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WGN Channel 9 - Family Classics With Frazier Thomas - "Boys Town" (Opening, 1981)

Here is the opening for the Family Classics with Frazier Thomas presentation of "Boys Town" on WGN Channel 9. Includes:

WGN Bumper promo for the premiere of The Incredible Hulk, which started on Monday, December 21st 1981. Also features the WGN Circle-9 Logo, which had been introduced earlier in the year. Voiceover by Floyd Brown. Kind of funny that the promo is for The Incredible Hulk, while the WGN logo uses the Superman theme.

Opening of Family Classics with Frazier Thomas. Features the older-style logo for Family Classics. Gotta love that opening music!

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, December 13th 1981 at 3:30pm.

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This clip aired on Sunday, December 13th 1981, and is included in the following categories:

Viewer Comments

Man, do I love this. Family Classics makes me feel young again.

"There is no bad boy." Sniff...

Comment posted by AbeFroman on Wednesday, January 30th 2008 at 11:03am.

Yep, isn't it great? I love the 70's style living room too. I could imagine myself laying in front of that console TV... :-)
Comment posted by FuzzyMemories on Wednesday, January 30th 2008 at 11:07am.

I loved Family Classics. I wish it were still on. Thanks for bringing back so many memories Fuzzy.
Comment posted by 1980sfan on Wednesday, January 30th 2008 at 11:26am.

I have been searching for a decade for the theme song. One lead suggests it is a piece of Library music called "moviescope". Last year, i had my WGN engineer friend call Roy Leonard and ask him if they had the music at WGN still...he said they did not and he did not know the name of it....:( darn it!!!
Comment posted by siciliano66 on Wednesday, January 30th 2008 at 12:03pm.

Dan - Unfortunately, all we have of this one is the opening and a few minutes of the movie. The tape ran long after a recording of Movie Greats. I think the oldest one I have that is relatively complete is that Christmas Carol from 1982. It's too bad - I have gotten a number of Sunday Matinee and Movie Greats lately, but still no additional complete Family Classics. It's a tough one.
Comment posted by FuzzyMemories on Wednesday, January 30th 2008 at 12:16pm.

Forget the theme song. We need to know whose job it was to photogenically rumple the velvet underneath the books. What would be the Emmy category for that nomination? Art Direction??
Comment posted by AbeFroman on Wednesday, January 30th 2008 at 3:08pm.

Congratulations - "Velvet Rumpler" had no Google hits - until now. ;-)
Comment posted by FuzzyMemories on Wednesday, January 30th 2008 at 3:41pm.

You guys can listen to the audio version at my Chicago TV group if I didn't updated the audio clips soon enough. :-)
Comment posted by ChitownTVFan on Wednesday, January 30th 2008 at 3:44pm.

It's Sunday afternoon at 3:30, sitting in front of the Sony Trinitron....ahh, life is good again!
Comment posted by SuperCFL on Wednesday, January 30th 2008 at 5:39pm.

Something I realized just now...my family and I were faithful viewers of Family Classics, from at least 1977-78 on...and I don't recall anybody in my family asking, even once, "Why does Frazier Thomas have a picture of a bird dressed like Lord Nelson on his wall???" 8-)
Comment posted by SuperCFL on Wednesday, January 30th 2008 at 5:50pm.

I don't think any of the NYC independent stations had something like Family Classics--at least when I was growing up. This certainly was unique to WGN--a big city TV station reflecting the yet understated Midwestern charm that is Chicago.


Like I said, Family Classics was uniquely Chicago and uniquely WGN-TV. You sure as heck would not get away with stuff like that these days.

Comment posted by BobAnthony on Wednesday, January 30th 2008 at 7:13pm.

This was a uniquely Chicago institution...ironically created by the late Fred Silverman, who later went on to head all three of the major networks.

A couple of observations: This circle-9 logo I would call the "phase 2" version, the first being the one from circa 1979 with the circle shifting into rotating "WGN TV CHICAGO". I also think this version is the second half of the ID I remember that began with the WGN globe moving towards the viewer, once again featuring "The Last Farewell".

Also, am I not correct that this entire set was donated to the Museum of Broadcast Communications by Channel 9?

Comment posted by SuperCFL on Wednesday, January 30th 2008 at 9:30pm.

When Frazier Thomas passed away, my family felt as if we lost an uncle. Sunday's were never the same again....
Comment posted by siciliano66 on Wednesday, January 30th 2008 at 10:31pm.

Someone has to have recorded the "Time Machine" or "War of the worlds". This is where all of us who grew up in Chicago first saw these greats!
Comment posted by siciliano66 on Wednesday, January 30th 2008 at 10:34pm.

I know the "Garfield Goose" painting was done by "Cookie", but anyone know what that other "little girl" painting is?
Comment posted by siciliano66 on Wednesday, January 30th 2008 at 10:36pm.

Boys Town. The Cliff Mansavage story (Garry Meier radio character) :')
Comment posted by BabyBear on Thursday, January 31st 2008 at 2:36am.

Is the announcer Jack Taylor?
Comment posted by Polyrasmatazz on Thursday, January 31st 2008 at 10:35pm.

Fred Silverman's not dead. I know my internet has been down lately, so I had to look it up--and well, he's still alive at 70.
Comment posted by jPHQ on Friday, February 1st 2008 at 2:12am.

Well, raise mah rent...looked it up and, indeed, he's still alive and producing! I'd've sworn I heard that he died last year or the year before. One of those instances in life where I'm glad to be wrong...maybe he can yet save network television!

Google Fred Silverman under Videos...there's an online video interview from a TV internet archive. It's over 6 hours, so I've only seen parts of it, but what he said about his years at WGN was very informative.

Comment posted by SuperCFL on Friday, February 1st 2008 at 5:54pm.

The "phase 2" circle 9 was used from Fall '81-Fall '83. I never really liked this 3d rendering of it. The "Phase 1" was used from 1976 to fall 1981 (I know this looking at microfilm of the Tribune's tv listings at my college's library)
Comment posted by jPHQ on Saturday, February 2nd 2008 at 5:11am.

Thanks for sharing this Fuzzy....sooner or later some complete episodes are going to turn up. I always loved this film and I'm grateful to have grown up in the Chicago television viewing area. Frazier added so much by just taking a few seconds to greet the viewing audience, explain a little about what we were about to watch. It's one of the reasons I developed an interest in film history. Anyways, it's nice to know that this stuff is showing up in bits and pieces...better than nothing at all!
Comment posted by GHilbrich on Saturday, February 2nd 2008 at 2:18pm.

I sure hope so! Family Classics was a Chicago institution..I miss Frazier and Family Classics...I hope the episodes turn up sooner than later!!!!
Comment posted by siciliano66 on Sunday, February 3rd 2008 at 1:37am.

When ever I see Fraizier Thomas I have to remember the times I saw him on the Addison Bus going to work while I was going to school. Yeah he rode the bus! Got on at what was then the Howard line's Addison El stop just east of Wrigley Field. He'd get off with all the boys going to Lane Tech and walk over to the WGN studio.
Comment posted by telefrank on Wednesday, February 6th 2008 at 12:09am.

Wow, cool story Frank. :-)
Comment posted by FuzzyMemories on Wednesday, February 6th 2008 at 12:44am.

I met a WGN engineer here in Las Vegas a few years ago, and he told me stories about having lunch with Ray Rayner, Frazier Thomas and Bob Bell. Man, that must have been some lunch!!! He has a business card with a picture of him behind the camera posing with Bozo...
Comment posted by siciliano66 on Friday, February 8th 2008 at 9:06am.

I've heard that story about the Addison bus too. He used to sit right behind the driver, right? (And did the Lane kids talk to him, or was he off in his own world on the bus?)
Comment posted by SuperCFL on Sunday, February 17th 2008 at 10:21am.

AS I GREW OLDER WATCHING THE GREAT LOCAL SHOWS PRODUCED BY WGN,I GREW TO UNDERSTAND THAT THE "DEN" I SEE EACH SUNDAY ON FAMILY CLASSICS IS REALLY JUST A SET.
HOWEVER , I USED TO GET TO HANG OUT IN THE WGN STUDIOS AFTER MOST OF THE STAFF HAD GONE HOME, AND I NEVER NOTICED THE FLATS USED FOR THIS SET OVER IN A CORNER OR (BETTER STILL) SET UP AND READY TO GO. NOTHING,NOT EVEN THE FURNITURE.
I ALSO COULD NEVER FIND WHERE THE GARFIELD PUPPETS WERE LOCKED UP , BUT BACK TO FAMILY CLASSICS, THE ONLY TIME THAT I WAS FORCED TO ACKNOWLEDGE THAT IT WAS JUST A SET WAS THE SPECIAL HOSTED BY STEVE SANDERS CALLED "FRAZIER THOMAS:A FAMILY CLASSIC" THAT WAS AIRED SHORTLY AFTER FRAZIER'S DEATH. STEVE WAS ON THE SET AND IT WAS SHOWN 'OFF-SET' DURING THE CREDITS.

Comment posted by ROGERRENNER on Monday, March 3rd 2008 at 9:31am.

Man, I love this music. Brings you right back to a chilly Fall Sunday afternoon with the smell of mom's stew in the air that she's cooking for dinner. :-)
Comment posted by FuzzyMemories on Wednesday, September 22nd 2010 at 10:55pm.

You need to add some "LIKE" buttons on this contraption similar to the ones Facebook uses. I LOVE your comment FM! :-D
Comment posted by Pete on Thursday, September 23rd 2010 at 12:19am.

Sunday afternoons in Chicago wouldn't be complete without Frazier Thomas' Family Classics. We'll never experience classic television like that ever again. Many of the young'uns wouldn't understand.
Comment posted by 69TH&STONY on Sunday, October 3rd 2010 at 5:11am.

The announcer on the Hulk promo is NOT Jack Taylor; it's the great Floyd Brown, longtime WGN-TV/radio personality.
Comment posted by Ken_D_Go on Friday, October 29th 2010 at 12:04pm.

Upgraded the video file on this one.
Comment posted by FuzzyMemories on Wednesday, June 22nd 2016 at 10:35pm.

Corrected airdate.
Comment posted by FuzzyMemories on Thursday, February 9th 2017 at 8:33am.

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This clip has been viewed 17320 times.
This clip debuted on FuzzyMemories.TV on Wednesday, January 30th 2008.
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