Posts in Category: Broadcast History

December 25, 1937…Toscanini Debuts The NBC Symphony Orchestra

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December 25, 1937…Toscanini Debuts The NBC Symphony Orchestra

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zdQGa94GhJY
At the link is an audio recording of that night’s performance.

Tom Lewis, in the Organization of American Historians Magazine of History, described NBC’s plan for cultural programming and the origin of the NBC Symphony:

David Sarnoff, the president of RCA who had first proposed the “radio music box” in 1916 so that listeners might enjoy “concerts, lectures, music, recitals,” felt that the medium was failing to do this. By 1937, RCA had recovered enough from the effects of the Depression for it to make a dramatic commitment to cultural programming. With the most liberal terms Sarnoff hired Arturo Toscanini to create an entire orchestra and conduct it. On Christmas night, 1937, the NBC orchestra gave its first performance…Vivaldi’s Concerto Grosso in D Minor in NBC’s Auditorium Studio, or what we now call Studio 8H.

Sarnoff devoted considerable resources to create an orchestra of the first rank for NBC. Artur Rodziński, a noted orchestra builder and musical task master in his own right, was engaged to mold and train the new orchestra in anticipation of the arrival of Toscanini. It offered the highest salaries of any orchestra at the time and a 52-week contract. Prominent musicians from major orchestras around the country were recruited and the conductor Pierre Monteux was hired as well to work with the orchestra in its formative months.

The orchestra’s first broadcast concert aired on November 13, 1937 under the direction of Monteux. Toscanini conducted ten concerts that first season, making his NBC debut on December 25, 1937. In addition to weekly broadcasts on the NBC Red and Blue networks, the NBC Symphony Orchestra made many recordings for RCA Victor of symphonies, choral music and operas. Televised concerts began in March 1948 and continued until March 1952. In the fall of 1950, NBC converted Studio 8H into a television studio, and moved the broadcast concerts to Carnegie Hall, where many of the orchestra’s recording sessions and special concerts had already taken place.

Toscanini led the NBC Symphony for 17 years. Under his direction the orchestra toured South America in 1940 and the United States in 1950.

Leopold Stokowski served as principal conductor from 1941-1944 on a three-year contract following a dispute between Toscanini and NBC. During this time Toscanini continued to lead the orchestra in a series of public benefit concerts for war relief. He returned as Stokowski’s co-conductor for the 1942-43 and 1943-44 seasons, resuming full control thereafter. Upon Toscanini’s retirement in the spring of 1954, NBC officially disbanded the orchestra, much to Toscanini’s distress, though it continued for several years as the Symphony of the Air. Toscanini’s final broadcast concert with the orchestra (recorded in both mono and stereo) took place at Carnegie Hall on April 4, 1954, and his final recording sessions were completed in early June 1954.

Thanks to Doug Gerbino for sharing this rare program from that night. Enjoy, share and Merry Christmas! -Bobby Ellerbee


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December 24, 1822…Clement Moore Pens ‘The Night Before Christmas’

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December 24, 1822…Clement Moore Pens ‘The Night Before Christmas’

Twas the day before Christmas, December 24, the day in 1822 that Clement Moore is thought to have composed the classic poem that was then called “A Visit from St. Nicholas.” You probably know it as “The Night Before Christmas.” While traveling home from Greenwich Village, in Manhattan, where he had bought a turkey to donate to the poor during the holiday season, Moore penned the story for the amusement of his six children, with whom he shared the poem that evening.

It is said that he was inspired by the plump, bearded Dutchman who took him by sleigh on his errand through the snow-covered streets of New York City. Moore’s vision of St. Nicholas draws from Dutch-American and Norwegian traditions of a magical, gift-giving figure that appears at Christmas time. It’s also is based on the German legend of a visitor who enters homes through chimneys. Clement Moore knew of such folklore as a learned man of literature. He was born into a well-respected New York family in 1779. His father, Benjamin Moore, had served as president of Columbia University and Episcopal bishop of New York and even participated in the inauguration of George Washington as the nation’s first president.

Clement Moore graduated from Columbia. As a scholar, he is said to have been embarrassed by the light-hearted holiday poem, which somehow made its way into the public without his knowledge in December 1823. Moore did not publish it under his name until 1844.

Below is a most excellent reading by actor Lorne Greene. Enjoy, share and may your night before Christmas be joyous! -Bobby Ellerbee

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G72ZBW60xy0

Lorne Greene, best known as Ben Cartwright on the long running series “Bonanza” reads Clement Moore’s “A Visit From St. Nicholas” which also goes under the t…
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Remember This? ‘The Chipmunk Song’… #1 December 1958

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Remember This? ‘The Chipmunk Song’… #1 December 1958

Did you know that David Seville was the stage name for Ross Bagdasarian? Bagdasarian was creator and voice of The Chipmunks. The year before he had a hit with ‘The Witch Doctor’…Oh e oo aha aha, ting tang walla walla bing bang, etc.

The tape machine Bagdasarian used to record the chipmunk sound on was a variable speed, Tape-O-Matic “Voice of Music” reel-to-reel recorder. The key words here are variable speed. People tried to emulate his sound, but without the variable speed function, you just couldn’t get there.

This song was #1 Christmas of 1958 and won two Grammys, one of which was for technology. This is the original version with some interesting video editing. Enjoy, share and sing along!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=whY9MKlvisI

My 3rd fan made Chipmunk video featuring clips from various Chipmunks Christmas special episodes and shows where David Seville and The Chipmunks celebrate Ch…
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Colbert Awning Comes Down At The Home Of Truthyness…NEP Studio 54

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Colbert Awning Comes Down At The Home Of Truthyness…NEP Studio 54

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=49oALVGxIgU&feature=youtu.be

The Colbert Report awning comes down from it’s New York studios, signaling the end of the show – December 22, 3015
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December 24, 1951…’Ahmal And The Night Visitors’ Debuts On NBC

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December 24, 1951…’Ahmal And The Night Visitors’ Debuts On NBC

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hzx-s46vjpY
Above is a link to that presentation…the first of many, as this was one of television’s first repeating holiday events.

This was also the debut of ‘The Hallmark Hall Of Fame’ anthology series.

‘Amahl and the Night Visitors’ was the first opera specifically composed for television in America. This one act opera by Gian Carlo Menotti was commissioned by NBC and first performed by the NBC Opera Theater on December 24, 1951 in NBC studio 8H (first photo).
Amahl was such a success that it was restaged by Hallmark several times during a period of fifteen years.

For its first three telecasts, the program had been presented in black-and-white from Studio 8H, but beginning in 1953, it was telecast in color from NBC Brooklyn. Because it was an opera, and network executives had increasingly little confidence in the show as a prime time draw, so later the production began to be scheduled in the afternoon, rather than shown in prime time as had been done in its first few telecasts.

For years, Amahl was presented live, but in 1963 it was videotaped by NBC with conductor Herbert Grossman and an all-new cast. When Menotti found out that NBC had scheduled the taping on a date when he was out of the country, he tried to get the date changed. The network refused and recorded the 1963 performance without the composer’s presence or participation, telecasting it in December 1963, and twice more after that – in 1964 and 1965. Menotti never approved of the 1963 production, and in May 1966 when the rights to future broadcasts reverted to him, the composer refused to allow it to be shown again. Because of this, Amahl was not shown on television at all between 1966 and 1978.

In 1978, a new production was filmed by NBC, partly on location in the Holy Land, but It did not catch on and become an annual tradition the way the 1951 and 1963 versions had. Enjoy and share! -Bobby Ellerbee

The first photo is from the 1951 production in 8H. All the other photos, courtesy of Peter Katz, were taken at NBC Brooklyn around 1955.






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December 1863…Thomas Nast Gives The World The Modern Santa

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December 1863…Thomas Nast Gives The World The Modern Santa

Thomas Nast was one of the best known illustrators and cartoonists of the second half of the nineteenth century. He came to define the art of illustrating American political ideas and conflicts. He is the man that gave the Democrats the donkey and Republicans the elephant as their party mascots.

But it is at this time of the year we come face to face with his most enduring image – Santa Claus. Nast has been credited with creating the modern American version of Santa Claus as a fat, jolly, white bearded guy in a fur trimmed red suit. Undoubtedly influenced by Clement Moore’s 1823 poem “A Visit From St. Nicholas” (“The Night Before Christmas”), Nast added his own spin on the Santa lore. He was the first to establish Santa’s home as the North Pole and gave Santa a toy workshop with tiny elves. Nast produced dozens of Christmas engravings for Harper’s between 1863 and 1886. Enjoy, share and have a Merry Christmas! -Bobby Ellerbee


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December 24, 1948…Perry Como Debuts On NBC Television

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December 24, 1948…Perry Como Debuts On NBC Television

Como had been the Monday, Wednesday and Friday host of ‘The Chesterfield Supper Club’ on NBC Radio since December of 1945. On Christmas Eve of 1948, the radio show was simulcast from NBC Studio 6A. I think this began a weekly, Friday night simulcast with Como hosting until he moved to CBS in 1950.

At the time, 6A was still a radio studio and wasn’t converted to television till May 29, 1950. The show was produced with 3 “remote unit” cameras which moved from studio to studio inside 30 Rock. The mobile unit had rolling Camera Control Units which were set up in the 6A sound lock leading to the main hallway. These internal mobile units also brought with them a dozen or so scoop lights which were mounted on floor stands, so as you watch this, you’ll notice a lot of flat lighting and shadows. Both 6A and 6B had some theatrical lighting, but not enough without some fills.

There is no footage of that show, but this clip is from eleven months later…November 20, 1949 and gives you an idea of how the show looked. This Christmas Eve broadcast marked the beginning of Como’s tradition of holiday specials that continued on CBS. Perry returned to NBC September 22, 1956 and debuted his new color show from The Zeigfeld Theater which NBC had just taken over. Enjoy and share! -Bobby Ellerbee

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5tFkKuDZHdI

Originally aired November 20, 1949 on NBC Television. Perry Como’s guests are Raymond Massey and Denise Alexander. Songs include: ‘Dear Hearts and Gentle Peo…
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The Story Behind The Classic…”Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas”

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The Story Behind The Classic…”Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas”

This, one of my favorites, was introduced by Judy Garland in the 1944 movie musical ‘Meet Me in St. Louis’. The song was written by Hugh Martin and Ralph Blane for a scene were Garland’s character, Esther, sings the bittersweet song to her little sister, trying to cheer her up as both lament their family’s move away from their hometown. But Garland and director Vincent Minnelli weren’t happy with Martin’s early, darker lyrics.

These included lines that Martin would later describe as ”hysterically lugubrious,” like ”Have yourself a merry little Christmas/It may be your last…. Faithful friends who were dear to us/Will be near to us no more.”

Martin initially refused to revise the lyrics, but a blue talking to from actor Tom Drake set him straight. “He said, ‘You stupid son of a bitch!'” Martin recollected, “‘You’re gonna foul up your life if you don’t write another verse of that song!”’ Ultimately, Martin gave the song a more hopeful leaning, first for the movie then again in 1957 at the request of Frank Sinatra. For Ol’ Blue Eyes, he changed “We’ll have to muddle through somehow” to the more jolly “Hang a shining star upon the highest bough.” The song has since became a standard, in both forms. Enjoy, share and sing along! -Bobby Ellerbee

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MKG5X0QMSWA

From the movie “Meet me in St. Louis” (1944). Con Subtitulos en Español
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The Story Behind The Classic…”The Christmas Song”

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The Story Behind The Classic…”The Christmas Song”

The Christmas Song was written in 1944 by musician, composer, and vocalist Mel Tormé and Bob Wells. The song was written during an incredibly hot summer in an effort to stay cool by thinking cold thoughts.

“I saw a spiral pad on his Bob’s piano with four lines written in pencil”, Tormé recalled. “They started, ‘Chestnuts roasting…Jack Frost nipping…Yuletide carols…Folks dressed up like Eskimos. Bob didn’t think he was writing a song lyric. He said he thought if he could immerse himself in winter he could cool off. Forty minutes later “The Christmas Song” was complete.”

The Nat King Cole Trio first recorded the song early in 1946, and disregarding objections of his label Capitol Records, a second recording was made the same year utilizing a small string section, this version became a massive hit on both the pop and R&B charts.

Cole again recorded the song in 1953, using the same arrangement with a full orchestra arranged and conducted by Nelson Riddle, and once more in 1961, in stereo with orchestra conducted by Ralph Carmichael which is arguably the most popular version of this Christmas classic. Enjoy, share and sing along! -Bobby Ellerbee

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=__kQ1PCP6B0

Music video by Nat King Cole performing The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire). King Cole Partners, L.P., under license to South Bay Music G…
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The Story Behind The Classic…”Santa Clause Is Coming To Town”

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The Story Behind The Classic…”Santa Clause Is Coming To Town”

Below is the first known recording of the song which came only days after it debuted. “Santa Claus Is Coming To Town” was first performed by Eddie Cantor on his radio show in November 1934. The next day, there were orders for 100,000 copies of sheet music and 400,000 copies sold by Christmas of that year.

As the story goes, James “Haven” Gillespie was a vaudevillian-turned-songwriter who’d fallen on hard times, both financially and personally. Gillespie got the call to pen a Christmas tune for Cantor just after learning his brother had died.

Initially, he rejected the job, feeling too overcome with grief to consider penning a playful holiday ditty. But a subway ride recollecting his childhood with his brother and his mother’s warnings that “Santa was watching” changed his mind. He had the lyrics in 15 minutes, then called in composer John Coots to make up the music that would become a huge hit within 24 hours of its debut. Enjoy, share and sing along! -Bobby Ellerbee

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kbePb9xNNII

By John Frederick Coots & Haven Gillespie. The first recording of this song. Oct. 24, 1934. New York. from A Vintage Christmas Cracker. Living Era CD AJS 275…
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Ultra Rare! The 1st Christmas Song Ever Recorded…Jingle Bells, 1898

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Ultra Rare! The 1st Christmas Song Ever Recorded…Jingle Bells, 1898

We’ll get to how J. S. Peirpont came to write the song in Savannah, Georgia in a moment, but first a note on the recording. As noted in the video, a banjo player named Will Lyle made an instrumental version in 1889, but this 1898 Edison Cylinder recording by The Edison Male Quartet is believed to be the first Christmas song ever recorded.

The words and music to the famous Christmas carol “Jingle Bells” were written in 1857 by organist and choir director James Pierpont for a Thanksgiving church service in Savannah, GA. It was so well received that the children were asked to repeat the performance at the Christmas service that year, and it has remained a Christmas standard ever since. The sheet music was first published in 1857 by Oliver Ditson with its original title “The One Horse Open Sleigh”. It was reissued two years later with only one title change chosen by the public…“Jingle Bells.”

James Pierpont was born in 1822 in Massachusetts the son of an ardent abolitionist. In the 1850’s he moved to Savannah, Georgia, joining his brother John who ministered to Savannah’s Unitarian congregation. James took a post as the organist and music director of the church and it during the fall of 1857, with Pierpont living in the south, that he began writing of his New England Christmases and longing for the snow and traditional New England customs.

At the outset of the Civil War, he joined the Isle of Hope Volunteers to the Confederacy, the Fifth Georgia Calvalry. Pierpont survived the war and lived until 1893 when he passed away in Winter Haven, FL. He was buried in Laurel Grove beside his brother-in-law Thomas who had been killed in the first battle of Bull Run. The family would again come to great national prominence through the work of James’ nephew, famed capitalist J. Pierpont Morgan.

In the period of 1890 through 1954, “Jingle Bells” was in the top 25 most recorded songs in history beating out “Blue Skies”, “My Old Kentucky Home”, “I Got Rhythm”, “The Stars and Stripes Forever” and “Georgia On My Mind”. Enjoy, share and sing along! -Bobby Ellerbee

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tqbtlzPFa4w

http://davidneale.eu/elvis/originals/index.html Written by: J. S. Pierpont Originally recorded by Will Lyle in 1889 (Hear Elvis’s version on: Home Recordings…
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Remember This Classic CBS Holiday ID From 1966?

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Remember This Classic CBS Holiday ID From 1966?

Back then, R. O. Blechman was best known for his magazine cover designs, especially his many ‘The New Yorker’ covers. CBS commissioned him to design a classy holiday ID with Willis Pyle doing the animation. Thanks to Alec Cumming for sharing this with us. Enjoy and share! -Bobby Ellerbee

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MUWMjUjit_U&feature=share

Can you believe that there once was a time when network television aired classy holiday interstitials like this ? Designed by R.O. Blechman and animated by W…
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December 23, 1947…Bell Labs Invents The Transistor

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December 23, 1947…Bell Labs Invents The Transistor

John Bardeen, Walter H. Brattain, and William Shockley invented the transistor at Bell Telephone Laboratories in New Jersey. In 1948, they won the Nobel Prize for their discovery. Here they are in their with the first transistor and a replica of it. Enjoy and share! -Bobby Ellerbee



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1951 NFL Championship Title Game

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December 23, 1951…1st NFL Championship On Coast To Coast Television

The Dumont Network purchased the rights to televise the game from the NFL for $95,000. Although this was the 19th title game in NFL history, it was the first ever televised coast to coast as this was the first year AT&T had the capacity to do nation wide television.

Before this, I think the games were on nation wide radio and if any championship games were on TV, they were shown probably only as far west as AT&T television lines reached which may have been St. Louis or maybe Denver.

Below is the NFL Films record of the game at The Los Angeles Coliseum between the Rams and Cleveland Browns. As you’ll see, it was pretty rough and tumble with no face guards. Enjoy and share! -Bobby Ellerbee

http://www.nfl.com/videos/nfl-videos/0ap2000000096236/1951-NFL-Championship-Title-Game

1951 NFL Championship Title Game

Here’s a look back at the 1951 NFL Championship Title Game between the Los Angeles Rams and Cleveland Browns.
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Would Santa Really Come Down This Chimney?

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Picture Parade #5…Would Santa Really Come Down This Chimney?


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The Secret Word Is “Happy Holidays”!

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Picture Parade #4…The Secret Word Is “Happy Holidays”!


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Decking The Halls In Gay Apparel With Jane Mansfied

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Picture Parade #3…Decking The Halls In Gay Apparel With Jane Mansfied


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Happy Holidays From Desi, Desi, Lucy and Lucy Arnaz

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Picture Parade #2…Happy Holidays From Desi, Desi, Lucy and Lucy Arnaz


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How Would You Like To Tree Shop With These Guys?

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Picture Parade #1…How Would You Like To Tree Shop With These Guys?


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NBC’s First Cameramen…Albert Protzman And Don Pike

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NBC’s First Cameramen…Albert Protzman And Don Pike

The man without glasses is NBC’s first ever cameraman, Albert Protzman. The second camera hire was Don Pike who is seen in this beautiful color closeup of an RCA A500 Iconoscope camera in NBC Studio 3H. Pike went on to become either the first or second ever technical director in television.

The dark umber gray cameras were the first models and went into service in 1935 when 3H was converted from an NBC radio studio to an RCA experimental television studio that year. By 1937, there was a better Iconoscope tube and I think the cameras were refitted with the new tube and at the same time, painted silver to reflect some of the heat from the studio lights.

The last photo of the RCA TK10 is I think Albert Protzman as lead cameraman on the 1951 production of ‘Ahmal And The Night Visitor’ in Studio 8H. I think Protzman stayed behind the camera for many years but later became a technical director also. By the way, NBC legend Heino Ripp was also on this crew as a utility man and sometime camera man and later, TD supreme! Enjoy and share! -Bobby Ellerbee





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Bob Hope Special Shot With RCA TK60s, Excellent Crisp Video

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Just For Fun…Bob Hope Special Shot With RCA TK60s, Excellent Crisp Video

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XkntHZ91WJI
At the link above is a Hope special from September 25, 1964. Although it was shot in black and white, it looks spectacular! This was also done in Studio 1 at NBC Burbank, like the first color special he did there as seen in the post just before this.

Below are some rare photos of the TK60s in Studio 1. This camera used the new 4.5 inch Image Orthicon tube. The TK60 actually debuted in 1960 as the TK12, but had a few issues. By ’63, RCA had fixed the problems and re-released it as the TK60. By this time though, color was making great headway and broadcasters were reluctant to buy monochrome cameras, but many did.

It was an excellent camera and it’s only rival was the Marconi Mark IV which used the same tube. By the way, Milton Berle, Phyllis Diller, Dean Martin, and Jack Benny are Bob’s guests on the special which is quite good. Enjoy and share! -Bobby Ellerbee




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Bob Hope’s First Color Special…Christmas 1965

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Bob Hope’s First Every Color Special…Christmas 1965

Even though NBC had wanted him to do color shows earlier, Hope resisted because he was not only the star…he was the producer too, and color had higher production costs.

This special with Jack Benny, Bing Crosby, Janet Leigh and Nancy Wilson was shot in Studio 1 at NBC Burbank and as always, has beautiful color form the RCA TK41s. Just for fun, I am also going to post one of his specials shot with the RCA TK60s. Enjoy and share! -Bobby Ellerbee

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H4ezCmeiefM

‘This Is Bob (For The First Time In Living Color) Hope’ on NBC December 15th, 1965 With Bing Crosby, Jack Benny, Janet Leigh, and Nancy Wilson join Bob for t…
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December 1932…The First Ever, Technicolor Christmas Feature

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December 1932…The First Ever, Technicolor Christmas Feature

Walt Disney’s ‘Santa’s Workshop’ was released to theaters on December 10, 1932 and was a huge hit. This was only the third ever technicolor feature done, with the first being Disney’s ‘Flowers And Trees’ which debuted in July of ’32 and won an Academy Award.

Disney’s Silly Symphonies cartoon features were doing well and when he saw the new three strip technicolor process, he had to have it. As a matter of fact, his deal with Technicolor was a three year exclusive which allowed only Disney to use the process for animation. Enjoy and share! -Bobby Ellerbee

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KAlGg5q62vQ

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KAlGg5q62vQThis is number 33 of the 75 Silly Symphonies made by Walt Disney Productions. All 75 short symphonies were made between 1929 and 1939 while the studio was lo…
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December 22, 1931…NBC’s First Empire State Building Broadcast

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December 22, 1931…NBC’s First Empire State Building Broadcast

On this day in 1931, NBC made it’s first experimental television broadcast from the new Empire State Building transmitter. RCA’s first experimental television transmissions began in 1928 on station W2XBS at a location in Van Cortland Park, but soon moved to the top floor of The New Amsterdam Theater building, transmitting 60 line pictures in the new 2-3 mHz band allocated to television.

A 13″ Felix the Cat figure made of paper mache was placed on a record player turntable and was broadcast using a mechanical scanning disk to a scanning disk receiver. The image received was only 2 inches tall, and the broadcasts lasted about 2 hours per day. Below is a 1930 broadcast schedule…quite possibly the first ever.

By 1931 W2XBS became part of NBC and on December 22, began to transmit from The Empire State Building. These early broadcasts consisted of objects like Felix the Cat or early test patterns and photographs.

The Empire State Building was completed in May 1931 and, at the time the tallest building ever built, towered 1,250 feet over New York City. The top of the building was designed to be a mooring for dirigibles, but that was soon abandoned as impractical because of excessively high wind currents. David Sarnoff, President of the Radio Corporation of America, had a vision that was to include the top of that building for a different purpose. He foresaw the future of television; and what better location for an antenna from which to broadcast television, than the top of the then tallest building in the world!

RCA leased the 85’th floor of the Empire State Building for a studio and transmitter location for experimental television broadcasts. RCA, through its broadcasting division NBC, applied to the Federal Radio Commission on July 1, 1931 for construction permits for the sight and sound channels of a television station, which were issued on July 24, 1931. The call sign W2XF was issued in December 1931 for the “sight” channel of that station on an assigned frequency of 44Mc.

The transmitter had an input power to the final stage of about 5Kw, giving an estimated power output to the antenna of about 2Kw. The sound channel of the TV station was separately licensed as W2XK for a 2.5Kw transmitter to operate on 61Mc. Both transmitters were located on the 85’th floor and used separate vertical dipole antennas extending from the top of the building. Previously the W2XF call sign, and it’s predecessor 2XF, belonged to the Western Electric Company and Bell Laboratories, respectivly, which later became a part of the RCA group. Enjoy and share! -Bobby Ellerbee




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Keeping “Warm” This First Day Of Winter…NBC Studio 1A Control Room

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Keeping “Warm” This First Day Of Winter…NBC Studio 1A Control Room


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An Ironic (And Moe-ronic) Christmas Wish From The Three Stooges…

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An Ironic (And Moe-ronic) Merry Christmas Wish From The Three Stooges…

Moses Harry Horwitz, Louis Feinberg and Jerome Lester Horwitz. No matter the holiday you celebrate, may it be filled with joy! -Bobby Ellerbee


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‘How The Grinch Stole Christmas’…1966 Original Version

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‘How The Grinch Stole Christmas’…1966 Original Version

https://archive.org/details/HowTheGrinchStoleChristmas
At the link is a very good online version of the 1966 classic that debuted on CBS on December 18, 1966. Below (l-r) is Theodore Seuss Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss with Boris Karloff and Chuck Jones.

Jones was the man responsible for convincing Geisel to bring this to television. He and Ben Washam co-directed the production. Karloff was the narrator and the voice of the Grinch. Famous for being the voice of Rocky The Flying Squirrel, June Foray was the voice of Cindy Lou Who. The voice of Tony The Tiger, Thurl Ravenscroft was the singer of “You’re A Mean One Mr. Grinch”. The voice of Max was done by Dal McKennon.

Thanks to Brandon Lori for the rare photo. Enjoy and share! -Bobby Ellerbee


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New ‘Saturday Night Live’ Time Lapse…From The Page Desk

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New ‘Saturday Night Live’ Time Lapse…From The Page Desk

This is from the Halloween show this year with Jim Carry hosting. You will be quite surprised around the 1:40 mark! That’s when a pedestal camera leaves Studio 8H. So, either the studio is getting crowded or there will be a later live shot in the hallway. Enjoy and share! -Bobby Ellerbee

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3oRRYJs-Ec0

Take a seat at the Studio 8H page desk and watch Saturday Night Live in action. Shot during the October 25 show, hosted by Jim Carrey with musical guest Iggy…
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‘Saturday Night Live’…Behind The Scenes Of A Typical Week

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‘Saturday Night Live’…Behind The Scenes Of A Typical Week

http://www.imdb.com/video/imdb/vi3018960153
This is the 8H studio map, the rehearsal and run sheets for the April 12, 2014 show with Seth Rogen as host. At the link above is a clip of the Undercover Sharpton sketch you should watch for context.

Notice on the map that sketch sets are often set in front of other sketch sets. For instance, in the Sharpton sketch, on the left in front of Stage 6 we see where the van was and across the floor in front of Stage 4B, we see the Sharpton Mob Bar interior location. As you can see on the blue sheet, some of the Sharpton effects shots were videotaped on Friday.

By having the 8H stage map we can more easily see the complexity of the production and the importance of camera blocking and rehearsals. The hand written notations from the cameramen show them where they need to be. TNG is the abbreviation for the retractable tongue on the front of the HB, or home base stage where the monologue and Weekend Update are done.

Stage 1 – 6 are constant week to week production areas. Stage 2 is always for musical guests only and homebase is for always for the house band, but everything else is always in flux.

As you can see on the white Thursday sheet, one of the first orders of business is loading in the guest band, sound check and then shooting promos. After that, camera blocking with the actors starts.

On the blue Friday sheet, you can see how the blocking and rehearsals continue with pre taping going on for scenes with a lot of effects.

The pink sheet is the Saturday dress rehearsal with the first audience entering around 7PM and the runthrough starts about 8 and runs till 10 or so. After that, Lorne Michaels and the writers huddle to cut the some sketches. They have been watching from Lorne’s perch under the bleachers near the center door.

On the green air rundown, you can see on the right which sketches were cut and how the order has changed from dress rehearsal. Remember…everybody has to be on the same page. Literally! The actors, the 30 or so stage hands moving scenery and the six cameras and two sound boom teams all have to be at the right spot at the right time.

I have had the pleasure to see this up close and personal and there is not a more impressive ballet of men and machines, art and artists and sets and scenery than at ‘Saturday Night Live’! This is a time lapse video of the show just two weeks before Seth Rogan hosted!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i72I9NNTTM0

Thanks to ALL the SNL casts and crews for 40 year of unforgettable memories! Enjoy and SHARE! -Bobby Ellerbee






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December 21, 1937…’Snow White’ Debuts

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December 21, 1937…’Snow White’ Debuts + TCM Disney Special News

First…tonight on Turner Classic Movies, nine hours of Disney treasures are rolled out starting at 8 PM Eastern. More at this link…set your DVRs.
http://www.orlandosentinel.com/entertainment/tv/tv-guy/os-disney-treasures-get-tcm-showcase-20141219-post.html

This great 8 minute clip tells a lot of the story of the making of the film and at 5:20, we see the Hollywood debut footage. At 7:00, we see the original 1937 trailer. Enjoy and share! -Bobby Ellerbee

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=65SfVyE7Y3E

Premier footage, as well as a behind-the-scenes look of the making, of Walt Disney’s first feature-length animated film: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. www…
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