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Stop the Music is a prime time television game show that aired for an hour on Thursday evenings on ABC from May 5, 1949, to April 24, 1952, and again for a half-hour from September 7, 1954, to June 14, 1956. The show was also previously broadcast on radio from 1948 to 1949.[1]

Stop the Music
Written byRichard Adler
Presented byBert Parks
Dennis James
Country of originUnited States
Running time30 minutes
Original networkABC (1949–1952; 1954–1956)
Original releaseMay 5, 1949 –
June 14, 1956
Related showsName That Tune

During its lone radio season, "Stop The Music" was broadcast opposite The Fred Allen Show on NBC. This was the radio series responsible for eclipsing Allen's long running comedy program in the Hooper ratings and forcing its demise. The hosts were Bert Parks and Dennis James. Similar to the later Name That Tune on NBC and then CBS, Stop the Music had players identify songs. After a song was played, a home viewer would be called and could win a prize by correctly naming the song. A correct guess won a prize and a chance to identify a short clip from the Mystery Melody for more prizes. If the viewer missed the first song, the viewer received a gift from the sponsor and members of the audience would be asked to identify the song. Among the vocalists and stars who appeared on Stop the Music were Jaye P. Morgan, Jimmy Blaine, June Valli,[1] Broadway dancer Wayne Lamb, Estelle Loring, and Ann Sheridan.

The program aired at 9 pm ET on Thursdays for all five seasons except for the 1954–1955 year, when it was broadcast at 10:30 pm ET on Tuesdays. Stop the Music finished at #23 in the Nielsen ratings for the 1950–1951 season.[2] Its competition in the 1951–1952 year was The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show and Amos 'n' Andy, both on CBS. In its last season from 1955 to 1956, it was aired opposite Jackie Cooper's The People's Choice on NBC.[3]

The show was created by Louis G. Cowan, previously known for creating the radio and TV series Quiz Kids and would later create the big money quiz show The $64,000 Question. During its time on radio, one of the co-producers was Mark Goodson who with long-time partner Bill Todman created many hit game shows such as What's My Line?, Beat the Clock, I've Got a Secret, To Tell the Truth, Password, Match Game, Family Feud, Card Sharks, and most notably The Price Is Right.

(A news item published February 2, 1948, in the trade publication Broadcasting refers to the programs as having been "created by Harry Salter, the bandleader" and "packaged by Louis Cowan Assoc.")[4]


  1. ^ a b Alex McNeil, "Stop the Music", Total Television: The Comprehensive Guide to Programming from 1948 to the Present, 4th ed., New York: Penguin Books, 1996, p. 792
  2. ^
  3. ^ McNeil, Total Television, network television schedule
  4. ^ "Cowan-Packaged Show Starts on ABC in March" (PDF). Broadcasting. February 2, 1948. p. 20. Retrieved 19 August 2016.

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