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Title: Audio being removed/Changed from Classic TV Shows
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Christmas Always
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(Date Posted:02/18/2013 15:17)

Chip,

In another Christmas group I belong to, we discuss other things and have been on the subject of Classic TV programs, and have talked about this before with movies where they changed the Soundtrack.  It has been discussed here too, or a particular movie, but I can't find the thread as I can't remember the name of the movie, but I am copy and pasting a couple paragraphs from another group that another member had posted, and it will be between the row of "=" Equal signs because there will be more typing afterwards.
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Sitcoms as recent as those of the seventies, like "WKRP in Cincinnati" have had the music removed on DVD releases because of copyright issues, thus ruining the show as a document of our popular culture. It's kind of like taking "The Sound Of Music", cutting out all the songs, and replacing them with generic or public-domain melodies. In the meantime, what's happening to the original version?

I was completely appalled watching the old Adventures of Rin-Tin-Tin series on Antenna TV last year when it was shown for a few months on Saturday morning. Granted, in the 1950s the portrayals of Indians wasn't exactly enlightened, but I remember Rusty and Rinty befriending Indians, speaking up for them, and trying to be their friends rather than taking advantage of them, and how angry Lt. Masters and the other troopers would be when they thought the Indians were being abused, but I thought this maybe was why the series wasn't being shown. To my surprise, they showed all the Indians and even the violence intact; it was the MUSIC they edited. A very appropriate 50s soundtrack and military music were replaced by some awful generic stuff that sounded so fake! Plus they occasionally dubbed in dialog with what sounded like a woman mimicking a little boy's voice for Rusty!

=========================================
Do you know why when these shows have been released on DVD the reason why they change the music or even entire sections of the soundtrack?

I've noticed it on other programs myself being I watch MeTV and Antenna TV.

A lot of these programs have been released in their full series, and one particular series, was a early Japanese Anime called "Kimba The White Lion"  They initially released the original series on DVD and had voiced over I believe for Kimba, and another Character, but then reissued the original series with the original voices.

I can't believe that Copyright for the music, would be the reason on a lot of theses DVD releases, being they got the Copyright permission to release the series on DVD in the first place, so you would think that it would include the original music.  Even though for WKRP, the person stated "because of copyright issues".  It just doesn't make sense.

I know Classic Movie Buffs who know the movies so well, as well as they know the back of their own hand, want to see these movies in their original theatrical release without the music being changed, but when they get released on DVD, and they have changed the music, it's basically impossible to get it in it's original theatrical showing.

An example would be for them to take "The Wizard of Oz" and replace Judy Garland singing "Somewhere Over The Rainbow" with a live version from one of her performance from her TV Series.   Yes, it is still Judy Garland, but her voice had changed over years, and for one who knows the movie very well, would be able to tell the difference immediately.  But for someone who never saw the movie would be none with wiser.

If you want to move this to the category where we were discussing other movies where the music was changed, please do so, I still can't think of which topic it was under.  One was about "The Snowman"

But this doesn't have to do with "The Snowman" except for about them changing the music.

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Christmas Isn't Just A Day In December, It's A Way Of Life
Susan

Christmas Music Guru
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Status: Lawrence F. Arcuri Owner/Webmaster of TheYuleLog.com
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RE:Audio being removed/Changed from Classic TV Shows
(Date Posted:02/18/2013 23:30)


Susan,

Copyright issues are indeed the reason that some shows are being released on home video with either the music edited out, or it being replaced with something else altogether.

This music licensing issue is the very reason why WPIX dropped the idea of releasing the Yule Log on DVD.
Copyright issues and/or music licensing fees are not and never have been a problem for just broadcasting the songs on the television, as Tribune Broadcasting has a blanket licensing agreement to air the music on TV. However, they are a big problem with regard to releasing the program on home video. In 2006, to commemorate the Yule Log's 40th anniversary, WPIX/Tribune made a diligent attempt to commercially release the program on home video (concomitant to my audio restoration and the anniversary documentary special). But in the end, it was the prohibitive music licensing fees that ultimately killed the project. And quite sadly, it is these very same licensing fees that will probably make it unlikely that the program will ever see a release on home video.

By the way, with regard to the music licensing issues regarding WKRP In Cincinnati, this little article sums it up quite succinctly:
click here
.


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Lawrence F. "Chip" Arcuri
Owner/Webmaster | The Yule Log.com

Christmas Always
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Posts:1110

RE:Audio being removed/Changed from Classic TV Shows
(Date Posted:02/19/2013 10:29)

Thank you Chip,

I guess that means even movies from TCM that they broadcast, there could be movies that they show where they had to replace the music.

So, I guess if you are fortunate to have a working 16mm projector, and have a stock of bulbs, the only way to view the movies the way they were originally shown in movie theaters, would be to try and find used copies of them on film.  I can remember growing up where you could buy a lot of these movies on 16mm and show them in your own home.  Or if you were fortunate enough to get them on BETA or VHS when the format first came out, long before DVD.

I know for example, one of the versions of "A Christmas Carol"/"Scrooge" that is in B&W, my BETA copy is slightly longer than the VHS and DVD of the movie.  I just can't remember which one but we have discussed this before in another thread.  I am fairly certain it was either Alastair Sim from the 1951 release, or Reginald Owen from the 1938 release, or Sir Seymour Hicks from the 1935 release.

It's such a shame because I remember seeing something awhile back about preserving all types of news broadcasts, Presidential Speeches, and so on and digitizing them and having them available for schools and stuff.  I think it is for The National Archives, but might be something else, and there is a group that is trying to get a lot of Classic Films preserved and digitized being they are deteriorating and decomposing because of the type of file they were made on and they want to preserve these movies and Classic TV also, but if they can't preserve them using the original music, than is it really worth it?  Being the technically isn't the original movie anymore.

The Copyright Holders have made so much money from these movies, you would think they would want to see these movies kept in their original state and not want to charge so much for being able to use the original music.  I believe that a lot of movies are now Public Domain, so Copyright shouldn't have anything to do with them.

It's the same with Classic Cartoons that are Public Domain.  When they start the cartoon out, it may have a red or blue background but the block out the copyright date with the same color and then when the credits and copyright information are done, they show the full frame of the cartoon that wasn't digitally edited to cover up the credits and copyright date.

 

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Christmas Isn't Just A Day In December, It's A Way Of Life
Susan

JMFabianoRPL
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Posts:73

RE:Audio being removed/Changed from Classic TV Shows
(Date Posted:12/09/2013 11:55)

Don't get me started on music clearance issues, they are the bane of rerun and DVD enthusiasts' existence, IMO.  The absolute worst at it is CBS (aka Constantly Butchering Shows), which seems to not pay for ANYTHING for any of its classic shows, and thus programs like Happy Days and Laverne and Shirley's original feel and sound are ruined.  They even changed background scores on more than one show, as you describe happening with Rin Tin Tin (which also reminded me of when new Gumby episodes were made in 1988, and they dubbed the old shorts over to match the music and voiceovers of the '88 shorts)
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anthonyv
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RE:Audio being removed/Changed from Classic TV Shows
(Date Posted:12/09/2013 16:04)

Wow, that's pretty disappointing....With few exceptions maybe in some very early episodes of ABC-TVs HAPPY DAYS, it seemed that most of the music was either re-recorded by the original recording artists or covered to sound like the originals by studio musicians. I'm not aware of any original broadcast material used back in the 1970s not being included in later broadcasts over the last 40 years - but then again, I haven't seen either of these shows on TV for quite some time. It would seem odd (if not stupid) for any station not to include the music since it was such was an integral part of both 1950s and early '60s themed shows, but I don't doubt it happening for whatever reason.

I do have the first season of HAPPY DAYS on DVD (Paramount Television) but I haven't watched either them yet to notice if any musical changes were actually made after all these years.  Is Season 2 still a Paramount product or is it CBS?



(Message edited by anthonyv On 12/09/2013 16:41)
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JMFabianoRPL
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RE:Audio being removed/Changed from Classic TV Shows
(Date Posted:12/09/2013 18:21)

I only got the first season too, as this is the only Paramount Home Entertainment season.  Everything after is Constantly Butchering Shows, and has the music problems I stated before.  Even Rock Around the Clock, which is still the theme on S2, is replaced with the Happy Days theme! 

Don't know how much music survived on the PHE Season One.  But I do know that they also did the closing logo fans out there a big favor, by restoring the "Split Box" Paramount Television logo of the '70s to the prints.  These have not been seen since perhaps the ABC days!  All the syndicated versions since have some later Paramount logo.  But not Constantly Butchering, as they plaster their logo over all the classic Paramount ones. 
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Christmas is Christmas all over the world!

Winter_Warlock
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Posts:50

RE:Audio being removed/Changed from Classic TV Shows
(Date Posted:12/09/2013 20:32)

Biggest example I can think of for this would probably be Muppet Christmas Carol. I swear that film has lost half of its songs since the time of its theatrical release.

Music policy is the bane of the film industry IMO. If you're really good, you can make a film on a shoestring budget. Actors, camera work, direction, and lighting. But if you want a score for it, your payroll immediately just quadruples. A full orchestra, the composer, whatever copyright organization that composer is registered with, etc. And they want royalties for every ticket sold and every DVD purchased, compared to the cast and crew of the film who you can often pay upfront without royalties.

This means that while a film that otherwise is no longer popular, can end up costing more to air on TV than it could possibly earn back because of the enormous royalty fees. And sadly, the creators of the songs often don't even get any of that money. I've heard far too many stories from musicians who know their work is being used, but they never get a cent from ASCAP (and whatever the other two big music licensing watchdogs are are whose names I can't remember offhand).
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Christmas Always
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RE:Audio being removed/Changed from Classic TV Shows
(Date Posted:12/10/2013 08:06)

I've even noticed on re-rune of some TV shows that they cut the episodes short to fit in more commercials.  I've especially noticed this on MeTV and Antenna TV with shows like M*A*S*H and Bewitched I Dream of Jeannie.  The music seems to be fine, but they do cut scenes.
Another thing "Networks" used to do, is slightly speed up the program so they could get extra commercials in too.  You could notice it in the background music a lot.  Not too much with the voices, but still, they should leave things the way they were originally.

I have an early release of "The Muppet Christmas Carol" on VHS, and will have to compare it to the DVD at some point.  But they even are cutting commercials short after they have been on for a few weeks.

It's all about "Money" these days. and not about keeping things in "Original" format.

Hopefully, The National TV and Film Archives"  I think that is what it is called, that has been restoring and digitally correcting old News footage and other things will have the Original films to work with and preserve them too.  It would be a shame to have these classics gone forever.
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Christmas Isn't Just A Day In December, It's A Way Of Life
Susan

JMFabianoRPL
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RE:Audio being removed/Changed from Classic TV Shows
(Date Posted:12/10/2013 12:24)

Syndication cuts are hardly new, they've existed for probably as long as syndie reruns have existed.  You just see even more of them nowadays.  And don't get me started on generic credits, or NO credits if you're TBS, and on truncated theme songs.  It's a shame that DVD collections fall victim to this, as you'd think they'd be our only hope for preserving the network versions. 

Muppet Christmas Carol?  Are you sure you didn't mean MUPPET FAMILY CHRISTMAS?  Because that one seemingly will never have a proper release again due to music rights.  Reruns and VHS versions of the special just got worse and worse.  I can only imagine the extra loops of fire to jump through now that the Muppets and Sesame Street characters have virtually different ownerships. 
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Winter_Warlock
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Posts:50

RE:Audio being removed/Changed from Classic TV Shows
(Date Posted:12/10/2013 16:05)

Muppet Family Christmas has been quite butchered as well, but it's not what I was thinking of.

All things considered, it's no wonder that "variety shows" died out. The cost of running those nowadays would be utterly terrifying.

Though you would think MFC would be easy to restore if you're Disney. Pocket change as far as they're concerned. I somehow don't think Sesame Street is an issue though. Henson sold SS to PBS pretty early in the game, but stayed pretty tight-knit. Kermit still appears on Sesame as far as I know, so the two entities probably maintain a rather chummy relationship by modern corporate standards.


(Message edited by Winter_Warlock On 12/10/2013 16:06)
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Christmas Always
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RE:Audio being removed/Changed from Classic TV Shows
(Date Posted:12/11/2013 00:12)

One of my favorite early Japanese Anime cartoons is Kimba The White Lion.  I have some episodes of it on DVD, but they had overdubbed the voice of Kimba and another character, but then they reissued the entire series with the original voices for Kimba and the other character and I don't believe any of the episodes were cut short or the music was changed, which is unusual being a lot of the Complete Series on a lot of DVD's and Blu-Rays got edited and had the theme songs changed.
Unfortunately, I don't have the complete original series yet, but what I remember from when I was first watching it on TV, it seems to be exactly what I remember.  I just hope they don't change any more classic.  I know at least on VHS Tapes, they were the original theme songs and full episodes, and I still have a lot of VHS tapes though at leas 100 of them got ruined when I had a pipe leaking in the basement and I didn't know about it for about 5 days, and I several tapes got ruined and they were one of a kind broadcasts of Christmas Specials from The Metropolitan Opera in NYC, and I would record them and there was one with Leontyne Price that I believe got ruined, and of course PBS doesn't repeat those shows.  They show new ones each year, so the ones I had are gone forever.
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Christmas Isn't Just A Day In December, It's A Way Of Life
Susan

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