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Move Closer to Your World

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Title: Move Closer to Your World  
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Subject: WNEP-TV, WHDH (TV), WPXI, Cultural depictions of Philadelphia, WPVI-TV, WKBW-TV, List of 1970s one-hit wonders in the United States, Action News, Al Ham, WTNH
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Move Closer to Your World

Move Closer to Your World (MCTYW) is a television news music package composed by jingle writer Al Ham under his Mayoham Music label. In the 1970s it was considered an anthem for local television news, and is considered the anthem of WPVI-TV in Philadelphia for its Action News programs to the current day.[1] An original long version was sung by The Hillside Singers, and a short clip of that vocal version is used by WPVI as part of their closing theme song when extra fill-in time is required. Once a common theme across the United States (especially among other stations using the Action News format), as of 2012 only three U.S. stations (WPVI, WKBW-TV in Buffalo, New York, and WNEP in Scranton, Pennsylvania) currently use the theme.

Versions

MCTYW '70
The original version composed by Al Ham; performed in the key of A. This version was the only one to include the full lyrics. Four "verses" were included in the package, an instrumental version, a choral version, a version that featured a jazz piano descant, and a version that was sung solo as if it were a ballad with a Liberace-style piano embellishment. This was the most commonly used in the United States from the 1970s through the 1980s. It was also used on WBAP-TV in Dallas and KTRK-TV in Houston. WKBW and WPVI use portions of the original theme to this day.
MCTYW "Cut One"
This version was one of at least 17 "cuts," or variations, of the original theme, as originally arranged by Ham. It is believed to have debuted on ATV-0 (later ATV-10) in Melbourne, where it was used from 1977 to 1980. By the late 1980s, it was revived in the United States, and became the most popular version. It is the version currently used as the main theme for WPVI and WKBW. This is basically the tail end of the original package, re-cut and sped up 6%, so that it is in the key of B♭.
MCTYW '80
Also debuting on ATV-10, where it was used from 1981 to early 1988, this version is brassier in instrumentation with a slightly more disco feel, and is performed in B minor. It has, to date, never been used in the United States.
MCTYW '89
Debuted on WKBW-TV, where it was used from 1989 to 1995 during the "NewsChannel 7" era. This version was a New Age arrangement featuring a dominant synthesizer instead of the brass band. This version, returning to the original key of A, was replaced in 1995 with a remixed version of "Cut One."[2]
MCTYW '94
This updated version of the song, composed by Cliff Schwarz, is currently heard on WNEP-TV in Scranton (as well as its various sister stations) and was used during the 1990s at WPXI-TV in Pittsburgh. It has sometimes been referred to as a "dance version."
MCTYW '96
Debuted on WPVI-TV and performed by the London Philharmonic. This is the most infamous of versions. In an effort to make the song more thunderous and authoritative, WPVI commissioned this cover version of the song in 1996. Fan reaction was resoundingly negative, and "Cut One" was reinstated after only five days.[3][4]
This Just In by 615 Music
This version is designated as "production music" by the company, and is not intended as a main news piece. Its best known use is as the theme for the fictional "NewsChannel 7" on the Disney Channel TV series Lizzie McGuire. Nevertheless, noncommercial station WEIU-TV in Springfield, IL and a handful of stations in Puerto Rico have used it as a main theme. WKBW uses this version in commercial advertisements.
WPVI-TV Action News Arrangements by 615 Music
This is used only for news promos for WPVI-TV's upcoming newscast and for breaking news & developing stories opens during the newscast.
WPXI "Channel 11 News Nightbeat" theme, c. 1994
This loosely-based remix was used to open WPXI's 11pm newscast for a time in the 1990s and used elements from Move Closer to Your World and the Cliff Schwarz "dance" version. This was used in bits and pieces until WPXI installed the Total Coverage package.

References

External links

  • WNEP Tribute Page (featuring audio versions of Move Closer to Your World)
  • Southern Media - has full credits of every U.S. television station to use MCTYW from 1970–present and audio clips of many of those intros.
  • Comprehensive list of audio clips of Philadelphia TV news themes, including short-lived London Orchestra version of MCTYW
  • Get the free MCTYW ringtone here
  • "Move Closer To Your World" music cues on Television Production Music Museum
  • TVARK
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