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WGN Channel 9 - Family Classics With Frazier Thomas - "The War Of The Worlds" (Opening, 1978)

Here is the opening to the Family Classics With Frazier Thomas presentation of "The War of the Worlds" on WGN Channel 9.

The Family Classics theme song was called "Moviescope" and was a piece of library music composed by Dennis Berry. It was originally released on the Berry/Conroy label.

This aired on local Chicago TV on Sunday, November 19th 1978 at 3:30pm!

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This clip aired on Sunday, November 19th 1978, and is included in the following categories:

Viewer Comments

I have the RCA SelectaVision CED of this film.
Comment posted by Betamax75 on Tuesday, October 26th 2010 at 9:06am.

Another great find, Fuzzy!
Comment posted by ChitownTVFan on Tuesday, October 26th 2010 at 9:35am.

Which Chicago station had "The War of the Worlds" prior to WGN? I know that in NYC, the first station to lease it, starting in 1969, was WCBS Channel 2 (as part of Paramount Pictures' "Portfolio II" package); in fact, this film was the first to be aired on WCBS's very short-lived attempt at a horror showcase, "Saturday Shocker," in fall 1972 (apparently as meant to compete with WNEW Channel 5's "Creature Features" which aired at various times of the day on weekends, including Saturday and Sunday afternoons).

I seem to recall around the late 1980's or early '90's, WGN's sister station WPIX Channel 11 ran this flick.

Comment posted by W.B. on Tuesday, October 26th 2010 at 1:39pm.

W.B., WBBM Channel 2 had Paramount "Portfolio II" before WGN got the rights to those movie titles.
Comment posted by Phantom on Tuesday, October 26th 2010 at 3:57pm.

Thought so . . . I seemed to read ads from the 1969-70 period that indicated that CBS O&O's acquired "Portfolio II."
Comment posted by W.B. on Tuesday, October 26th 2010 at 6:52pm.

The opening description Fraizer Thomas talked about doesn't mention the 1938 War of the Worlds radio broadcast created by Orson Welles!
Comment posted by Dth1971 on Tuesday, October 26th 2010 at 8:56pm.

Gosh, Anything with Frazier Thomas or Framily Classics is such a rare treat. Thank you for posting..simply awesome! I can almost picture myself sitting on the floor in front of our new 25" RCA ColorTrack Console TV watching this show....one of my favorites to this day. Who didn't want to see the inside of one of those cool space ships.
Comment posted by Siciliano66 on Tuesday, October 26th 2010 at 11:29pm.

Dan - I think this was one of the more scary films that he showed on Family Classics. I wonder if he even considered this one almost crossing the line? People getting vaporized by alien rays definitely freaked me out!

Notice, in a rare variation, he doesn't say, "And now, if you're quite ready..." :-)

Comment posted by FuzzyMemories on Tuesday, October 26th 2010 at 11:51pm.

You never cease to amaze me with your video finds, Fuzzy.

Thanks!

Comment posted by GHilbrich on Thursday, October 28th 2010 at 7:11pm.

Love hearing the amazing Paul Frees in the opening narration...and of course, WGN clips = superawesome!
Comment posted by DoctorJPW on Friday, October 29th 2010 at 9:00pm.

I grew up with that theme song! Anyone know who composed it and which orchestra played it?
Comment posted by ScarlettOHara on Sunday, October 16th 2011 at 4:31am.

This is interesting, because I have an audio recording of Frazier's introduction of this movie in early 1980, and he recited the same speech almost verbatim--including "And now--if I have prepared you for what you're about to see..." I guess even someone as talented as Frazier Thomas needs to use scripts sometimes!
Comment posted by RLaPorte on Sunday, January 29th 2012 at 2:58pm.

RLaPorte - Is it possible it is in fact the exact same intro? Maybe they videotaped some and reused them for popular movies?
Comment posted by FuzzyMemories on Sunday, January 29th 2012 at 3:01pm.

I just listened to the 1980 recording, and, happily, it was definitely a different "performance," with slight changes. Instead of referring to "very expensive trick photography" as Frazier did here, he called it "very clever trick photography" in 1980. Also, here he stated that the film was "released to the movie theaters of the world," but in '80 the phrase "of the world" was omitted. Finally, here he included the phrase "when they attack" toward the end of the speech, but removed it in the '80 performance. Different vocal inflection is used each time as well. In 1980 he was a bit more dramatic, and chuckled a little during the "...if I have prepared you..." line.
Comment posted by RLaPorte on Sunday, January 29th 2012 at 4:10pm.

The Family Classics opening theme was awesome, and very soothing.
Comment posted by ColVonDouche on Thursday, May 31st 2012 at 7:23pm.

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This clip has been viewed 7699 times.
This clip debuted on FuzzyMemories.TV on Monday, October 25th 2010.
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Most Recent Site Comments

Comment posted in WIND Talk Radio 56 - "Wake Up With Me" (Commercial, 1983) by MisterUptempo on Wednesday, August 5th, 2015 at 2:08am CT

I believe this is the last TV spot that Group W aired to promote WIND. I'm trying to remember if they had any TV spots produced when they attempted a branding refresh as "The Wind", around late 1984-early 1985.

Not long after they ran this campaign, they started cost-cutting, and by December, 1985, the station ownership went from Group W to Tichenor Media, which changed the format from Talk to Spanish language, with its "La Tremenda" format. And, yes, Dth1971, Clark (known as "Mister Three-Share") went to WJJD, where he would broadcast from 1986-1996.

Westinghouse had wanted to get rid of WIND for years, in hopes of finding a 50,000 watt station to buy, but without luck. For a 5000 watt station, it sounded really good and you couldn't beat the dial placement-"First on Your Dial" had been used as a slogan for a while. The problem was that the signal, with its transmitter based in Gary, IN, carried well North-South, not so well East-West, and a lot of the growth in population was in the Western suburbs/DuPage County, where the signal wasn't particularly strong. It does appear as if Salem, current owners of the station, has improved upon the signal coverage.

Group W finally did find their 50,000 watt station in Chicago, when they bought WMAQ 670AM from NBC in 1988. 670AM is now owned by CBS Radio.


Comment posted in WMAQ All News 67 - "We'll Give You The World" (Commercial, 1988) by MisterUptempo on Wednesday, August 5th, 2015 at 12:55am CT

Just a bit of trivia - the guy in the background with the glasses was Jim Gudas, who worked as a newsman/anchor on WGN 720AM until fairly recently. The guy bouncing back and forth between Jim Frank and Jim Gudas was Chris Lobo, whose father was General Manager of WMAQ-TV at the time this commercial was made. I'm having a hard time placing the woman, though.


Comment posted in Various Stations - "TV DX Potpourri" (1979/1980) by TGRogers on Tuesday, August 4th, 2015 at 9:55pm CT

Side note: Rod Grams, the WIFR reporter in the ID promo, later became lead anchor at KMSP in Minneapolis-St. Paul, then eventually became a Republican US Senator from his home state of Minnesota for one term (1995-2001). He died in 2013.


Comment posted in Montgomery Ward - "Gifts They'll Cherish" (Commercial, 1981) by FuzzyMemories on Tuesday, August 4th, 2015 at 7:45pm CT

@MisterUptempo - Thanks for the ID! :-)


Comment posted in Montgomery Ward - "Gifts They'll Cherish" (Commercial, 1981) by MisterUptempo on Monday, August 3rd, 2015 at 10:47pm CT

The voiceover on this spot was done by none other than Herb Graham, a very familiar voice in Chicago for decades.

I remember him best from his program on the old FM100, called The Hour in the Middle of the Evening. He was also the voice of Bubbie Beaver, on Channel 2's Sunday morning program, The Magic Door.


Comment posted in Beatlemania At The Shubert Theatre (Commercial #1, 1980) by Detroit4Chicago on Monday, August 3rd, 2015 at 7:56pm CT

This somewhat reminded me of Stars on 45.


Comment posted in WGN Channel 9 - Bozo's Circus - "Frazier's Pledge" (1978) by Smctopia on Thursday, July 30th, 2015 at 8:15pm CT

I tried playing it again (on Firefox). I had to let it buffer several times but I got it to play but the sound still wasn't in sync with the picture.


Comment posted in WGN Channel 9 - Bozo's Circus - "Frazier's Pledge" (1978) by Smctopia on Wednesday, July 29th, 2015 at 9:05pm CT

I'm currently on the go and using my IPad so right now I can't play anything. I will have to try it tomorrow when I have a chance.


Comment posted in WGN Channel 9 - The Nine O'Clock News - "Farewell, Frazier..." (1985) by Brian1978 on Tuesday, July 28th, 2015 at 8:41pm CT

@Loyal32Fan: All that is on display at the new Museum of Broadcast Communications. The chair, painting of Garfield Goose, and the bookcase are on display right when you walk in the doors and Frazier's costume is on display by the Garfield Goose puppets, which is in an area that also has all the different costumes from Bozo's Circus and Ray Rayner show. While I do like the building since they have more room for exhibits, I do NOT like having to pay $12 for admission! It's like what happened to the Museum of Science and Industry. For the longest time, it was free admission then when they started charging admission, it got expensive. I dread the day they start charging admission to Lincoln Park Zoo. Sadly, I think that day will happen within a few years. Will there be ANYTHING left to do for free in Chicago anymore?


Comment posted in WGN Channel 9 - Bozo's Circus - "Frazier's Pledge" (1978) by FuzzyMemories on Tuesday, July 28th, 2015 at 12:02am CT

Smctopia - Are you still having problems playing the entire clip? (I'm waiting on posting new clips until we have these issues worked out - I really wanted to move forward with the new file format)


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