Tuesday, June 18, 2024


Song - Forerunner
Artist(s) - Craig Palmer
Released - 1986
Primetime Usage - 1987
Contained on - Network Music NM051 (Corporate Technology (Industrial))
Featured Highlight - Bengals @ Steelers, 1987

The recent acquisition of most every NFL Primetime highlight from the late '80s has unearthed a few interesting one-off songs.  One of these, "Forerunner," is actually pretty good.  It has nice aggressive energy and definitely works well with action highlights.  It would probably work better if some of the excessive bridge sections were edited out, but I'm still surprised it wasn't used more than once on the show.  Even the underscore is good!  Most underscores could be accurately described as "lamer version of main track," but Forerunner's underscore emphasizes the sweet rhythm-guitar part that isn't as audible on the main track.  Forerunner was composed by Craig Palmer.  According to the archive.org snapshot of his now defunct website (linked on the Discogs page that's linked above), Palmer somehow became the music director for The Regis Philbin Show in San Diego when he was only 18.  In later years, he composed many library pieces that were used for movies & TV.  Special thanks to GodzFire for ID'ing this song soon after we acquired the Primetime clip.

NFL Primetime's only use of Forerunner was during Week 6 of 1987 (or Week 7 if you count the canceled week), which was the first week back after the strike ended.  In this highlight, Mark Malone actually leads the Steelers to a close home win over division rival Cincinnati.  You might remember Mark Malone as an ESPN reporter, a professional Tom Selleck lookalike, and the most hated man in the history of Pittsburgh, PA.