.


Comment posted in WGN Channel 9 - The 1985 Chicago Automobile Show Special (First 10 Minutes, 1985) by T.K. on Friday, May 15th, 2015 at 10:37pm CT

Less than two months before the death of Frazier Thomas... am I right in that this is the latest of his regular appearances to have surfaced so far? (I'm not counting the clips used in the retrospective stories in April.)

The intro music to the car show sounds like it came from this catchy number used on the CHEK-TV Friday Night Movie in 1981. WGN's recording sounds like it came from someone holding a mic up to a record player in their basement, however. I'd love to hear it in full.


Comment posted in WTTW Channel 11 - Doctor Who - "The Leisure Hive" (Opening & Technical Difficulties Moment, 1983) by Detroit4Chicago on Friday, May 15th, 2015 at 7:00pm CT

She sounds as if she's doing an ad-lib news report on NPR's All Things Considered.


Comment posted in McDonald's - "We Do It All For You" (Commercial, 197?) by Micronaut on Thursday, May 14th, 2015 at 6:07pm CT

Correct me if I am wrong BUT is that Dee Wallace at 0:29??


Comment posted in Coke - "Verbose Challenge" (Commercial, 1977) by Detroit4Chicago on Monday, May 11th, 2015 at 10:43pm CT

Pete: "The guy that does the V/O for Forensic Files?"

Yep. Still going after all these years!


Comment posted in Coke - "Verbose Challenge" (Commercial, 1977) by Pete on Saturday, May 9th, 2015 at 11:49pm CT

The guy that does the V/O for Forensic Files?


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