Fun with Jeopardy
A number of years ago, I received a call from an advertising agency about a radio commercial campaign for the television show “Jeopardy.” The caller said they were looking for all kinds of “interesting” groups and individuals to play the “Jeopardy” theme song in a series of radio spots. She asked me to do a demo tape and send it in.
What fun it was playing around with different interpretations of the “Jeopardy” song! I had no music or charts, so I downloaded a midi file from the Internet, just to listen. Then I created an accordion arrangement. Next, I played with the arrangement, to create different versions of the piece. The most obvious choice was a polka version, but I was told that a polka band was auditioning for the commercial and that I’d have a better chance with something else. I wound up enlisting the help of my friend Heather Stenner, who is a musician, and we came up with three versions. The first was pretty straightforward. Then we did a “jazzy” version, with a walking bass line played on a synthesizer. Finally, we created “Silly
Jeopardy.” It’s hard to describe—except to say it’s high and kind of squeaky and kind of funny, with Heather using
various percussion instruments and a slide whistle to create sound effects. We loved this version!
A friend with a studio volunteered his time for recording, and we got our CD off in time for the July 20 deadline. In our enthusiasm, we had visions of the agency loving and wanting all our versions, but, of course, reality proved a bit different. We didn’t make the cut. Still, it was a lot of fun to try.