Musical Chairs (1975 TV series)

Musical Chairs (1975 TV series)
Musical Chairs
Musical Chairs.jpg
Title card for the 1975 Musical Chairs.
Format Game Show
Created by Don Kirshner
Jerry Schnur
Presented by Adam Wade
Narrated by Pat Hernon
Country of origin  United States
No. of episodes 95
Running time 30 minutes
Original channel CBS
Picture format NTSC
Original run June 16 – October 31, 1975

Musical Chairs was a game show that aired from June 16 to October 31, 1975 on CBS. Singer Adam Wade hosted, making him the first African-American game show host. Wade was pedigreed, having had three Billboard top ten hits in 1961. The series was recorded at the Ed Sullivan Theater (CBS Studio 50) in New York City, and sportscaster Pat Hernon was the announcer.[1]

The series aired at 4:00 PM (3:00 Central Time) against NBC's Somerset and ABC's Money Maze (and later You Don't Say!); it was not successful in the ratings against that competition.

Usually appearing on each episode were guest singers and musical groups, among them The Tokens, The Spinners, and Sister Sledge as well as up and coming singers and stars such as Alaina Reed, Kelly Garrett, Jane Olivor, and Irene Cara.



Four contestants competed, one usually a champion. Three rounds and nine songs were played. A singer (host Wade and/or one of the guest performers) would begin to sing a song, but stop at a certain point. The singer then sang three different lyrics for the next line of the song, which were displayed on back-lit panels (the third panel occasionally contained humorous or absurd lyrics, written by songwriters/lyricists that were on the show's staff). The players then picked which of the three options s/he thought was correct by pressing a button on their console.

The first three contestants to give the correct answer in Round 1 won $50 each; this was increased to $75 in Round 2 (for the first two players) and $100 in Round 3 (for the first player). During the final round, the player with the lowest score after each song left the game but kept any money accumulated. After the third round, the player with the most money won the game and played the bonus round.

Later in the run, the first song in each round paid $50 each to the first three players to lock in with the right answer. The second song paid $75 to the first two players to be correct, and the last song in each round paid $100 to the first player with the correct song line. The player with the lowest score after each round would be eliminated from further play, but kept all winnings up to that point. As before, the player with the most money after the final round won the game.

Bonus round

Originally, the contestant had to name each song that was sung (with the singer humming through any part that uses the song's title, much like the "Sing-A-Tune" round of Name That Tune). Getting a stated amount in 60 seconds won a bonus prize.

Later, the bonus round was dropped and the winning contestant simply had his/her maingame total doubled.

Beginning in mid-September, a new bonus round was introduced – the day's winner chose one of three categories, then heard the melody of a song. The lyric was then shown with ten words missing; each time a word was correctly placed the contestant won $100. Getting all 10 in the proper places within 30 seconds won $2,000.

Episode status

The show's status is unknown, as CBS had ceased wiping its daytime games in late 1972. One episode exists with musical guests Irene Cara, soap star Mary Stuart, and the Spinners.

A partial audio recording of an episode featuring musical guests Buddy Greco, Hattie Winston, and Dick Roman is known to be in the collection of Roman's daughter Miel.


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