WGN Channel 9 – Family Classics with Frazier Thomas – "Mysterious Island" (Opening & Ending, 1979)

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Here’s something pretty neat and rare – the opening (and ending credits) of the Family Classics presentation of Jules Verne’s Mysterious Island on WGN Channel 9. Featuring Frazier Thomas as host.

Also includes a WGN “Last Farewell” Station ID at the beginning. (voiceover by Jerry Golden)

Ending credits:

Directed by – Don Strukel

Graphic Arts by Anthony M. Sulla (A.K.A. Tony Sulla) (he was the one who painted all of the book cover titles on Family Classics)

Entire Production Supervised by Frazier Thomas

The Family Classics theme song was called “Moviescope” and was a piece of library music composed by Dennis Berry. It was originally released on the Berry/Conroy label.

This aired on local Chicago TV on Sunday, November 4th 1979 during the 3:30pm to 5:00pm timeframe.

About The Museum of Classic Chicago Television:

The Museum of Classic Chicago Television’s primary mission is the preservation and display of off-air, early home videotape recordings (70s and early 80s, primarily) recorded off of any and all Chicago TV channels; footage which would likely be lost if not sought out and preserved digitally. Even though (mostly) short clips are displayed here, we preserve the entire broadcasts in our archives – the complete programs with breaks (or however much is present on the tape), for historical purposes. For information on how to help in our mission, to donate or lend tapes to be converted to DVD, and to view more of the 4,500+ (and counting) video clips available for viewing in our online archive, please visit us at:


Tam and Dom Ballard Ballard says:

I have basically stopped watching ANYTHING on TV with the exception of old Match Game reruns and its ilk….stuff to make you smile and laugh. I sure wish these were available in full! I would watch them all. I was born in 1963 in the chicago northern burbs and this show was something I always watched.

Bart Kasper says:

This aired on my 14th birthday in 1979 – WOW!!

demonweber666 says:

I keep coming back to this. The old WGN logo, the Family Classics theme, and those great old movies, like Mysterious Island, Sink the Bismark, Boys Town, etc. And this may be my favorite comments section on all of youtube. People from Chicago, sharing stories, remembering the days gone by. Great memories, shared by all.

Boulderpits says:

Oh the nostalgia is thick with this video…memories come flooding back…thank you.

John Remes says:

That's when the world was right. No sensitive millennials around.

Alvin Woods says:

The best television memories of my childhood. Sundays was spent with my Dad and Mom watching Frazier Thomas Family Classics.

Russell Murray says:

Family Classics with Frazier Thomas was so popular when I was a kid in the 60's and 70's that on Monday all the playground chatter would be about the movie he showed on Sunday. Especially memorable was when Sink The Bismarck was shown, there was to be sure some kid doing his best (or perhaps worst) Churchill imitation: "WE MUSHT SHINK THE BEEZH-MAHK!" There aren't many things like that anymore that are common touchstones for such a broad swath of folks. But then again, there were only about 6 or 7 channels in the Chicagoland area then (more if you count UHF).

Willie Rowe says:

It's almost like those violins are crying!!!!!!!!

batterymaker Mark II says:

Boy does this go back

maureencora1 says:

Great Show and Good Movie.

David B. says:

The pull of nostalgia is unequaled. It rivals that of love and grief. The 1970s were a turbulent time with many highs and lows. But one island of Chicago-area peace and tranquility was "Family Classics." How I long for a type of programming that equals (not mimics) this on Sunday afternoons at the local level. Imagine if cities across this great land could innovate and air programming that suits this need in their locations? How different our culture might be now. I remember these broadcasts (I was a young teenager) as if they were only yesterday and hearing the opening and closing theme music again simply tugs at my heart. Nostalgia: I recognize thee in all of your many faces. Deep sigh…

Paula Pacente says:

What a great thing it was to be alive then. Not like today.

Robair says:

I'm 55 and this hit me hard…I understand why my dad yearned for the past.

Darryl Williams says:

My has America come a long way since these times. Sad really. But great memories, and feelings from 'Family Classics', with Frazier Thomas.

a1orski says:

I know a lot of you relate the theme song sadly as the back to school end of weekend song. But in the 60's Family Classics aired prime time Friday nites. The start of the weekend. Fish sticks on a TV tray (Catholics couldn't eat meat on Friday) huddled in the living room hoping a sci-fi movie was on that week (Mysterious Island, Tobor the Great, The Day the Earth Stood Still, etc.) How the world has soured.

Jason Garcia says:

The memories of watching this at grandma's house, on that old black n white t.v. those sunday afternoons..

Lloyd N Brown, Jr says:

I am 52 years old, and yes I truly miss this classical program!!! Watching, it every Sunday afternoon, after coming from church and eating my mothers ' Sunday dinner!!! This generation is stuck on the negatives of social media and dumb down with disgusting rap music and the Kardashians!!! They will never know the appreciate of having a pure imagination for true Family Classics!!!

Trillium 29 says:

Does anyone remember the song that went with the music that immediately opened this clip? It was a male singer, frequently played on WGN radio in the sixties.

michael g says:

This was my early gateway
introduction to classic literature.

john huels says:

I was always a little sad when I would watch family classes on Sunday afternoon, because school was the next day. Looking back some 40+ years later I was i could do it again.Life was so much easier!!!

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