Posts in Category: Broadcast History

‘The Nightly Show’…Debuts Tomorrow Night, But The Set Is Ready!


‘The Nightly Show’…Debuts Tomorrow Night, But The Set Is Ready!

Now that Steven Colbert has “left the building” so to speak, Larry Wilmore is taking his time slot and studio. Here’s great time lapse video of the set being built at NEP Studio 54 and 512 W 54th Street which is managed by our friend Bill Willig.

Speaking of friends, I think Charlie Huntley is settling down his schedule some and has taken his position behind the camera on this show, which I understand has been in rehearsal since last Monday. Break A Leg All! Enjoy and share! -Bobby Ellerbee

http://www.cc.com/video-clips/j5pujs/the-nightly-show-the-nightly-show-with-larry-wilmore—studio-timelapseThe Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore premieres on January 19 — and the set is all ready.

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January 18, 1948… “The Original Amateur Hour With Ted Mack” Debuts

This is one of only a handful of shows that was eventually carried on every network over its 24 years on TV…Dumont, NBC, CBS and ABC.

Ted Mack was born in Greeley, CO and named Edward McGuiness. When he became a band leader and his name would not fit on a theater marque, the theater manager shortened his name to Ted Mack…and it stuck. He was an accomplished clarinet and saxophone player and musical conductor and had worked with with well known big bands like Glenn Miller, Benny Goodman, Red Nichols, Jack Teagarden and Ben Pollack.

Ted was the host of ‘The Original Amateur Hour’ on television for 24 years. He joined the radio edition of ‘The Major Bowes Amateur Hour’ in 1935 as a talent scout and was one of Bowes’ first assistants.

When Bowes retired in 1946, Mack took over as host and fronted the show when it debuted in 1948 on the Dumont Television Network. The show lasted until 1970 when Ted and his producers pulled the show off the air. It was estimated that over 1,000,000 aspirants auditioned for the show during its long tenure from the WHN radio days through its run on all four TV networks.

Like his mentor, Major Bowes, Ted Mack also died on the eve of his 72nd birthday…July 14, 1976. Bowes was a real estate speculator who got into the entertainment business by buying a Boston theater and later built the famed Capitol Theater in New York City in 1918 and was its managing director until his radio interests forced him to quit in the late 1930’s.

“The Original Amateur Hour” grew out of his interest in the Capitol Theater. In the early days of radio, as a promotional feature for the theater, Bowes started a Sunday noon hour broadcast over local radio station WHN. By 1934, the idea of the Amateur Hour had evolved and the program was presented nationally. Enjoy and share! -Bobby Ellerbee

By the way, that’s Ted Mack in the big picture.



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‘Ziegfeld Of Television’…Picture Parade, Leibman, Caesar And Coca

‘Ziegfeld Of Television’…Picture Parade, Leibman, Caesar And Coca

In the first photo, the man on stage with the bow-tie is Max Leibman talking with the staff and cast of ‘Your Show Of Shows’. The narration for the other photos is on each, so please click on them. Enjoy and share! -Bobby Ellerbee







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January 1949…The “Zeigfeld Of Television” Legend Begins


January 1949…The “Zeigfeld Of Television” Legend Begins

Before I get to the meat of this important story, let me first draw your attention to this video. It is cued to one of the most amazing bits I have ever seen! I think these are the Arnaut Brothers…they never say a word, but bring down the house with this unbelievable bird talk sketch.

‘The Admiral Broadway Revue’ was the first time Max Leibman brought his producing and directing skills to television. He also brought along his aspiring young comedians Sid Caesar and Imogene Coca.

In 1920, Liebman entered vaudeville as a comedy sketch-writer, and in 1924 started a long association with the Tamiment Theater, a Pocono Mountains resort, where he would remain for 15 years and discover such talent as Jerome Robins, Danny Kaye, Sid and Imogene. At the same time, he was writing for Broadway musical comedy revues.

In late 1948, Max was offered the job of producing a television show for Admiral…’The Admiral Broadway Revue’. He took the job and brought along his Pocono friends, including writer Mel Tolkin.

The one hour, Saturday night show was produced (as a remote broadcast) for NBC at The International Theater at 5 Columbus Circle. The show did so well that it had to be canceled? Yes! Admiral sales went through the roof and put them in the position of either building a second plant, or canceling the show.

It left the air in June of 1949, but the best was yet to come! Pat Weaver at NBC hired Max to produce a new show and by February of 1950, ‘Your Show Of Shows’ was ready for air with Sid and Imogene at the helm. It was the top show on Saturday night, but again…it was canceled because it did so well? Yes!

In 1954, NBC decided they wanted Max to produce big color specials for the network. They also wanted the two stars to have their own shows, so Sid continued with ‘Caesar’s Hour’ and Imogene with ‘The Imogene Coca Show’. I’ll have some rare production photos in the next post. Enjoy and share! -Bobby Ellerbee

http://youtu.be/xa80jODMlko?t=8m11sAdmiral Broadway Revue is live television variety show that ran from January 28 to June 3, 1949. The show was broadcast live on Fridays from 8 to 9 pm simult…

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TeleTales #6…NBC’s Gemini 5 Co-ordination Plan, August 1965

TeleTales #6…NBC’s Gemini 5 Co-ordination Plan, August 1965

Here is a rare mapping of how all the dozens of elements of the multi-day broadcast would lay out. Notice ground zero is Studio 8H and just to the right, we see Studio 5H…the breaking news studio we talked about in the post just before this, which was later renamed 5HN for headline news. Thanks to Gady Reinhold for this treasure! Enjoy and share! -Bobby Ellerbee

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TeleTales #5…Ultra Rare Photo of NBC Studio 5HN, Breaking News Desk

TeleTales #5…Ultra Rare Photo of NBC Studio 5HN, Breaking News Desk

On the day President Kennedy was killed, this was where Chet Huntley, Frank McGee and others broke the news. Then named 5H, this was a permanent news setup studio that could be used if news broke before the evening newscast set could be readied.

On that day, the cameras were not hot, or always on, but after that day there was always a live camera in 5HN ready to go. This is the only photo I have ever seen of the studio and I think this is from the mid 1970s. By 1969, most of the 30 Rock studios had RCA TK44s, but with plenty of TK41s in storage, they put one to good use here.

Sometime in the late 60s, WNBC began using this studio for it’s five minute overnight local news briefs and continued there until this studio was done away with. Behind one of these walls are windows that look out over 49th Street. In the comment section, you can see the space as it looks today as an editing area. Enjoy and share! -Bobby Ellerbee

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TeleTales #4…A Rare Shot Of NBC’s First Network News Show

TeleTales #4…A Rare Shot Of NBC’s First Network News Show

From 6:15 till 6:30 weekdays, John Cameron Swayze hosted the evening news on NBC. Although ‘The Camel News Caravan’ is its most famous name, the broadcast had two names prior to that and one afterward. I think this is ‘The Plymouth News Caravan’ and most likely from the third floor at 30 Rock. Even though it moved around some, I think this usually came from 3A, 3B or 3H. The floor director may be Harry Katzman who worked this show for a long time. Enjoy and share! -Bobby Ellerbee

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TeleTales #3…In Case You’ve Never Seen A Naked TK41

TeleTales #3…In Case You’ve Never Seen A Naked TK41

Here’s a spread eagle shot of the color beast open for inspection. Enjoy and share! -Bobby Ellerbee

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TeleTales #2…If It’s Cardboard, It’s Got To Be New York

TeleTales #2…If It’s Cardboard, It’s Got To Be New York

I have often commented on the cardboard viewfinder hoods on the NBC TK41s in New York and the custom made VF hoods at NBC Burbank. CBS did the same thing though…in New York, they too used a lot of cardboard while at CBS Television City, they had custom VF hoods. Maybe it’s something in the water. Enjoy and share! -Bobby Ellerbee

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TeleTales #1…Ever See One Of These Before?

TeleTales #1…Ever See One Of These Before?

I think it was January of 1954 when RCA introduced this tri-view set. Notice the remote jack box for the ear pieces that gave you isolated audio on the screen you were most interested in. The speakers are in the bottom two panels and behind the top panel is a radio and turntable. They didn’t sell many of these and no, this is not the one LBJ had in his office…that was a custom job. Enjoy and share! -Bobby Ellerbee

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Congratulations To ‘The Bold And The Beautiful’…7000 Episodes


Congratulations To ‘The Bold And The Beautiful’…7000 Episodes

On January 23, CBS will air a tribute to the show in it’s regular time slot. This special milestone episode will break format and feature a retrospective documentary that showcases the most iconic moments and the history of the show’s creation, commentary from the cast, fashion throughout the decades, unforgettable guest stars, original screen test footage and more.

In addition, CBS Television City dedicated Studio 31 to the show’s executive producer and head writer Bradley P. Bell this past Wednesday, January 14. The eight-time Daytime Emmy winner of the most watched daily dramatic serial in the world has been with the show since it was co-created by his parents, William J. Bell and Lee Phillip Bell in 1987.

TBTB premiered on March 23, 1987 and is now in its 27th season on the CBS. Thanks to Chuck Snitchler, here is a time lapse video of Studio 31 being dress for the show. Enjoy and share! -Bobby Ellerbee

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3kIJYrkmgF0

http://www.boldandbeautiful.com The Bold and the Beautiful’s time-lapse video of The Bradley P. Bell Stage 31 at CBS Television City in honor of 7,000 episod…

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TeleTales #2…1945, Dumont To Open New TV Studios

The location of the three studios was inside New York City’s Wanamaker’s Department Store. Here is the announcement in a few magnified parts and a couple of photos of the huge main studio it’s control room.




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The “Vast Wasteland” Speech…As Relevant Today As In 1961

http://www.history.com/speeches/criticism-of-television-programming

The link above is the audio of FCC Chairman Newton Minnow’s famous NAB speech in May of 1961. In less than three minutes, he describes a situation that has only been magnified by the hundreds of new channels since this was given. Food for thought…what do you think? Enjoy and share! -Bobby Ellerbee

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January 16, 1949…KNBH Television Signs On; Exclusive Photos

January 16, 1949…KNBH Television Signs On; Exclusive Photos

These two black and white photos are the only ones I know of that were taken on that first day of broadcasting, 66 years ago today.

The young lady in both is Peggy Lee, who I think was the mistress of ceremonies that night for the stations first live show, and first local variety program in Los Angeles called ‘On With The Show’.

At the time, she, along with Perry Como and Jo Stafford were rotating host of NBC Radio’s popular ‘Chesterfield Supper Club’.

The maiden broadcast was three hours and forty minutes of programming, which followed a 15-minute test-pattern-and-music session. Inauguration night launched with an eighteen-minute newsreel, ‘Review of 1948’. That was followed by the first live program, hosted by Lee. After that came ‘The Pickard Family’ featuring Dad and Mom Pickard and their four children singing familiar American songs.

The station now known as KNBC or NBC4, was one of seven VHF stations licensed for operation in the market. KNBH, which stood for National Broadcasting Hollywood, was one of three stations in the market representing a national broadcasting chain.

By October 1949, KNBH had extended its operating schedule from five to seven days a week, with approximately 26 hours of television programming each week. The station continued to make major technical advances and was the leading promoter of television as the premiere advertising medium. In October 1950, KNBH transmitted the first commercial telecast of a sports event, a Los Angeles Rams Football Game, via the Los Angeles/San Francisco inter-city MicroWave Relay.

KNBH again made history in April 1951 when the first telecast, originating in the East, was presented to West Coast viewers on the same day. The station broadcast General Douglas MacArthur’s speech before Congress less than five hours after it had been originated in Washington, D.C. I think this was achieved by recording a kinescope in St. Louis and flying it to LA.

In November 1962, the station relocated to the NBC Burbank facilities, its current location, and changed its call letters to KNBC.

When the station launched in 1949, Los Angeles was the fifth largest city in the United States, with only 80,000 television sets within 100 miles of the station’s Mount Wilson transmitter. Today, the LA market is the second largest in the country and Channel 4 is viewed in more than five million households, reaching 15 million viewers regularly.

Happy Birthday KNBC! Enjoy and share! -Bobby Ellerbee



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January 14, 1990…’America’s Funniest Home Videos’ Debuts On ABC


January 14, 1990…’America’s Funniest Home Videos’ Debuts On ABC

Here is the first episode with what I think was the best host ever, Bob Sagget. Bob hosted the original show which aired as a special in November of 1989. It was such a hit, ABC had it on the air on Sunday nights in just seven weeks.

Sagget hosted the first eight seasons and was followed by John Fugelsang and Daisy Fuentes for its ninth and tenth seasons. After two years of being shown as occasional specials, hosted by various actors and comedians such as D.L. Hughley and Richard Kind, ABC brought the series back on Friday nights in the summer of 2001 with new host Tom Bergeron, who has since become the series’ longest-serving host. Season 24 began on October 13, 2013. Before the show was renewed for a 25th season in May 2014, Bergeron announced in March 2014 that he will not be hosting the show after that season. Enjoy and share! -Bobby Ellerbee

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Le_AO-S0xk

The premiere TV episode of the hit 1980s TV game show “America’s Funniest Home Videos.” The year is 1988. George H.W. Bush, age 64, is elected U.S. President…

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January 14, 1993…David Letterman Announces His Move To CBS


January 14, 1993…David Letterman Announces His Move To CBS

In the video, you can see the announcement at the CBS press conference…it’s “pure Dave”. At this link is a very good write up from the next day’s New York Daily News on all the details. Enjoy and share! -Bobby Ellerbee

http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/tv/letterman-takes-40-million-deal-move-nbc-cbs-article-1.2060913

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2xkV68YpvM0

In 1993 David Letterman jumped from NBC to CBS. Flanked by his new bosses, here’s part one of Dave’s hastily-arranged news conference.

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January 14, 1972…’Sanford And Son’ Debuts On NBC

January 14, 1972…’Sanford And Son’ Debuts On NBC

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K_uiD6OtYRs&feature=youtu.be&t=5m4s
At the link is a great look at the set in a “show within a show” episode called “Steinberg And Son”. The video will start as the show begins at NBC Burbank.

Below is a 1983 photo of Redd Foxx and I in Dallas, Texas where earlier that day, he had been a guest on my radio show. After the ‘Sanford And Son’ premiere, newspaper ads touted Foxx as NBC’s answer to Archie Bunker of ‘All in the Family’. Both shows were adapted by Norman Lear from BBC programs. ‘Sanford and Son’ was adapted from ‘Steptoe and Son’ and ‘All in the Family’ from ‘Till Death Us Do Part’.

Sanford and Son was enormously popular during most of its run, and was one of the top ten highest-rated series from the start. With its coveted 8 p.m. Friday night time slot, the show put enough of a dent into ABC’s ‘The Brady Bunch’ to drive it off the air in 1974. ‘Sanford and Son’ peaked at #2 in the Nielsen ratings during the 1972–1973 season, and stayed there for three years in a row. The series was second only in ratings to ‘All in the Family’.

By the 1974–1975 season, the shows high lead-in helped the entire NBC Friday night lineup to place in the coveted bracket of Top 20 shows. ‘Chico And The Man’, following Sanford, placed in the Top 10, while ‘The Rockford Files’ and ‘Police Woman’, which aired later in the evening, ranked in the lower reaches of the Top 20.

In the midst of taping episodes for the 1973–1974 season, Redd Foxx walked off the show in a salary dispute, and his character was written out of the series for the rest of the season. The continuity of the show explained that Fred was away in St. Louis attending his cousin’s funeral, leaving his friend Grady in charge of the business. NBC sued Foxx and as part of the settlement, Foxx later returned. Foxx had taped 18 of that season’s 24 episodes before Fred “left for St. Louis.” The show was still quite popular when it was canceled in 1977. Enjoy and share! -Bobby Ellerbee

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January 14, 1952…The First Moments Of ‘Today’ With Dave Garroway


January 14, 1952…The First Moments Of ‘Today’ With Dave Garroway

This is the opening segment of the debut show, 63 years ago today. Dave takes us on a very complete tour of the set and explains what the show is all about. Thanks to the vision and courage of Pat Weaver, American television took a new leap into a day part that, until this point had been seen as unimportant. I think rehearsals started just after Christmas of 1951 in this space called The RCA Showcase, just across 49th Street from 30 Rock. The space is now occupied by the famous Christie’s auction house. Enjoy and share! -Bobby Ellerbee

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vY4_iv3UbGg

Journey back in time to watch Dave Garroway host the first 13 minutes of The TODAY Show live from “NBC’s “world communication center in the heart of Radio Ci…

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January 14, 1952…’Today’ Debuts On NBC…First In More Than One Way

January 14, 1952…’Today’ Debuts On NBC…First In More Than One Way

In the next post, we will see the first ten minutes of ‘Today’, network television’s first ever morning show, and in that, we’ll see some of the state of the art technology used on the set. In this post though, we’ll take a look at some of what I believe are firsts behind the cameras.

First, I think this is the first time the new Houston Fearless TD 3 counter-weighted pedestals were ever used. There are no photos of them before this day in 1952, and I think there are two prototypes on the set. All the other peds are the old TD 1 crank up peds.

Second, I think this is also the first use of the new RCA camera mounted teleprompter. There appear to be two in use on the debut…one on a camera with the new TD 3 ped and one on a camera on a TD 1 ped. Notice they are strapped to the cameras and not permanently attached. This leads me to believe they had just arrived. I think these two prototypes had come in a week before and were tested on ‘The Martha Ray Show.

I will make more comments on each of these photos, all taken on the debut broadcast, so be sure and click on each. Happy 63rd Birthday ‘Today’! Enjoy and share! -Bobby Ellerbee








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Picture Parade #6… “Klaatu Barada Nikto”

Picture Parade #6… “Klaatu Barada Nikto”

Here’s a rare behind the scenes shot from the 1951 classic ‘The Day The Earth Stood Still”. Coming down the gangway is 7’ 7″ Lock Martin in one of two Gort costumes. Martin was the doorman as Gruaman’s Chines Theater in LA.

To give the appearance of seamlessness to the space ship, the crack around the door was filled with putty, then painted over. When the door opened the putty was torn apart, making the door seem to simply appear. To depict the seamless closing of the ship and its ramp, they just reversed the film of the shot of the ship’s ramp and door appearing. The spaceship was made of wood, wire and plaster of Paris.

This film is ranked #5 on the American Film Institute’s list of the 10 greatest films in the genre “Sci-Fi” in June 2008. As an homage to this film George Lucas named two of the alien bounty hunters in his Star Wars trilogy “Klaatu” and “Barada Nikto”. Enjoy and share! -Bobby Ellerbee

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Picture Parade #5…A Tribute To Ernie Kovacs: Hole In The Head Sketch

Picture Parade #5…A Tribute To Ernie Kovacs: Hole In The Head Sketch

As mentioned in the previous post, we lost this television and comedy pioneer 53 years ago today. Here is another legacy he left us.

Before there was chromakey, there was black and white matting which is the process used here for Ernie to peer through a “hole in her head”. Here’s how this was done…first, Ernie places the black patch on the forehead of his assistant, Barbara Loden. Her top is red, white and blue which is important because the matting process used in this instance uses black at the matt.

In the control room, the production switcher uses the special effects module to insert a circle over the black patch in the image from camera 1. Camera 2 on the left is shooting Kovac. Notice her hair is now covered by a white scarf as the switcher is taking in only the white portion of the image from camera 1 and has made it blind to black.

Via the matting process in the production switcher, the images are married in a composite shot and the rest, as they say, is history. Today, you could probably do all this on a smart phone, but back in the early 50s, this was a big deal and Kovacs was a genius at visual gags using the then, state of the art television technology. Enjoy and share! -Bobby Ellerbee




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Picture Parade #4…A Tribute To Ernie Kovacs: The Dovetonsil Lens

Picture Parade #4…A Tribute To Ernie Kovacs: The Dovetonsil Lens

Today in 1962, comedian Ernie Kovacs died in a car crash in west Los Angeles, 10 days before his 43rd birthday. In remembrance of his pioneering comedy which often involved technical innovation, here is the rare lens he helped create for his most famous character, poet Percy Dovetonsils.

Percy always wore extremely thick glasses and unbeknownst to most…the eyes were painted on the back of the lenses. Occasionally the television audience was treated to Percy’s POV via this specially made lens, now owned by Chuck Pharis. It was designed to be easily thrown form fairly clear to double vision distortion. Enjoy and share! -Bobby Ellerbee





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January 1949, RCA Introduces 45 RPM Records

Although the first 45 release (shown here) would not come until March 30th, RCA announced their new innovation in January of ’49.

The 45 rpm record was RCA’s pushback against Columbia’s 33 1/3 rpm long-playing disc, introduced the previous year. The two systems directly competed with each other to replace 78 rpm records, bewildering consumers and causing a drop in record sales. The years from ’49 to ’51, in media, were referred to as “the war of the speeds” years.

The number 45 came from taking 78 and subtracting Columbia’s new 33 to equal the 45. Record companies and consumers alike faced an uncertain future as to which format would survive. In 1949 Capitol and Decca started issuing the new LP format and RCA relented and issued its first LP in January 1950. But the 45 rpm was gaining in popularity and Columbia issued its first 45s in February 1951. Soon other record companies saw the mass consumer appeal the new format allowed and by 1954 more than 200 million 45s had been sold.

So On March 31, 1949, RCA Victor released “Texarkana Baby” b/w “Bouquet of Roses” by Eddy Arnold. The first 45 to hit the Billboard charts was “You’re Adorable” by Perry Como on May 7, 1949. The next week, the year’s biggest hit appeared on the Billboard charts… “Riders In The Sky” by Vaughn Monroe. Enjoy and share! -Bobby Ellerbee

By the way, around September of ’48, William Paley at CBS had offered RCA’s Sarnoff the rights to the 33 technology at no cost as it would help boost the 33 format record sales for all. Sarnoff thanked Paley and told him he would think about it, but RCA had already perfected it’s secret 45 project. Paley was shocked and a bit pissed when RCA rolled out the 45 a few months later.




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Rare Color Home Movie…WRVA ‘Sailor Bob Show’, Early 1960s


Rare Color Home Move…WRVA ‘Sailor Bob Show’, Early 1960s

This was just sent in by Tom Griggs, son of ‘Sailor Bob’ Griggs who hosted this kids show in Richmond Va. for many years. Yesterday, January 12, was the 56th Anniversary of him taking to the air as Sailor Bob on the WRVA TV Schooner.

Here, we’ll see Dumont 5098C cameras and AMPEX VR 1000 quadruplex machines in action. There is studio action for the first couple of minutes followed by five minutes of goofing, but around 7:30, we get back to the good stuff.

Tom has given us the names of the people in the silent video. They are Hank Didot (looking in camera) Dick McCray (mugging) Dave Davis (on stool) Judie Miller (red dress) Dave Davis (Cactus Pete w/beard) Bill Bedwell (wearing headset) and Anna Inge (Hazel Witch)…Anna Inge would be the future Mrs. Gordon Jump. 7:40 Irv Wonders (white shirt and tie) Bob Almond (seated at Master Control) 7:48 Jerry Chamberlain (glasses and jacket) Cecil Spicer (blue shirt 2″ quad tape) . 9:14 Dave Smalley (skinny tie and smoking) 9:23 Don Johnson (wire glasses) 9:27 Roy Lamont (Teenage Party host) 9:35 Dick McCray, Walter Edel (engineer in middle) and Bob Griggs. Enjoy and share! -Bobby Ellerbee

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Tonight! 104 Cameras, A Dozen Trucks…National Championship Game

Tonight! 104 Cameras, A Dozen Trucks…National Championship Game

Tonight, Oregon and Ohio State play the College Football Championship game at AT&T Stadium in Arlington Texas. ESPN and Game Creek Video have tons of equipment and trucks both inside and outside the stadium. Our friend Chuck Pharis is running video in one of them. Enjoy and share! -Bobby Ellerbee









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Picture Parade #4…Followup Photo, Kukla, Fran And Ollie

Picture Parade #4…Followup Photo, Kukla, Fran And Ollie

I couldn’t wrap up today’s posts without including this rare shot of the man that started it all…the great Burr Tillstrom. Enjoy and share! -Bobby Ellerbee

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Picture Parade #3…Followup Photo, Kukla, Fran And Ollie

Picture Parade #3…Followup Photo, Kukla, Fran And Ollie

I finally found the photo that shows the band I had mentioned in the network debut anniversary story earlier today. Part of the show’s success was due to the adults that watched, and the laughter from the crew and band was always there. Like ‘Beany And Cecil’ and ‘Rocky And Bullwinkle’, there was always a thread of adult humor woven into the fabric of KFO. Enjoy and share! -Bobby Ellerbee

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Picture Parade #2…Followup Photo, Kukla, Fran And Ollie

Picture Parade #2…Followup Photo, Kukla, Fran And Ollie

This is an amazingly rare 1947 photo of ‘Junior Jamboree’ at WBKB in Chicago, starring “The Kuklapolitans with Fran Allison”. This was the first embodyment of the show on television and this aired locally Monday thru Friday, from 6 to 7 pm Central Time. In case you missed it, see today’s story on the network debut of the show on this day in 1949. Enjoy and share! -Bobby Ellerbee

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Picture Parade #1…Followup Photo, Kukla, Fran And Ollie

Picture Parade #1…Followup Photo, Kukla, Fran And Ollie

This is the KFO studio at WNBQ in 1951, three years after their network debut on this day in 1949. From left to right: Beulah Zachary, producer (seated); Harry Glyer, boom operator; Jack Fascinato, composer (at piano); John Kinsey, stage manager; Bruce Berquist, cameraman; Kukla and Burr Tillstrom; Jim Edwards, cameraman; John Casagrande and Jimmy Lynch (stagehands). Enjoy and share! -Bobby Ellerbee

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Here’s A BIG SURPRISE! The First Time I Have Every Heard Of This!


Here’s A BIG SURPRISE! The First Time I Have Every Heard Of This!

When Bud Yorkin presented ‘An Evening With Fred Astaire’ October 17, 1958, he used the entire NBC Burbank facility….all four color studios and control rooms and all 16 TK41 cameras were used to fed the show live to the east coast and, to the video tape room there where a master and backup were recorded in color for playback to the west coast. The clip starts at the point Mr. Yorkin gives us this amazing detail.

A week or so ago, I posted a story on ‘An Evening With Fred Astaire’ which is the oldest surviving color videotape of an entertainment show. I had said it was done live to tape…broadcast live to the east and was the first big special ever recorded on color tape for playback on the west coast. Some argued that it was edited, but it wasn’t and here is the proof.

Granted, this was a big deal, but I have never heard of a production taking up a whole network facility for a show before. After the live portion, the cast went to The Beverly Hills Hotel to watch the color playback for the west coast. As Astaire arrived, he received a phone call from President Eisenhower, and one from Ed Sullivan. Astaire could not believe Sullivan had called with congratulations. The President, yes, but Sullivan’s call amazed him. Thanks to John Butler for the Yorkin clip. Enjoy and share! -Bobby Ellerbee

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lghtn6LttCQ
By the way, at the link above is Part 1 of 5 of the restored color video tape of the show with thanks to Kris Trexler.

http://youtu.be/4iRbP34i068?t=8m14sFull interview at http://www.emmytvlegends.org/interviews/bud-yorkin

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