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Cactus521

Here's an off the wall question for airliner buffs....

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Years ago, back in June of '84, I was taking a flight on TWA to Europe from the West Coast.... I kept the in-flight entertainment going almost the whole time--it helped save my sanity on such a long haul....During that flight I heard a couple of songs that sounded quite nice... One was a pop vocal, and the other a pop instrumental... I've searched for years for both, even using ASCAP and BMI search engines.... No luck--looks like they were made especially for TWA...So my question--what happens to the in flight entertainment programs played on airliners? Is/was there a company responsible for producing them? Would such a company perhaps keep an archive or even offer the programs for sale in some form? I am very curious to hear from anyone who'd know. When it comes to music, I'm a pretty good sleuth. If I can't find a title, likely no one can. That's why I suspect what I heard were tracks written or at least performed just for TWA's in flight programs...Regards,John

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I see on that United site that you can purchase CD's of the music programming from the company that supplies it. No idea how it worked back in the 80's though.

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John, Here's the only one that I can recall:The Fifth Dimension---Up, Up And AwayThanks to Julia James for submitting the lyricsWould you like to ride in my beautiful balloonWould you like to ride in my beautiful balloonWe could float among the stars together, you and IFor we can fly we can flyUp, up and awayMy beautiful, my beautiful balloonThe world's a nicer place in my beautiful balloonIt wears a nicer face in my beautiful balloonWe can sing a song and sail along the silver skyFor we can fly we can flyUp, up and awayMy beautiful, my beautiful balloonSuspended under a twilight canopyWe'll search the clouds for a star to guide usIf by some chance you find yourself loving meWe'll find a cloud to hide usWe'll keep the moon beside usLove is waiting there in my beautiful balloonWay up in the air in my beautiful balloonIf you'll hold my hand we'll chase your dream across the skyFor we can fly we can flyUp, up and awayMy beautiful, my beautiful balloonBalloon...Up, up, and away.....I recall that TWA used this song as part of their television advertising at one time and I also think I remember a version or two (vocal & instrumental) on their inflight audio program.Key-in the appropriate words and you'll get a million hits on the web!-GeorgeM at 5B6

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Now that song brings back memories..... That's not the one I'm referring to--the one I heard back in '84 an instrumental I've never heard before or since. Best I can compare it to would be something a bit similar in style to Love Unlimited Orchestra... I've researched all artists in that genre--LUO, Salsoul Orchestra, etc... None of them ever composed a song like that which I heard. Best I could call the instrumental was a cross between big band and pop... What's interesting is the track list for the program I listened to back then didn't list the instrumental and the songwriter/composer credits. That's why I think it was a "filler" written for TWA....The vocal song was one by Cathy Wilmore called "Say there's a chance".... Cathy Wilmore does appear in BMI, but not that song and no CD or album is in print by that artist.In twenty years I've run into no clues regarding these songs. Every other song on the track list was by popular artists of the time--Lionel Richie, Little River Band, Stevie Wonder....

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John, I altered the subj line to see if 'TWA' will capture someone's attention.Back to the instrumental: Only two other songs come to mind that I have related to aviation whose arrangement could comply with 'a cross between big band and pop' in a semi upbeat version. One is 'That's All' which by coincidence, was American Airlines theme song on their weekly radio program "Music 'Till Dawn" which originated from KRLD in Dallas.The other one is 'Serenade In Blue' which the US Air Force orchestra used as its theme music for a radio program of the same name."Loves's Theme" is another piece of music from the mid 70's that fits the pattern. You've got me going on this because I think at one time I have heard this music while airborne, i.e. on an aircraft not LSD :-)Maybe Jason's post with a little research may be productive...-G

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I've listened to 'Serenade In Blue'--the melody doesn't fit, although interesting bit of history--the song goes back to Glenn Miller days who also played in the Army Airforce band. I found songs titled "That's All" all over the place (excluding Genesis' single by the same name, of course). Those produced as instrumentals don't match melody wise...I can't say for sure the instrumental I heard was even a theme associated with TWA, as I took flights with them in '82 and '87 and never heard it played. It may have been a theme produced just for the program I listened to. It was more upbeat than traditional big band--at least as upbeat and with as much of a pop sound as L.U.O's hit "Love's theme", a song I've also heard airborne many times. It also had the same type of production values as Love's Theme in terms of sound, although less keyboards and more brass, strings, etc.... The bridge is actually performed with a flute--I can remember the song that clearly in my head. Why? Because those program cycled once an hour, and to drown out the noise of the engines I kept it on low in the twenty-six hours of R/T flight that trip entailed. So I heard the song 26 times--somewhat hard to get it out of memory even twenty years later :) For a long time I thought it was a song by Earl Rose. The credits from the Ambassodor magazine which I still have listed a song called the "Theme From Ryan's Hope" as the only instrumental on the program. For years I thought that was it, until I heard that song and realized it was actually the song used in the closing credits of the hour-long program, a mellow piano song. So there were two instrumentals on the program, as it turns out...I checked out the link Jason gave and did a bit of research. That company merged with DMX, and there's no longer any trace of the original company.

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Update: I emailed AEI/DMX and received an immediate and interesting response--and not a form letter either--I was quite amazed...As far as the person who responded knows, their archives don't go back to 1984, although they forwarded my request onward. Their research jives with mine--that one of the artists hasn't released a single, and they suggested what I heard may have been a promo song. As for the instrumental, this is where things are interesting:This is a snippet of what I was told:".....due to restrictions by the RIAA (RecordingIndustry Association of America), and the 1995 Digital Performance Right in Sound Recording Act "DPRSA," section 114, we are no longer allowed to publish, retroactively or in advance, the titles on any specific sound recordings." The RIAA has stipulated that they cannot release track lists or the titles of tracks heard on any of their programming?! I'm a DMX subscriber... Imagine that you heard a song an hour ago, didn't catch the track name because you were in the laundry, and the RIAA forbids DMX from telling you what it is? I know the RIAA is on an anti-piracy kick, but I have to wonder what such a rule has to do with piracy? So even if AEI knows the name of the track I heard, they can't tell me and I can't purchase it. I guess I've gone a bit too far off the topic of aviation with that... I'm sorry to say what I heard will likely have to live on in memory and nowhere else. It's no wonder I haven't bought a CD in ages, when the RIAA has such petty rules legislated to keep people from enjoying the industry that they supposedly promote...

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2nd Update... Received a second email from AEI/DMX and the dept that worked w/TWA--they didn't provide services for TWA back in '84.... So I'm back to square one in my search...-John

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John, I have not had any more ideas but if the gray matter in the cranium is reactivated I'll pass 'em on :-hmmm. It was nice that AEI/DMX had the courtesy to respond to your message; that's becoming a rarity in the wide world of communication!!!For your New Year's resolution: you must promise to never make another 26 hour flight without a recording device. :-lol-George...and a Happy New Year to you!

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My search for these songs has (I guess) ended. Seems likely they were done as promo songs for TWA. Using various search engines, I found an organization--WAEA--which is devoted to airline entertainment. I sent off an email inquiry, and received a response and a sad piece of history. To paraphrase what I was told:____AEI programmed music for TWA after the airline moved from its original audio programmer - the firm of John Doremus Music In The Air. They handled TWA in 1984. That Chicago based company folded when its principal John Doremus became ill. Two other individuals who worked on the TWA account for Doremus have passed on in recent years.The majority of TWA's archives were relegated to dumpsters....____I love music as much as I love aviation--it's sad to hear of any music resource being tossed away. But I was equally happy to see the interest both AEI and WAEA took in my search. People have busy schedules these days, yet they took time from theirs to answer my questions....-John

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