THEME SPOTLIGHT: TO TELL THE TRUTH (Syndicated 1969-1978)April 30, 2010
Composers: Charles Fox and Bob Israel for Score Productions
Instrumentation: British Invasion/Carnaby Street Rock ensemble with backing string section. Unknown male vocalists.
TO TELL THE TRUTH was a show I got to see on occasion when I was growing up. I say this becasue the house I grew up in was on a hill, and while our antenna got the Boston stations, and WMUR in Manchester NH clearly, we could only watch the Providence stations on a little black and white we had downstairs in the dining room. And we never used that, except for special reasons.
Anyway, when we did get access to the Providence stations, and TO TELL THE TRUTH was on, I was a happy camper. I liked the idea of the game. Let’s face it, Mark Goodson was a god in my childhood eyes. But that theme was awesome.
I honestly didn’t know back then that having lyrics to game show themes was possible back then. Of course, now I know otherwise. There was only one problem: From my TV’s slightly fuzzy picture, and the three inch speaker, I had no idea what they were singing. I just thought they were vocalizing. When the show went off the air, I thought I’d NEVER get to hear the song clearly.
Not so fast! Along comes the internet and some well connected fans managed to write them down on their sites. So this theme actually turns out to be a confrontational love song about a guy who’s girl is always lying to him. Who’d a thunk? Then a CD company gets their hands on 20 themes from shows that were airing on the fledgling GSN (don’t get me going on their alleged lineup), Right there in the first 10 tracks was the theme I was looking for. I was in heaven. As I get older, I’m constantly amazed at how well this theme was crafted, and how it could have stood as a hit song in its own right. A satellite dish company seems to think so too. You may have seen their homage to this great show. It’s not perfect, but it’s an admirable effort. I wish GSN would take the hint and negotiate the rights to air this classic version again. But GSN lately seems to be the kind of network that wouldn’t get it if they were handed a large box labelled “IT”, In any case, here’s a great Youtube montage of photos accompanying the theme: