If you’re younger than about 25, you probably don’t know this, but not all television stations were 24 hours a day. Back in 1988, WUSA was one of those stations, and every morning when they would being broadcasting, this is what played to kick off the day.
If you don’t remember television sign-ons and sign-offs, here is an explanation from Wikipedia.
Sign-ons, like sign-offs, vary from country to country, from station to station, and from time to time, however most follow a similar general pattern. Many stations follow the reverse process to their sign-off sequence at the close of the day. It is common for sign-ons to be followed by a network’s early morning newscast, or their morning or breakfast show.
While both sign-ons and sign-offs have become less common with the increasing prevalence of twenty-four hour a day, seven day a week broadcasting, they are still conducted by a number of stations around the world. For broadcasters that do still close for a period each day, this station close is most often during the early hours of the morning, with the daily sign-on typically occurring between 5:00 am and 7:00 am. However, in some countries with more limited broadcast coverage, such as North Korea, sign-on may be as late as 5:00 pm. A particular type of AM radio station known as daytimers usually only operate during daytime hours, and will therefore run a sign-on sequence each day.
There was a sign-off for WUSA too. You can check that out on YouTube.
- Local Television Schedule for Sept. 13-19, 1954 (ghostsofdc.org)
- Fred and Ethel Mertz Perform at The Mayflower (ghostsofdc.org)
- Today on WTOP: Esther Williams (1952) (ghostsofdc.org)