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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 7835 times.
This clip debuted on FuzzyMemories.TV on Wednesday, April 9th 2008.
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Most Recent Site Comments

Comment posted in District Furniture & Appliances - "Come Down to the District" (Commercial, 1978) by W.B. on Sunday, May 28th, 2017 at 9:48am CT

Wonder if that song was what was floating in Joan Baez' head when recording her version of "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down" whereby how she sings one of the lines, sounds like "There goes the Robert E. Lee."


Comment posted in Panos Productions (Demonstration Reel, 1978) by W.B. on Sunday, May 28th, 2017 at 9:46am CT

Funny . . . they didn't look all that much like Donny & Marie in that storyboard . . .


Comment posted in District Furniture & Appliances - "Come Down to the District" (Commercial, 1978) by Smctopia on Saturday, May 27th, 2017 at 10:20pm CT

"Waiting for the Robert E. Lee" shows up in a lot of stuff from this era, including an episode of Laverne & Shirley (in one of the Shotz Talent Show episodes) and in Disney's Bicentenial "America on Parade" in their theme parks.


Comment posted in Panos Productions (Demonstration Reel, 1978) by Smctopia on Saturday, May 27th, 2017 at 10:18pm CT

Loved seeing the old fountain in the Woodfield ad. The water formed a waterfall and there were fish tanks below it. Now there's a mini escalator there and a Comcast area. So boring.

That is of course supposed to be Donny and Marie in the Hawaiian Punch Story Board.


Comment posted in District Furniture & Appliances - "Come Down to the District" (Commercial, 1978) by Szake on Saturday, May 27th, 2017 at 8:50pm CT

Rick: That jingle was referred to on the Bill Leff show you and I were on late night on WGN Radio back in December of 2012.

The song is public domain, and I heard it in one of those bouncing ball sing along cartoons, I recognized it as the District Furniture song. https://youtu.be/jLI3xzwAGDQ?t=4m4s

Nice Photoshop job of combing the intro and ending graphics into one thumbnail image.


Comment posted in District Furniture & Appliances - "Come Down to the District" (Commercial, 1978) by FuzzyMemories on Saturday, May 27th, 2017 at 2:12pm CT

Thanks, Kevin for the ID on the source of the jingle!


Comment posted in District Furniture & Appliances - "Come Down to the District" (Commercial, 1978) by Szake on Friday, May 26th, 2017 at 8:03pm CT

This jingle was based off of the song "Waiting For The Robert E. Lee." The furniture shot, but not the logo or banjo player looks like it could have been shot in the Ridgewood High School TV Studio, from the white cylorama curtain to the C stand light just in the frame on the left side of the screen. They had just rented a servo zoom controller to upgrade a manual crank zoom and were probably ancy to use it. There was also a locally produced Preparation H ad pretending to be at a race track shot on videotape with the same setup.


Comment posted in Superstation WTBS Channel 17 - Movie 17 - "Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things" (Opening & Break, 1980) by Loyal32Fan on Friday, May 19th, 2017 at 7:42pm CT

I saw the movie 'Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things'. Worst zombie movie ever.


Comment posted in WLAK FM 94 - "The Place to Relax" (Commercial, 1980) by Loyal32Fan on Friday, May 19th, 2017 at 7:40pm CT

I remember Patrick O'Neal in an episode of the 'Night Gallery' called 'Fear of Spiders'. He also did television shows like 'Alfred Hitchcock' and 'The Outer Limits'.


Comment posted in Son Of Svengoolie - "Black Friday" - "Mail Call & Leave It To Mole" (1983) by 4thtroika on Friday, May 19th, 2017 at 5:30pm CT

That Bingo head was from a commercial for the Muscular Dystrophy carnival kits featuring the Banana Splits.


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