April 22, 2004

Hockey Night in Canada theme song on the Web

By Mark Evans

With the playoffs in full swing and three Canadian teams still in contention for the Stanley Cup, hockey fans may be happy to discover they can now buy the theme song from Hockey Night in Canada.

For the first time since Dolores Claman wrote The Hockey Theme in 1968, fans can purchase the song for $1.99 by downloading it at Puretracks.com.

Ms. Claman, who has written music for advertisements, television shows, film and theatre, is thrilled the song is finally available. “I think a lot of people really will be happy because you have no idea how many people have contacted [her representative John Ciccone] or me on where can they get it. People ask for it from all over the world such as ex-pats who are lonely.”

Ms. Claman wrote her popular and enduring song in 1968 after being contract by MacLaren Advertising, which was trying to give Hockey Night in Canada a new look and feel.

“I wrote a couple of things knowing this was the best one because it flowed right away,” she said. “They said they wanted it to be like an adventure so I was thinking about Roman people on horses and in armour.”

Over the years, there were many requests for the song to be put on record and CD but it never happened, mostly due to the high cost of hiring the 21 musicians needed, renting studio time and producing it.

In 2002, Ms. Claman decided it was a project that had to be done and she financed the entire process.

Mr. Ciccone said the recording started to get into the hands of consumers in late-2002 when he entered into ring tone agreements with Telus Mobility and Bell Mobility. The ring tones have been even more popular than The Hockey Theme sheet music, of which more than 20,000 copies have been sold since 2000.

Talks with Puretracks.com started two weeks ago and gained steam as the NHL playoffs got underway. Alistair Mitchell, co-founder of Moontaxi Media Inc., which owns Puretracks.com, said he is hoping people watching the games at home on television will be inspired to walk over to their computers and download the song. “We will have a big banner ad for the song at the top of site,” he said. “It’s pretty special to us.”

Mr. Ciccone said royalties from The Hockey Theme will not make a rich woman of Ms. Claman, who also wrote A Place to Stand [Ontari-ari-ario], but she is “pleased as punch” the song has hit the market after three decades as an integral part of the lives of millions of Canadians ... at least on Saturday nights.

National Post

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