Vintage Television

Vintage TV: 1978 NBC Nightly News theme

In the 1970s and 1980s, if my parents were watching the news, you could lay down good money that it was on NBC. If we were watching CBS or ABC and they broke in with a special report, Dad changed the channel so they could see it on NBC. I never knew why.

For years, the NBC Nightly News opened with this really annoying ticker-like thing. But then they made a new open using a hummable theme with a great drum line. Here’s an example of this open from 1978 (with bits and pieces from the rest of the newscast).

I sure do miss David Brinkley’s newswriting and on-air delivery. The man minced no words.

Anyway, turns out that none other than Henry Mancini composed this theme. Like most news music, you hear only bits and pieces of the entire theme on TV. So now you can hear it in its entirety! Groove to the funky sounds of NBC News by clicking Play below.