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ABC News - "Death of Karl Wallenda" (1978)

Here is an ABC News report on the death of circus performer and tightrope walker Karl Wallenda, (of The Flying Wallendas) who fell to his death while performing at the age of 73.

From Wikipedia: "Karl attempted a walk between the two towers of the ten-story Condado Plaza Hotel in San Juan, Puerto Rico, on a wire stretched 37 metres (121 ft) above the pavement, but fell to his death when winds exceeded 48 kilometres per hour (30 miles per hour). The Wallenda family attributes the tragedy to "several misconnected guy ropes along the wire" and not the windy conditions. A film crew from WAPA-TV in San Juan taped the fall, and the video, featuring anchorman Guillermo Jose Torres' anguished narration of the fall, circled the world. Rick Wallenda went back the following year and completed the walk successfully.

He was quoted as saying, "Life is being on the wire, everything else is just waiting."

Harry Reasoner introduces the story and James Walker reports.

Also includes at the end after a channel change a short report from another station, which looks like the local Rockford NBC affillate WTVO Channel 17.

This aired on local Rockford, IL TV on Wednesday, March 22nd 1978. (not Chicago, but close enough)

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This clip aired on Wednesday, March 22nd 1978, and is included in the following categories:

Viewer Comments

This clip is not even for the weak at heart I'll tell you what.
Comment posted by ChitownTVFan on Monday, March 23rd 2009 at 12:10am.

Wow! This man was truly insane?
Comment posted by pantaloon123 on Monday, March 23rd 2009 at 9:22am.

The debate has been raging ever since there were news cameras going back to the early days of photography where hangings of convicts would be in just about every news paper. Before film journalism, you had a choice of seeing the hangings or not.
When the use of photos, motion pictures, and video came around, you had no choice but to look at death when all you wanted to do was check the box scores or the results of the race as you flip the pages, change the channel, etc.

Nothing is sacred, not even a family's personal tragedy.

I remember CBS news using this as their closing piece. Kronkite should have said something to the producers about teasing this story all through the show and using it as a "grand finale".
I am not sure if ABC did in this case.

I didn't watch any news for a long time after seeing that!

It wasn't so much as to witnessing the tragedy, it was the way it was handled and sensationalized.

Prime example: 1983; Cecil Andrews' attempted self immolation to protest unemployment. In an alleged drunken state, he called a local TV station to have them come and video tape it! Of course the station jumped all over it, taped it, and distributed it freely to other outlets!
(BTW: He lived. But, he ended up suing the station for "egging him on" when they knew he was drunk and could perish as a result...Not to mention, no one from the crew lifted a finger to extinguish the flames that eventually engulfed him and scarred him for life. A passerby with a fire extinguisher saved him.)

But, then again, there are those instances such as Oswald being shot by Ruby, 9/11, etc.

Comment posted by armitagenlowell on Monday, March 23rd 2009 at 6:01pm.

Didn't another family member die a few years later? Ok, this is something you couldn't pay me enough to do.
Comment posted by LaPrincess on Monday, March 23rd 2009 at 9:44pm.

You guys are forgetting Budd Dwyer, that politician who killed himself in a press conference after he was convicted of accepting bribes.
Comment posted by Officedrone1 on Thursday, March 26th 2009 at 12:37am.

drone, that was in 1987 I believe. And I had the rather grim take of seeing this video online at another site. I thought I was gonna have nightmares!
Comment posted by BobAnthony on Thursday, March 26th 2009 at 5:25am.

I remember Budd Dwyer on the news the day it happened, but they blanked out the vid after a certain point. As a kid, I was always curious as to what they didn't show...stupidly, I went & found it on the internet a few years ago. Don't listen to the 12 year old kid inside of you.
Comment posted by kietdoke on Thursday, March 26th 2009 at 7:07am.

I remember Budd Dwyer too, kietdoke. He was the State Treasurer of Pennsylvania who got busted for taking kickbacks. I rembered watching the video showing him with the gun and waving people off. But that was it. I did see part of the video showing him pulling the trigger in Michael Moore's 'Bowling for Columbine', but only for a split second.
Comment posted by Loyal32fan on Thursday, March 26th 2009 at 10:04am.

This video is right up there with an old Vietnam war film footage showing a South Vietnamese cop casually shooting a Viet-Cong prisioner in the head as if it was no big deal. Although the anti-war movement in this country started long before the incident happened, it sure must have accelerated the movement even more.
Comment posted by Loyal32fan on Friday, March 27th 2009 at 10:41am.

ABC is turning Nik Wallenda's attempted tightrope walk over Niagara Falls into a prime-time television event with a three-hour special on June 15, 2012 with the daredevil attempt. Part of the show will be an examination of the greatest stunts of all time. His great-grandfather, Karl, fell to his death in a tightrope walk in Puerto Rico in this video clip.
Comment posted by Szake on Friday, May 11th 2012 at 1:00pm.

And Nik recently crossed the Grand Canyon successfully with no safety measures.
Comment posted by VintageCanada on Wednesday, July 3rd 2013 at 5:56am.

Congratulations to Nik Wallenda, whose Great-Grandfather (seen in this clip) was Karl Wallenda. Tonight, Nik successfully traversed, right here in Chicago, a high wire from Marina City's West Tower to the Leo Burnett Building, and then another high wire between the two Marina City Towers.
Comment posted by FuzzyMemories on Sunday, November 2nd 2014 at 10:53pm.

Congrats to Nik Wallenda!
Comment posted by ER3017 on Monday, November 3rd 2014 at 11:19am.

I can't help but wonder if some people were born with the idea to do this. Nik Wallenda said that there were some things that could have caused problems but luckily he made it.
Comment posted by LaPrincess on Tuesday, November 4th 2014 at 4:16pm.

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This clip has been viewed 26675 times.
This clip debuted on FuzzyMemories.TV on Sunday, March 22nd 2009.
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Most Recent Site Comments

Comment posted in WLS Channel 7 - "The Original 3:30 (4:30) Movie Opening!" (1969-1973?) by W.B. on Wednesday, February 10th, 2016 at 2:39pm CT

I also wish to add that, checking the LOC's (Library of Congress) catalogues of copyright entries as in Google Books, Raim's "Big Show Theme" copyright was registered on November 22nd 1968, five years to the day after JFK's assassination - a wild coincidence if ever there was one. But the original "4:30 Movie" opening, from all accounts, was also used in Detroit by WXYZ Channel 7 as well as by WABC. If it's true WLS never used this type opening with the difference in title, it'd be a surprise - given the use of that type of logo design in one of the promos Cathy Mustari designed.


Comment posted in WTTW Channel 11 - Movie Eleven - "Dr. Who" (Opening, 1976) by FuzzyMemories on Monday, February 8th, 2016 at 9:58pm CT

Music Source Discovered!

Another mystery music track is identified...

(are you ready?) :-)

The theme used for Movie Eleven here was composed by Dave Grusin and is from the soundtrack for the film "The Heart is a Lonely Hunter" [1968]. Apparently, although not yet confirmed (since the soundtrack is hard to come by) - the specific name of this track is called "Growing Pains". Here's a link right to the scene in the movie where the music is used.

Many thanks to Paul Simmons for providing us with the answer!


Comment posted in WLS Channel 7 - "The Original 3:30 (4:30) Movie Opening!" (1969-1973?) by FuzzyMemories on Monday, February 8th, 2016 at 9:24pm CT

Bernie Drayton actually e-mailed me with this information back in October of 2013, but somehow it got overlooked until now. Sorry for the oversight. :-(


Comment posted in WLS Channel 7 - "The Original 3:30 (4:30) Movie Opening!" (1969-1973?) by FuzzyMemories on Monday, February 8th, 2016 at 9:19pm CT

From W.B. - "It has since been revealed that the theme was composed by a chap named Walter Raim (who over the years, wrote many music cues for ABC promos) around 1968, in the movie program's waning months under its original title "The Big Show," and indeed it is registered with ASCAP as "Big Show Theme." It had been commissioned by ABC in New York, and was recorded at the now-defunct Gotham Recording Corp. in New York City, with Bernard Drayton and Susan Hamilton as producers and Herman Edel Associates as the music house, with The Lampert Agency and two of its staffers, agency producer Diane Flynn and agency creative director Bill Wurtzel, also involved in the making of this piece (this info courtesy Mr. Drayton himself, in a message to this individual on YouTube, where he has an account under the name "Last Minute Entertainment"). Ed Rice was the recording engineer."


Comment posted in WSNS Channel 44 - Summit Series Game 8 (Commercial Break, 1972) by AnnArborMI90 on Monday, February 8th, 2016 at 5:59pm CT

I am curious as to what format this may be. I know it's not CV-2000, since that only recorded in black-and-white. I'm thinking Type A VTR.


Comment posted in WSNS Channel 44 - The Dating Game - "Joey D'Auria" (Part 4, 1980) by W.B. on Monday, January 25th, 2016 at 6:12am CT

I.I.N.M., Chuck Barris, besides being responsible for both "The Dating Game" and "The Newlywed Game" (not to mention "The Gong Show"), also produced "The New Treasure Hunt," which may explain how that post-Game 1 music on "The Dating Game" that 'BobAnthony' mentioned, ahem, got around . . . as well as the tuxes.


Comment posted in WSNS Channel 44 - The Dating Game - "Joey D'Auria" (Part 4, 1980) by BobAnthony on Sunday, January 24th, 2016 at 10:10pm CT

You kind of get the feeling that this go round of The Dating Game was quite ribald...Jim Lange's tuxes notwithstanding. These I think were among those worn by Geoff Edwards when he hosted "The New Treasure Hunt." And yes to WB's point this was the version seen on WOR-TV Channel 9 along with The Newlywed Game's 1977-80 run. I remember seeing reruns of these shows on 9 in the mid 80's as a prep for the "New" versions of these shows.


Comment posted in WSNS Channel 44 - The Dating Game - "Joey D'Auria" (Part 2, 1980) by BobAnthony on Sunday, January 24th, 2016 at 10:05pm CT

By the way, the music used after the end of game one should be familiar to game show fans like myself. It was used when one of the prizes was won or perhaps passed up on The New Treasure Hunt (1973-77). It also served as the show's closing theme.


Comment posted in WNBQ Channel 5 - The Dorsey Connors Show (Part 2, 1963) by Pushbutton on Sunday, January 24th, 2016 at 4:40pm CT

Thanks so much! I tried, but couldn't find anything!


Comment posted in WNBQ Channel 5 - The Dorsey Connors Show (Part 2, 1963) by W.B. on Thursday, January 21st, 2016 at 7:37pm CT

Ms. Cameron was fashion editor for the Chicago American at the time. She was mentioned in a September 16th 1962 article in the Chicago Tribune's Magazine of Books section, in the "Bystander" column by future WTTW "Book Beat" host Robert Cromie, in relation to an upcoming talk at the Chicago Public Library to be held that October 4th. One of her articles - penned in 1959, about a Swedish fashion designer named Katja - can be found online within the New School site.


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