The opening credits of Guiding Light
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The B/W years
During its first fifteen years on television, The Guiding Light used an adaptation of "Romance from Wieniawski's Violin Concerto # 2" in D Minor as its theme music (as it had been used on radio), which accompanied a number of different title sequences.
The earliest episodes on television featured a drawing of a lighthouse as an announcer said, "The new Duz brings you The Guiding Light." By early 1953, the show was using an opening and closing image of sunlight bursting through the clouds. Another lighthouse opening visual, now set on a seashore at night, was being used by 1955. The longest-running opening logo of these early years was the title of the show superimposed over a spotlight beam, used from around 1956 until 1967.
The Guiding Light changed its opening logo and theme music when it went from black and white to color on Monday, March 13, 1967. The new theme music was an original composition by the then new organist for the show, John Gart. From March 1967 to September 1968, the show opened with a shot of a major character posed in the mood of that day's episode. The program opened on a close-up of one of the character's faces against a black background. The announcer proclaimed the title, and the music swelled, as the camera remained fixed in a very tight shot of an actor or actress' face, normally with a very intense expression, after which the title was superimposed in small cursive lettering in the lower right corner of the screen. No screencaps of the titles from this era exist, however, this page features a recreation of one, using a visual from a more recent era.
In September 1968, the show probably reverted to a lighthouse visual. This visual was revamped in 1970. The title was in smallish, simple caps at the left of the screen, and accompanied by a new organ theme called "La Lumiere" by Charles Paul. In 1974, the lettering of the show's title changed to a pseudo script font as part of an entirely new lighthouse at night visual, and the theme was changed to a recorded orchestral version of "La Lumiere".
On November 5, 1975, a new theme song by Charles (or Dina) Paul debuted. The theme was titled "Ritournelle", and was played on the harp. The accompanying visual was a shot of sunlit flowers and tree branches and the words "GUIDING LIGHT" (without the "THE") positioned in the lower right-hand corner of the screen. In 1977, an alternate version of "Ritournelle" was used to open the show, and lasted until the end of 1981.
In 1981, a new disco-style theme, "Guided Lightning" by Jack Urbont, accompanied a new main title that started with a burst of light from the middle of some round, amber-colored abstract glass sculpture, followed by a parade of clips from the show featuring action-packed scenes and close-ups and two-shots of all the main characters (mostly featuring light as a recurring motif, for example a shot of a disco-ball, and another of two characters sitting by a fire). The sequence ended with a return to that abstract light sculpture as the title of the show came up in gold and white metallic wedge-like italic letters.
In early 1983, the show had Gail Kobe as the new executive producer, and switched to an orchestral opening theme, "My Guiding Light" by Rob Mounsey, but retained the glass sculpture visual (the cast clips no longer had light as a motif, however). In fall 1985, the titles used a synthesised version of "My Guiding Light".
In October 1986, the visuals were changed (although the logo was still in the same lettering style as before), and while the theme remained the same, it was now done in a dance arrangement. In 1989 the theme reverted back to a musical setting similar to 1985/86.
In January 1991, the show changed to a new title sequence. The new sequence begins with a lighthouse whipping its beacon light around and around rather quickly. Each time the light beam comes around, we see an abstract circular light pattern that ultimately frames the title of the show in modernized silvery letters. The cast montage of this opening had a unique Knots Landing-style setup in that clips of the characters were contained inside rounded patterns that progressed from right to left across the screen, followed by the words of the title. The accompanying new theme was "Hold On To Love" by Rob Mounsey, and at least three versions of the song were used to open the show between January 1991 and March 1997, when the full montage version of this opening was done away with in favor of a very short version with just the title and the lighthouse. This lasted until 2002.
50th anniversary and beyond
To celebrate 50 years on TV, Guiding Light unveiled new opening titles and theme song on June 24, 2002 (June 25 in New York City area and other "day-behind" markets). The new main title sequence was created by Wayne Fitzgerald and his son and incorporated several elements from the long version of the 1991–2002 opening. Brian D. Siewart composed the accompanying theme music.
These titles lasted less than a year, as on February 24 (or 25), 2003, new executive producer John Conboy introduced a new title sequence similar to the montage style of 1991, except without a lighthouse, or a logo, instead scrolling the title across the screen over clips from the show, and then scrolling in the first scene of the ep at the end of the titles. This was accompanied by a new theme titled "True Light" by Rick Rhodes and Danny Pelfrey.