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al mcguire

You know that theme they always play at The Masters ? Here is the story

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The story of that theme CBS always plays for The Masters Tournament in Augusta GA. 

I believe the year was 1981. Dave (Please Come to Boston) Loggins had arrived at my Bennett House studio in Franklin, TN to record a new song for the Masters Golf Telecast. I asked Mike Hanna, a great pianist and string arranger to join us as well as engineer Gene Eichelberger. Gene recorded our trio track in two or three takes and Loggins then put down the guitar and added the vocal. As we sat there listening Hanna offered to write a string quartet to fill out the sound. Loggins didn't really have a budget that could support hiring players to come to Franklin, but Hanna happily wrote the parts anyway, and by accident a large string date came down to the studio the next day, and I persuaded two violins, a viola and a cellist to stay over for ten minutes to complete our little demo. Eichelberger was forced to mix the track to mono because stereo television was not yet the norm. Dave's beautiful lyric paid homage to the great golfers from Masters history and the vocal was masterful. As Gene began to make a copy tape to send to CBS, Dave asked if we could run another, but without the vocal. He said maybe, just maybe, they could use it going in and out the commercial breaks. 
A few years ago I was told our little demo is the longest running sports theme of all time.
P.S. The telecast only played the complete track with vocal a few times, but our simple little backing track has managed to carry on! Perhaps some day soon CBS will decide to add a credit for the boys in the band.

Norbert Putnam

 

 

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