Posts in Category: Broadcast History

December 24, 1948…Perry Como & NBC Studio 6A Debut Together

[ad_1]

December 24, 1948…Perry Como & NBC Studio 6A Debut Together

Como had been the Monday, Wednesday and Friday evening 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 where his radio show had always come from, BUT…this was the first time cameras had been brought into 6A! At the link is the open and close of this show with Perry welcoming the television audience at the top, and vamping to close the show on time at the end. (The CBS ID at the end is a part of the clip that followed this on a long string of kine clips.)

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

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. The camera feeds were cabled over to the new Studio 6B control room which was converted from radio to TV on June 8, 1948.

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 second video clip, you’ll notice a lot of flat lighting and shadows. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5tFkKuDZHdI

This clip, also done in 6A, 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.

By the way, Studio 6A was converted to TV in May of 1950. Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays -Bobby Ellerbee

12/24/1948 16mm kinescope of a live TV commercial, from the very first televised episode of the popular radio show, The Chesterfield Supperclub, starring Per…
[ad_2]

Source

December 24,1951…Behind The Scenes Inside NBC Studio 8H

[ad_1]
December 24,1951…Behind The Scenes Inside NBC Studio 8H

1st “Hallmark Hall Of Fame”…1st “Amahl And The Night Visitors”

This story has two parts. Below the line is an interesting first hand account from a TV magazine writer who was there, pointing out the obstacles they needed to overcome to present the debut of what would become two enduring programs.

The above the line story starts here with some notes on the historic aspects of what was about to happen.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hzx-s46vjpY
At 9:30 PM on December 24, 1951, in NBC Studio 8-H, the first opera ever written expressly for television went live on the air. The sponsor for the NBC holiday spectacular was Hallmark Cards. This was their first venture into television and this lead to the development of the now famous “Hallmark Hall Of Fame” series.

At the link above is the kinescope recording of the original 1951 production. The show was done live each year for many years till video tape came along. In 1954 it was done in color at NBC Brooklyn, and in ’63, finally recorded on color video tape at the Brooklyn facility. In the photo below, we see one of the four cameras used on the show in 8H shooting the child lead, Chet Allen. The cameraman is NBC’s first studio cameraman, Albert Protzman who was hired in 1936.

Below is a description of that night in 8H from TV Party Magazine by Mitchel Hadley. The full article is at this link. -Bobby Ellerbee http://www.tvparty.com/xmas-amahl.html

_____________________________________________________
Christmas Eve in Studio 8H

The scene was a dramatic one – and, par for the course for early television, far from ideal. For one thing, although 8-H was the largest television studio in America, it wasn’t nearly large enough for the cast, crew, and musicians. The result, among other things, was that singers and orchestra would have no direct contact with each other. The orchestra was located in Studio 8G…the conductor could see the action on the set via the monitors while the singers would hear the music piped in through speakers in the studio.

Up in the control room would be Director Kurt Browning. At his disposal were four cameras – three inside the “hut” where Amahl and his mother lived, and one outside – and three boom microphones, one between each camera. His “control” was far from absolute, however; union rules of the era prevented the director from speaking directly to the cameramen, requiring him to go through the technical director to communicate his instructions. Such an arrangement was a recipe for disaster, especially for a live broadcast. Menotti was no stranger to the challenges of television, though, and he and Browning worked closely on the camera script, ensuring that there would be no spare gesture, no extraneous movement that would throw an actor out of frame.

The cumbersome equipment of the time would also prove to be a challenge, as Browning recalled in a 1994 interview. “As I remember, I had pedestal cameras which weighed four to five hundred pounds and a dolly camera that weighed another seven to eight hundred pounds. Movement was limited, however, for “once you got over a 90mm lens, you couldn’t move the camera because the movement registered on the camera and you would lose focus almost immediately.”

On the set itself the cast, after a month of preparation and anticipation (but only four actual days in the studio), was ready.

When the camera light winked on at 9:30, viewers saw a blurred image of church bells, followed by a title card announcing that the following program was presented by Hallmark. It is often stated that the actress Sarah Churchill hosted that first broadcast, since she subsequently served as host of Hall of Fame for the first couple of years, but in fact it was Nelson Case, host of NBC’s Armstrong Circle Theater, who greeted the audience. (Amahl was, in fact, being presented in Armstrong’s regular Tuesday night time slot.) After a solemn, if overlong, introduction, Case presented Menotti, who stood on a set in front of a fake fireplace decorated with garland, the Bosch painting hanging over the mantle.

Speaking from notes and in Italian-accented English, Menotti said he hoped that parents had allowed their children to stay up late for the broadcast, since the opera had been written for them and “I don’t want you to be like those awful parents who insist on playing with their children’s toys.” He then introduced the people who had helped make Amahl possible, asking them to join him on camera since the audience “won’t see [them] while the opera goes on”: Browning, who “photographed this opera the way I saw it in the windows of my imagination,” Schippers, who “captured the sounds of my childhood,” and set designer Eugene Berman, “who designed the sets that come straight out of my own heart.”

As a series of handwritten slides (taking a moment to come into focus) introduced the cast and crew, the overture began in the background – a tender, moving melody that soon gave way to the sound of a pipe. The camera dissolved to a star high in the sky, and then slowly panned down to a young boy playing the pipe. Amahl and the Night Visitors had begun.

Here it is worth noting that the broadcast features a fascinating attempt at a primitive “special effect.” Menotti wanted the approach of the Kings to suggest a journey of a great distance. The entrance of the Kings began, therefore, with only their voices being heard. While Amahl and his mother lie sleeping, the camera zoomed in on a close up of Rosemary Kuhlmann. Then, using her back as a movie screen, a pre recorded film of the Kings’ entry was projected.

Browning then cut to a shot of Kuhlmann from a different angle, while the lyrics “the shepherd dreams inside the fold” were sung – suggesting, subtly, that the Kings might be nothing more than a dream. It was a complex effect, sophisticated for the time, especially for live television. It’s not known how many times this effect was used in subsequent broadcasts of Amahl; by 1955 it had been replaced by a simple cut from the inside of the hut to the outdoor set.


[ad_2]

Source

Best Choreography In Live Television…”SNL” Stage Hands & Crew

[ad_1]

Best Choreography In Live Television…”SNL” Stage Hands & Crew

Quick take down of the cold open set with countdown from the control room…will they make it? Click to see! I’ve seen this in person from the floor seats and it is amazing. Nothing like it anywhere. NBC Studio 8H…home of the PROS! -Bobby Ellerbee

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=04kop3CvE_s

A behind-the-scenes look at the unseen two-minute set change that went down during the opening credits to transform SNL’s set from the cold open to Casey Aff…
[ad_2]

Source

December 23, 1947…The Transistor Is Born At Bell Labs, BUT…

[ad_1]
December 23, 1947…The Transistor Is Born At Bell Labs, BUT…

Why did it take so long to come to television? In this story, I’ll answer that with a surprising bit of information I found just this week, and also give credit where credit is due.

In the top part, I’ll talk about the RCA attitude toward the transistor, and below the line, give you the full story on how it was invented.

By coincidence, I was reading a paper called “The Eye Of The Peacock” by Richard C. Webb, the developer of the first RCA color camera system. I’ve included a photo of Mr. Webb with his own creation.

Here is what he said; “The timely invention of the transistor at Bell Labs in 1947 was really the big bang for the exploding solid state electronics age. At the time however, many of the working engineers were unable to appreciate their advantages, and many vacuum tube engineers, myself included, put signs on their doors saying ‘help stamp out transistors’.”

“Loaded with pressing demands for ever more complex equipment, the old timers were quite reluctant to immediately embrace the temperature sensitive and expensive ‘little pills’ that gave no warning at all of impending failure.”

“Under stress, a vacuum tube was always graceful enough to glow red and blue and allow time for a quick power-down to save it from destruction. Until their original construction in the very temperature sensitive Germanium switched over to Silicon in the early ’60s, they were just an attractive nuisance to most of us.”

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. -Bobby Ellerbee
_____________________________________________________

An all-star team of scientists was assembled at Bell Labs to develop a replacement for the vacuum tubes based on solid-state semiconductor materials. Shockley, who had received his Ph.D. in physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1936 and joined Bell Labs the same year, was selected as the team leader. He recruited several scientists for the project, including Brattain and Bardeen.

Walter Brattain had been working for Bell Labs since 1929, the year he received his Ph.D. in physics from the University of Minnesota. His main research interest was on the surface properties of solids. John Bardeen was a theoretical physicist with an industrial engineering background. With a Ph.D. in physics from Princeton University, he was working as an assistant professor at the University of Minnesota when Shockley invited him to join the group.

The team commenced work on a new means of current amplification. In 1945, Shockley designed what he hoped would be the first semiconductor amplifier, an apparatus that consisted of “a small cylinder coated thinly with silicon, mounted close to a small, metal plate”. The device didn’t work, and Shockley assigned Bardeen and Brattain to find out why.

In 1947, during the so-called “Miracle Month” of November 17 to December 23, Brattain and Bardeen performed experiments to determine what was preventing Shockley’s device from amplifying. They noticed that condensation kept forming on the silicon. Could this be the deterrent? Brattain submerged the experiment in water “inadvertently creating the largest amplification thus far.” Bardeen was emboldened by this result, and suggested they modify the experiment to include a [gold] metal point that would be pushed into the silicon surrounded by distilled water. At last there was amplification, but disappointingly, at a trivial level.

But the scientists were galvanized by the meager result, and over the next few weeks, experimented with various materials and set ups. They replaced the silicon with germanium, which resulted in amplification 330 times larger than before. But it only functioned for low frequency currents, whereas phone lines, for example, would need to handle the many complicated frequencies of the human voice.

Next, they replaced the liquid with a layer of germanium dioxide. When some of the oxide layer accidentally washed away, Brattain continued the experiment shoving the gold point into the germanium and voila! Not only could he still achieve current amplification, but he could do so at all frequencies. The gold contact had put holes in the germanium and the punctures “canceled out the effect of the electrons at the surface, the same way the water had.” Their invention was finally increasing the current at all frequencies.

Bardeen and Brattain had achieved two special results: the ability to get a large amplification at some frequencies, and a small amplification for all frequencies. Their goal now was to combine the two. The essential components of the device thus far were the germanium and two gold point contacts that were fractions of a millimeter apart. With this in mind, Brattain placed a gold ribbon around a plastic triangle, and cut it through one of the points. When the point of the triangle touched the germanium, electric current entered through one gold contact and increased as it rushed out the other. They had done it – it was the first point-contact transistor. On December 23, Shockley, Bardeen and Brattain presented their “little plastic triangle” to the Bell Labs VIPs and it became official: the super star team had invented the first working solid state amplifier.




[ad_2]

Source

1951 NFL Championship Title Game

[ad_1]
December 23, 1951…1st Coast To Coast NFL Championship Broadcast

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, 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 either St. Louis or 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.
[ad_2]

Source

December 22, 1931…First Empire State Broadcast & TV Test History Update

[ad_1]
December 22, 1931…First Empire State Broadcast & TV Test History Update

On this day in 1931, NBC made it’s first experimental television broadcast from the new Empire State Building transmitter.

Since the story of RCA’s early television transmission test sites is a bit muddled, I am taking this opportunity to clarify a few things with new research.

RCA’s first experimental television transmissions are reported to have begun in 1928 on station W2XBS at an unknown location near the Van Cortlandt Park area in the Bronx. The images were produced by a GE made Alexanderson mechanical disc camera.

My research has lead to new information that no one else includes. It appears that within a few months, testing moved to 411 Fifth Avenue, a few blocks south of NBC’s 711 Fifth Avenue HQ. The two hour nightly broadcasts made from there began March 22, 1929. At this link is an article about the 411 building with the very detailed television part in the lower third of the article.
http://daytoninmanhattan.blogspot.com/2012/09/the-unique-1915-no-411-fifth-avenue.html

In early 1930, the Alexanderson camera and transmission equipment was moved to the Roof Garden Theater on the top floor of the New Amsterdam Theater Building, transmitting 60 line pictures in the new 2-3 mHz band allocated to television.

Those locations, are where the famous 13 inch Felix the Cat figure, made of paper mache, was placed on a record player turntable and broadcast using a mechanical scanning disk to a scanning disk receiver. The image received was only 2 inches tall.

Early in 1931 RCA’s W2XBS began to transmit from the RCA/NBC headquarters at 711 5th Avenue. The image of the actor with the Alexanderson camera is thought to be at the 711 building.

The Empire State Building was completed in May of 1931, and RCA leased the 85th floor 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 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 85th floor and used separate vertical dipole antennas.

In early 1933, the mechanical scanning disc camera was still in use, but experiments on an electronic receiving tube were underway with the early kinescope images appearing green (like an oscilloscope) as only green phosphor was available. It would be a few years before white phosphor was discovered and used in kinescopes. More on this story soon.

In 1936, the Empire State Building’s tall tower like structure was added as a mooring mast for blimps. The winds proved to be too strong and there were several near accidents in mooring tests, but it did make for a great new antenna mount.

By the way, the last known sighting of the historic Alexanderson mechanical camera was in a display at the RCA Pavilion at the 1939 Worlds Fair. -Bobby Ellerbee






[ad_2]

Source

December 22, 1963…The Judy Garland Christmas Special

[ad_1]

December 22, 1963…The Judy Garland Christmas Special

Our friend George Sunga was the production supervisor on Judy’s series. This show was shot with the new Marconi Mark IV black and white cameras in Television City’s Studio 43. The video and audio is exceptional…state of the art for 1963.

Two songs which are now seasonal classics, one first sung by Judy, and the other, by guest Mel Torme, are included here (“Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” and “The Christmas Song”). The final song is Judy’s emortal “Rainbow”. This is first rate from start to finish! Enjoy and Happy Holidays! -Bobby Ellerbee

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WzCL3FM9dDc

In this charming live holiday TV special Judy is joined by her children, Liza Minnelli and Lorna and Joey Luft, and guest stars Jack Jones and Mel Torme. The…
[ad_2]

Source

December 21, 1988…”Pee Wee’s Playhouse Christmas Special”

[ad_1]

December 21, 1988…”Pee Wee’s Playhouse Christmas Special”

In much the same way adults were big fans of “Beanie & Cecil” in the ’50s, “Rocky & Bullwinkle” in the ’60s, and “The Muppets” in the ’70s, “Pee Wee’s Playhouse” was our fix in the ’80s. On this day in 1988, Paul Reubens and an outrageous line up of stars brought television a special Christmas show like no other!

Aside from the regular cast of stellar talent, including Phil Hartman (Capt. Carl), John Paragon (Jambi), Lynne Marie Stewart (Miss Yvonne), Laurence Fishburne (Cowboy Curtis) and S. Epatha Merkerson (Reba the mail lady), this special guest stars…Whoppie Goldberg, Little Richard, Grace Jones, K.D. Lang, Frankie Avalon, Cher, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Oprah Winfrey, Charo, Magic Johnson, Annette Funicello, Dinah Shore and Joan Rivers. What a Hoot!

Meka leka hi, meka hiney ho! -Bobby Ellerbee

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d3U428nYrFU


[ad_2]

Source

Memory Lane…Inside MTV Studios During Their First Month On Air

[ad_1]

Memory Lane…Inside MTV Studios During Their First Month On Air

I’ve never seen much behind the scenes footage of the MTV production crew in action, but from an August 1981 “PM Magazine” episode, here is a good look. I thought you may enjoy it too. Thanks to ABC’s Howie Zeidman for making this available. -Bobby Ellerbee

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=URYgIdZ3F2A&feature=youtu.be&t=46s

A PM Magazine show when MTV first went on the air.. All the VJ’s are in this clip..Also behind the scenes
[ad_2]

Source

Vladimir Zworykin: The Iconoscope and the Kinescope

[ad_1]
December 20,1938…Vladimir Zworykin Patented The Iconoscope

Although there was controversy over a lot of patents and inventions in electronic television between Philo Farnsworth and Zworykin and RCA, there is no contention over the development of the Iconoscope.

While working as an engineer at Westinghouse in 1923, Zworykin had presented his idea to the company, but they were not interested. That year he submitted his patent, but because the design was incomplete, the patent was not approved. By 1933 he had achieved a working model and with more modifications to his application in 1935, the patent was finally granted in 1938.

At the 1936 Berlin Olympic games, Telefunken’s two cameras were using the Iconoscope, and the single Fernseh camera there was using the Image Dissector from Farnsworth.

For a more, and a broader perspective, Dan Greigo’s article is included below. -Bobby Ellerbee

http://www.videoeditingsage.com/vladimir-zworykin.html

Vladimir Zworykin: The Iconoscope and the Kinescope

Vladimir Zworykin may not have liked modern TV programming, but he can be proud of the remarkable system that he helped create. It truly changed the world!! Learn more about it here!
[ad_2]

Source

December 19, 1958…’The Chipmunk Song’ Tops The Record Charts

[ad_1]

December 19, 1958…’The Chipmunk Song’ Tops The Record Charts

Did you know that David Seville was the stage name for Ross Bagdasarian?

Bagdasarian was both creator and voice of The Chipmunks. The year before he had a hit with ‘The Witch Doctor’. The tape machine Bagdasarian used to record his novelties was the 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.

Aside from being the top selling song at Christmas of 1958, it won two Grammys, one of which was for technology. This video includes some of the 1958 footage of Seville performing the song and is mixed with some later video and audio from their animated cartoon show. Enjoy, share and sing along! I know you know the words! -Bobby Ellerbee

https://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…
[ad_2]

Source

December 18, 1956…’To Tell The Truth’ Debuts On CBS…Rare Pilot Episode

[ad_1]

December 18, 1956…’To Tell The Truth’ Debuts On CBS…Rare Pilot Episode

AMAZING! Here is the pilot for the show and you won’t believe the host and panel! The host was Mike Wallace. On the panel…Dick Van Dyke, John Cameron Swayze, Polly Bergen and actress Hildy Park.

The show, which debuted 60 years ago today, was created by Bob Stewart and produced by Goodson-Todman Productions and was to have premiered on Tuesday, December 18, 1956, in CBS prime time as ‘Nothing But The Truth’, but the program title was changed to ‘To Tell The Truth’ the day before the show’s debut. The show originated from CBS Studio 52, moving to Studio 50 late in its run.

After CBS bought the show, but before it debuted, Bud Collier was chosen to host as Wallace had begun to feel he had rather become a news man and needed to get away from entertainment and commercial roles.

Mark Goodson and Bill Todman were seeking to replicate the success of their ‘What’s My Line’ show, but ‘To Tell the Truth’ was unique in that this was one of the few shows where the home audience didn’t know the answer as the panel asked questions. We at home could play right along.

An odd “vibe” must have been present on the set for some years there. Host Collyer was one of the more outspoken pro-blacklisting voices in AFTRA, the TV performers’ union. He was all for purging TV of performers and staffers with “pinko” connections…but a lot of those folks worked on TTTT. Mark Goodson was among the few producers willing to stand up to demands that he drop performers who’d been fingered as un-American by Red Channels or other such institutions. He’d resisted demands that he fire Henry Morgan off ‘I’ve Got a Secret’ and he often hired panelists like Orson Bean and John Henry Faulk.

Bean and Faulk won a union election over a Collyer-backed slate on these issues and Faulk later won a major lawsuit over his blacklisting. Still, from all reports, Collyer was a professional and a gentleman to all on ‘To Tell the Truth’.

The original TTTT ended its prime-time run on May 22, 1967. A daytime version which had started in June of ’62 continued on until September of ’68. That was the end of the Collyer version but others would follow. You must see some of this video! -Bobby Ellerbee

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ji9m4acZLck

Mike Wallace in 1956, hosting Nothing But The Truth, an unaired pilot for what would become the classic guessing game To Tell The Truth. Panelists are Dick V…
[ad_2]

Source

SPECIAL 3 DAY BIRTH OF COLOR EVENT: DAY 1, PART 1

[ad_1]
SPECIAL 3 DAY BIRTH OF COLOR EVENT: DAY 1, PART 1

Today is the eve of the 63rd anniversary of commercial color broadcasting in America. Over these next 3 days, Eyes Of A Generation will tell the most complete story of the development of RCA’s Compatible Color System, ever presented on the internet. Pass the word! More below the line. -Bobby Ellerbee
___________________________________________________
December 16, 1953…An Important First And Last Event

This is a photo of the first television drama to be done in color…it is also the last experimental colorcast.

“To Live In Peace” was the episode title of the December 16, 1953 production of “The Kraft Television Theater”, which starred Anne Bancroft. It was done in color from NBC’s Colonial Theater…the night before the FCC announced the approval of the RCA pioneered version of compatible color.

Several other one hour color specials had been done in the months prior, like the opera “Carmen” and Kukla, Fran & Ollie’s “St. George The Dragon”, but this was the first drama.

You may ask, if there were no color receivers for the public, what was the purpose of broadcasting in color?

The answer is in the term “compatible color”, which means that the new RCA color system broadcasts were as well received on everyone’s black and white sets, as clearly as regular black and white broadcasts.

In much the same way as monochrome television went through their experimental period, before official FCC approval, color did the same, but with more intense arguments over which system to choose. The battle was between RCA’s electronic Dot Sequential System and the CBS mechanical Field Sequential System.

Even RCA in the early days tried to get the CBS system to work, but there were too many obstacles to over come. With their own system there were many obstacles, but in the end, RCA’s will to power and engineering prowess came through.

The camera here is one of the original “first four” RCA TK40 prototypes. They were hand built and delivered to The Colonial in late October of 1952. Assembly line production did not start till a year later after the the cameras were tested. More to come! – Bobby Ellerbee


[ad_2]

Source

SPECIAL 3 DAY BIRTH OF COLOR EVENT: DAY 1, PART 2

[ad_1]
SPECIAL 3 DAY BIRTH OF COLOR EVENT: DAY 1, PART 2

Today is the eve of the 63rd anniversary of commercial color broadcasting in America. Over these next 3 days, Eyes Of A Generation will tell the most complete story of the development of RCA’s Compatible Color System, ever presented on the internet. Pass the word! MUCH more below the line. -Bobby Ellerbee
_____________________________________________________
http://www.visions4.net/journal/wp-content/uploads/Sarnoff1-PDF.pdf
THE ULTIMATE PRIMER ON COLOR TELEVISION: At the link above, is a special December 1953 publication from RCA and NBC.

This “RCA Color Television” magazine is a one-of-a-kind, 37 page synopsis of how this all happened. From David Sarnoff’s introduction, to the last page of historical highlights, this is required reading for anyone serious about learning the history and how of color television.

To better understand, and prepare for the incredible detailed history coming Saturday and Sunday, this is an indispensable guide and outline!


[ad_2]

Source

SPECIAL 3 DAY BIRTH OF COLOR EVENT: DAY 1, PART 3

[ad_1]
SPECIAL 3 DAY BIRTH OF COLOR EVENT: DAY 1, PART 3

Today is the eve of the 63rd anniversary of commercial color broadcasting in America. Over these next 3 days, Eyes Of A Generation will tell the most complete story of the development of RCA’s Compatible Color System, ever presented on the internet. Pass the word! More below the line. -Bobby Ellerbee
___________________________________________________
Coming tomorrow and Sunday, THE RCA RED BOOK!

On June 25, 1953, RCA presented the FCC with a 699 page petition for the approval of their color system. Although three quarters of the book is quite technical, there are two very interesting sections on the history of the process, and on the prototype equipment used in the studios and control rooms.

The Red Book itself is an extreme rarity, as only a few survive, but it is the Holy Grail of early color history at RCA. Over the years, I have talked about the color tests at Washington’s Wardman Park, in NBC’s historic Studio 3H, and at the Colonial Theater.

I’ve also talked about the “coffin cameras” in 3H, the RCA color girls and Nanette Fabray’s daily experimental color shows from 3H and the Colonial, the RCA TK40 prototype cameras, and more…

Tomorrow and Sunday, ALL OF THAT, and more is covered in detail that we have never known before. Even Nanette’s scripts for the shows are included and now we know that Ben Grauer did the announcing. Even for me, the amount of new details is staggering.

Be Here!


[ad_2]

Source

SPECIAL 3 DAY BIRTH OF COLOR EVENT: DAY 2, PART 4

[ad_1]

SPECIAL 3 DAY BIRTH OF COLOR EVENT: DAY 2, PART 4

Today is the 63rd anniversary of commercial color broadcasting in America. Over the weekend, Eyes Of A Generation will continue to tell the most complete story of the development of RCA’s Compatible Color System, ever presented on the internet. Pass the word! More below the line. -Bobby Ellerbee
_____________________________________________________
December 17, 1953…FCC Approves RCA Color, A First Hand Account

It was a Thursday afternoon when the FCC approved the RCA Dot Sequential color system as the national standard. Our friend and former NBC engineer Frank Merklein was actually the one that broke the news to David Sarnoff. Below is part of an email from Frank to me with his first hand observations.

“General Sarnoff was the force behind defeating the CBS mechanical wheel and in forming the NTSC (National Television Standards Committee) color committee of all the US manufacturers.”

“NBC had been doing daily closed circuit color test shows (the same show every day for 2 1/2 years) from 3H and the Colonial Theater. I was part of that testing and Sarnoff had made me a member of one of the committees”

“When the FCC chose the RCA system, the General was in our control room in Studio 3H. I was on the phone with the FCC…I turned to the General and gave him a prepared message. “General Sarnoff, the FCC informs you that they have unanimously approved of the NTSC system for color.” He grinned, blew smoke from those over-sized cigars he inhaled and thanked everyone! Great memory.”

Later that day, at 5:31:17, NBC became the first to broadcast in the newly approved color system with a color slide of the NBC Chimes.
At 6:30 that evening, NBC aired a special half hour color show with David Sarnoff, Pat Weaver and Jimmy Durnate.

The next day RCA had full page ads in several major newspapers, some of which can be seen in this video of the announcement that ran on Saturday night, right in the middle of NBC’s biggest show, “Your Show Of Shows”.

The pace at RCA, NBC and AT&T was fast and furious, because just 14 days after the announcement came this….

The First Rose Parade Color Cast…NBC, January 1, 1954

This was the first ever national west coast – to east coast colorcast using the newly approved National Television System Committee (NTSC) standards.

AT&T Long Lines had hurriedly configured a color capable network of 21 television stations across the United States. RCA Broadcast had rushed transmitter modification equipment to the affiliates on the Bell color network path.

RCA had also built a small pre-production run of 200 color receivers. This set was designated as the “Model 5”, the fifth in their series of experimental color sets. The Model 5 was provided to NBC affiliates and RCA Victor distributors for the Rose Parade and each location had a full house for the event.

The “Model 5” was the prototype for the first RCA production Color Receiver…the Model CT-100. Starting March 25, 1954, 5,000 CT-100’s were manufactured in RCA’s Bloomington, Indiana plant. The set was named, “The Merrill”.

Below is the story The New York Times wrote about the color cast a few days later….

“Color television’s most exacting test came with the National Broadcasting Company’s outdoor pickup of the Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena California. The New Years Day Program was the first prolonged presentation of color video under circumstances where, unlike a studio show, neither lighting, nor movement could be controlled. All things considered, the results were exceedingly good.

The Tournament of Roses parade had the largest audience thus far, probably several thousand persons to see color TV at one time. The American Telephone and Telegraph Company, in a amazingly speedy engineering accomplishment, put together a color network of twenty-two cities to which the Radio Corporation of America had rushed equipment. A number of other set manufacturers also held demonstrations of color receivers in different cities.

With so many sets in operation, each subject to relatively critical tuning controls and possible vagaries of electronics, the quality of the tinted images from Pasadena undoubtedly varied on some receivers. But, overall, there is no question that the essence of the parades panorama of color was projected successfully on home screens some 3000 miles away. In comparison the monochrome pictures seen on existing receivers seemed virtually meaningless.

As the two NBC color cameras scanned a succession of elaborate floats, assorted military units, and other parade features, the scene was a veritable bevy of hues and depth; at other times the close-up was better. Occasionally there were overcasts of one tint or another but these disappeared with movement of the camera.

To concentrate so much color information within the frame of a small screen would be difficult for even the most gifted artist doing a “still” painting. To do it with constantly moving pictures seemed pure wizardry. Especially interesting from a technical standpoint was the remarkable stability of the individual colors as the NBC camera moved quickly from left to right and back again. On one set at least there was no perceptible streaking.

The Tournament of Roses parade, received locally from 12:15 to 1:45 P.M., did emphasize several problems for the home viewer. In the broad daylight and sunshine, it was necessary to draw the shades and cut out all glare if the colors on the TV screen were not to be washed out. This frankly, was a nuisance.

Another difficulty related to the size of the picture. The disadvantage of a small color image – roughly 12 1/2 inches – was much more noticeable with the parade than with earlier studio programs. And, since it is necessary to sit much farther away than from a black and white set, one wonders how big a color tube will be practical. Finding a happy compromise between picture size and viewing distance could be tricky for the engineer and the viewer, particularly if the latter must start rearranging furniture again.” -Bobby Ellerbee

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ojJCJIaDp9Q

Airing during Sid Caesar’s “Your Show of Shows”, NBC spokesman Richard Harkness announced that RCA had won the “compatible color television” standards fight …
[ad_2]

Source

SPECIAL 3 DAY BIRTH OF COLOR EVENT: DAY 2, PART 5

[ad_1]
SPECIAL 3 DAY BIRTH OF COLOR EVENT: DAY 2, PART 5

Today is the 63rd anniversary of commercial color broadcasting in America. Over the weekend, Eyes Of A Generation will continue to tell the most complete story of the development of RCA’s Compatible Color System, ever presented on the internet. Pass the word! More below the line. -Bobby Ellerbee
_____________________________________________________
THE RCA RED BOOK…The 74 Page Equipment Sections

For your convenience, I have broken out two parts of the huge 699 page report and this is the first part. I have included at the top of the PDF, the page index for all the may parts of the first commercial color system from RCA. AT THE END…a rare Price List!!!

Tomorrow, I will post the second part…the fantastic history of the color tests, as they move from the first studios in Washington, to Studio 3H and finally The Colonial Theater in New York. Enjoy! -Bobby Ellerbee

http://eyesofageneration.com/rca-red-book-equipment-holy-grail-early-color-television-history-part-1-2/

RCA Red Book, “The Equipment”…Holy Grail Of Early Color Television History, Part 1 of 2 – Eyes Of A Generation…Television’s Living History

In 1953, RCA submitted 700 pages of documentation to the FCC as a “Petition For Approval of Color Standards for RCA Color Television System.” Due to the bright red cover, it is generally referred to as “The Red Book,” and every detail you could possibly want to know about RCA’s color system is incl…
[ad_2]

Source

SPECIAL 3 DAY BIRTH OF COLOR EVENT: DAY 2, PART 6

[ad_1]
SPECIAL 3 DAY BIRTH OF COLOR EVENT: DAY 2, PART 6

Today is the 63rd anniversary of commercial color broadcasting in America. Over the weekend, Eyes Of A Generation will continue to tell the most complete story of the development of RCA’s Compatible Color System, ever presented on the internet. Pass the word! More below the line. -Bobby Ellerbee
____________________________________________________
The CBS Chromacorder System…An “Also Ran” In NTSC Color

After RCA’s challenge to the FCC over the adaption of the CBS Field Sequential System in the early 50s, more and more manufacturers and industry leaders were betting on RCA’s Compatible Color System. Even CBS!

To keep a hand in the game, and try and salvage some of the millions they had spent acquiring a tube and set maker, CBS came up with the Chromacorder System. In essence, the camera used the old Field Sequential color wheel, and set the signal to the Chromacorder unit that converted it to NTSC Compatible Color standards.

In October of 1953, a big demonstration was held in New York for the FCC, NTSC and others. CBS, RCA/NBC and Dumont participated by broadcasting their own color demonstrations. Starting on Page 35, of the Broadcasting Magazine issue, you can read all of the interesting details and see what not so good things most had to say about the CBS portion.

http://americanradiohistory.com/Archive-BC/BC-1953/BC-1953-10-12.pdf

For a deeper dip into the Chromacorder system, our friend Steve McVoy’s excellent site has this article (link below) with 5 very interesting links/parts, including the work CBS was doing with GE, who was going to supply the camera equipment if things went well, but they didn’t. The camera in the photo is one of the GE black and whites with the CBS Field Sequential color wheel inside, and there are more detailed photos in the Early Television article.

http://www.earlytelevision.org/chromacoder.html

More Tomorrow! -Bobby Ellerbee


[ad_2]

Source

SPECIAL 3 DAY BIRTH OF COLOR EVENT: DAY 3, PART 7

[ad_1]
SPECIAL 3 DAY BIRTH OF COLOR EVENT: DAY 3, PART 7

Yesterday was the 63rd anniversary of commercial color broadcasting in America. Today, Eyes Of A Generation will present the last parts of the most complete story of the development of RCA’s Compatible Color System, ever presented on the internet. Pass the word! More below the line. -Bobby Ellerbee
____________________________________________________
THE RCA RED BOOK…The 89 Page HISTORY Section

To me, this is the most fascinating part, because here, we get complete details of not only the Wardman Park, NBC 3H and Colonial Theater color studios themselves, but descriptions of what happened in them.

Near the middle, there is a long stretch of log pages, but don’t let that stop you…there is much more interesting info after that, including rarely seen photos of the NBC 3H control room, the first color remote unit and much more.

I knew that Nanette Fabray had been a big part of the early color test shows, but who knew that TV artist John Gnagy was too? That and a dozen more surprises are ready to reveal themselves.

By the way, in the post part of this story, there is link to the entire 699 page Red Book, which is downloadable.-Bobby Ellerbee

http://eyesofageneration.com/rca-red-book-history-holy-grail-early-color-television-history-part-2-2/

RCA Red Book, “The History”…Holy Grail Of Early Color Television History, Part 2 of 2 – Eyes Of A Generation…Television’s Living History

In 1953, RCA submitted 700 pages of documentation to the FCC as a “Petition For Approval of Color Standards for RCA Color Television System”. Due to the bright red cover, it is generally referred to as The Red Book, and every detail you could possibly want to know about RCA’s color system is includ…
[ad_2]

Source

SPECIAL 3 DAY BIRTH OF COLOR EVENT: DAY 3, PART 8

[ad_1]
SPECIAL 3 DAY BIRTH OF COLOR EVENT: DAY 3, PART 8

Yesterday was the 63rd anniversary of commercial color broadcasting in America. Now, Eyes Of A Generation presents the last part of the most complete story of the development of RCA’s Compatible Color System, ever presented on the internet. BUT…we open a new chapter on a new present day survivor of these earliest days of color. -Bobby Ellerbee
___________________________________________________
First RCA TK40 Prototype Color Camera & A Present Day Mystery

Before the juicy part, in this March 1952 issue of RCA Review, on Page 11, there is an article on the first TK40 prototype camera chain, on Page 27 an article on the TK40’s new dichroic cross image color optical system, on Page 58 a story on the first battery powered portable camera, and on Page 107, a story on how NBC Studio 3H was converted to color. This was also in today’s Red Book post, but the images are better here.

In all the 7 parts before this, we have seen the RCA color camera develop from the boxy Wardman Park Model, to Studio 3H’s more familiar looking black “coffin cameras” with their rounded viewfinder, to the Colonial Theater’s silver TK40 prototypes.

Here, on page 11, we get to see the first ever TK40 prototype, and a full description. Notice that it, like the 3H cameras is dark, maybe even black, and notice the side mounted focus knob.

NOW, THE BIG REVEAL…I think the historic camera shown in this photo is alive and well. For some months now, I have been in touch with a collector who’s TK40 has the drill holes for this side mounted focus knob. The late television historian and engineer Ed Reitan had come to the same conclusion.

At present, the camera is being carefully restored, but close examination has lead us all to believe that the surviving camera is indeed Prototype 1 of the RCA TK40.

It is believed that the camera was used at the RCA Lab for testing while the other 3 TK40 prototypes were being built in Camden. It was repainted silver before being sent to The Colonial with the other three, but it was the only one that, even after the paint job, still showed the mounting holes for the side focus knob. The other three were built with the focus control in the right pan handle. That pan handle focus was added to this camera, but the hole cut is very rough, unlike the machine cut hole for all other TK40s and 41s.

In a few months, after the restoration is complete, I will lay out the whole story along with lots of photos. In the meantime, I hope you have enjoyed this special presentation. All of this information, and much more is archived on the all new Eyes Of A Generation website. -Bobby Ellerbee

http://www.americanradiohistory.com/Archive-RCA-Review/RCA-Review-1952-Mar.pdf


[ad_2]

Source

A TV fan sees his past through the eyes of antique cameras

[ad_1]
Just In From Associated Press…A Story About Yours Truly!

Here is the link to a story just released on my cameras from our friend Frazier Moore at The Associated Press. This is the “something special” I told you was coming. There are more special things coming this weekend, so stay tuned! -Bobby Ellerbee

http://bigstory.ap.org/article/7929799b358b4a549c0ee4382638f29e/tv-fan-sees-his-past-through-eyes-antique-cameras

A TV fan sees his past through the eyes of antique cameras

WINDER, Ga. (AP) — What does Bobby Ellerbee see when he looks at his antique TV cameras? He sees a bit of what they’ve seen since the birth of television. His cameras are now dormant, decommissioned…
[ad_2]

Source

December 15, 1965…WSB Atlanta Goes Color With First RCA TK42

[ad_1]
December 15, 1965…WSB Atlanta Goes Color With First RCA TK42

It was a Thursday morning surprise Atlanta viewers got when ‘Today In Georgia’ made its unannounced color debut, making WSB the first station in Georgia with live local color. They were also the first station here able to broadcast color, which began around 1956. WSB was one of the original NBC affiliates on both the radio and television networks.

I’ve had this photo for a long time of that first “colorvised” show, but never had a firm date to back up to the fact that WSB got the very first TK42. The story was, that RCA wanted to field test the new camera on ‘The Popeye Club’. It was the country’s top local kids show and RCA thought the colorful clothing of the 30 or so “clubhouse gang” members for each show would be a good color test.

An RCA engineer came to Atlanta with the camera to set it up and tweak it, and was still doing that when the second one arrived in mid January. I think he stayed in Atlanta for about three months doing tests.

Georgia legend Ruth Kent who hosted ‘Today In Georgia’ is seen here on that first day with some of the WSB management and engineering people. Notice the cameraman is not using pan handles, but the built in D handles (zoom and focus) on the back of the camera. That’s what they were designed for, but the ergonomic idea by our friend Harry Wright, at RCA, faded away as operators began to ad pan handles. -Bobby Ellerbee


[ad_2]

Source

December 15, 1977…A Sex Pistols Odyssey Begins For NBC And Me!

[ad_1]
December 15, 1977…A Sex Pistols Odyssey Begins For NBC And Me!

On this day in 1977, one of the biggest stories in that year’s music history began, and I was part of it.

On December 15, two days before their scheduled appearance on ‘Saturday Nigh Live’, The Sex Pistols were denied visas to the US, which was a huge story in itself. In New York, a last minute substitution was made and Elvis Costello filled in…that infamous night got him banned from SNL. Here is a short video explanation of what happened. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6H_6pHfKRqU

After missing SNL, The Sex Pistols were finally granted visas and flew in to Atlanta on Thursday, January 5, 1978. They were supposed to have debuted at CBGB’s in NYC, but the gig at The Great Southeast Music Hall turned out to be their American debut show and that was big news.

At the time, I was the mid day DJ at Atlanta’s legendary 96 Rock. After I got off the air at 2 PM, I went over to the venue for sound check and somehow, Sid Vicious and I hit it off and I spent the day and most of the night with the band. I somehow also became their host and driver too, taking them to eat and to a leather shop across from Margret Mitchel’s house at Peachtree and 14th Street on “the strip”.

After the amazing sold out show, they asked me to take them bar hopping and I did. It was such a wild night, the Atlanta Constitution had a story on our little traveling party the next day, but thank God they didn’t get the “hole” story! I’ve only told the curator at The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame all the details, but it’s safe to assume that there was sex, drugs and rock and roll that night.

The photos below are the only pix of Elvis Costello on SNL that infamous night and the pix of me with Sid Vicious and Johnny Rotten (leopard coat) were taken by Sex Pistol drummer Paul Cook. -Bobby Ellerbee




[ad_2]

Source

December 14, 1957…Hanna-Barbera And “Ruff & Ready” Debut

[ad_1]

December 14, 1957…Hanna-Barbera And “Ruff & Ready” Debut

This is the very first episode of ‘Ruff & Ready’. It aired on NBC December 14, 1957 and was the first cartoon ever produced by Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera’s new company.

Ruff (the cat) was voiced by Don Messick, and Reddy was voiced by Daws Butler. Messick also narrated.

New Mexico native William Hanna and New York City born Joseph Barbera first teamed together while working at the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer cartoon studio in 1939. Their first directorial project was a cartoon entitled ‘Puss Gets the Boot’ (1940), which served as the genesis of the popular ‘Tom and Jerry’ series of cartoon theatricals.

Hanna and Barbera served as the directors and story men for the shorts for eighteen years. Seven cartoons of the series won seven Oscars between 1943 and 1953. In 1955, Hanna and Barbera became the producers in charge of the MGM animation studio’s output. Outside of their work on the MGM shorts, the two men moonlighted on outside projects, including the origin animated title sequences and commercials for ‘I Love Lucy’.

MGM decided in early 1957 to close its cartoon studio. Hanna and Barbera, contemplating their future while completing the final ‘Tom and Jerry’ and ‘Droopy’ cartoons, began producing animated television commercials.

During their last year at MGM, they developed a concept for an animated television program about a dog and cat pair who found themselves in various misadventures. After they failed to convince MGM to back their venture, live-action director George Sidney, who’d worked with Hanna and Barbera on several of his features – most notably Anchors Aweigh in 1945 – offered to serve as their business partner and convinced Screen Gems, the television subsidiary of Columbia Pictures, to make a deal with the animation producers.

Screen Gems took a twenty percent ownership in Hanna and Barbera’s new company, H-B Enterprises, and provided working capital. H-B Enterprises opened for business in rented offices on the lot of Kling Studios (formerly Charlie Chaplin Studios) on July 7, 1957, two months after the MGM animation studio closed down. The rest, as they say, is history! -Bobby Ellerbee

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zQKU9ChKUFU

Visit www.cartoons-forum.org to get retro cartoons of many cartoon studios,such as Disney,Hanna-Barbera,Ruby-Spears,Filmation, etc. You can also be part of o…
[ad_2]

Source

Would YOU Like To BE, David Letterman? Good! Click The Video!

[ad_1]

Would YOU Like To BE, David Letterman? Good! Click The Video!

This is one of the reasons we all love Letterman. In this great piece, we get to “be” Dave for a few minutes at the opening of his show. With a hand held cameraman “as Dave”, and Letterman walking behind him to talk, we get a rare look behind the scenes as they enter Studio 6A and begin the show.

Although he is no longer with us daily on TV, he is always in our hearts. Rock on Big Dave! -Bobby Ellerbee

[ad_2]

Source

Ever Wonder Where NBC’s Studio 6B Control Room Is?

[ad_1]

Ever Wonder Where NBC’s Studio 6B Control Room Is?

Here is your answer! As part of a surprise military homecoming, Dwayne Johnson and Jimmy Fallon go up the left isle in the audience and at about 1:25, go behind the sound booth that feeds the house monitors, and into a 7th floor door that leads to the “Tonight” show’s control room.

The surprise unfolds at the second tier producers console, with the director and TD down on the first tier console. Thanks to “Tonight” cameraman Rich Carter for the video. -Bobby Ellerbee

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tn58zvm-D0U

Jimmy and Dwayne pull off an epic surprise for Tonight Show staffer and Army vet Karina by bringing her husband and Air Force sergeant, Todd, home early for …
[ad_2]

Source

December 12, 1937…Television’s First Mobile Units Delivered

[ad_1]
December 12, 1937…Television’s First Mobile Units Delivered

On December 12, 1937, the world’s first electronic television remote units were delivered by RCA to NBC in New York City. The dual vehicle system, consisting two, 26 foot buses included one for production and one for transmission.

The production bus provided two portable single-lens Iconoscope cameras and the support equipment. The transmission bus contained the transmitter with a 50 foot antenna which could relay a remote pickup to the Empire State Building from as far away as 25 miles.

The units were field tested for about six months before being returned to RCA’s Camden plant for modifications in the synchronizing equipment. Another modification was the installation of an coaxial feed out the transmitter truck, which allowed them to shoot at 30 Rock’s sunken ice skating rink.

The trucks came back in late August, and on September 15, 1938, W2XBS began a weekly series produced entirely from the trucks. The “Man On The Street” show interviewed passers-by at different locations each week up until the 1939 World’s Fair opening in New York. By the time the World’s Fair came to town, NBC had a lot of experience with the units and used them heavily there.

Also shown here is the world’s first color mobile unit, which used one of these original 1938 trucks as part of the experimental field testing of color broadcasting. Although the interior had been totally retrofitted with all new color equipment, the use of one truck was now possible becuase of new, improved microwave equipment. The date for the conversion is early 1951.

I have seen photos of these trucks with RCA TK30s, which would put them in use in 1946, and I suspect they were used locally as a black and white unit until NBC bought new, larger bus units around 1950. Unfortunately, no one knows what became of them. -Bobby Ellerbee




[ad_2]

Source

Happy Trails To The Great Verne Lundquist…

[ad_1]

Happy Trails To The Great Verne Lundquist…

Verne Lundquist, whose voice has filled living rooms and bars all over the country on every fall Saturday over the last 17 years as the lead college football voice of CBS, called his final game.

We’ll miss you Uncle Verne! -Bobby Ellerbee

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W73lgQ6–Hs


[ad_2]

Source

ULTRA RARE…FIRST “TONIGHT” SHOW, Part 1 of 2

[ad_1]

ULTRA RARE…FIRST “TONIGHT” SHOW, Part 1 of 2

To get the full effect of this historic footage, that is just now become available online, make sure you see and read Part 2, posted earlier today.

This is Monday, September 27. 1954…debut night, and full of surprises for everyone…including those of us watching now. Steve Allen’s surprises seem to be a never-ending cascade, starting with all sort of last minute changes, and a flat tire on the NBC Cadillac mobile unit shooting Times Square live outside.

Another surprise comes at 6:30 when Steve notices the open bottle of Knickerbocker Beer is gone, that we see him with in Part 2, the first 15 minutes of the show. Early on, the 15 minute “Steve Allen Show” was fed only to WNBT, but local stations watching the network preview monitor started asking for it at 11:15 as in those days, most late news casts were only 15 minutes. Unfortunately, there are many mixed details about that part.

At around 15:30 we see sidekick, and announcer Gene Rayburn do a comedy routine with Steve, and at 24:40, we get a look at something we had only heard about, but never seen, as Steve throws it to Gene for a news update.

Until today, I had never seen either of these two historic videos, but was thrilled to find them and watch. I was not even sure if they existed, as all I’ve ever seen is a few short clips, but thanks to Anthony DeFlorio, who just posted them online, we can finally see what we have only heard and read about for so long, play out on our screens. Enjoy and share! -Bobby Ellerbee

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CW4GXtJ_VgY

NBC network. First Tonight Show. Monday, September 27, 1954. 11:30 pm to midnight portion. Live from the Hudson Theater in New York.
[ad_2]

Source

ULTRA RARE…FIRST “TONIGHT” SHOW, PART 2 of 2

[ad_1]

ULTRA RARE…FIRST “TONIGHT” SHOW, PART 2 of 2

In Part 1, which will follow shortly, you will see the first half hour of the first ever “Tonight” show, which began at 11:30 PM EST on the NBC Television Network on September 27, 1954…BUT…

WHAT YOU ARE ABOUT TO SEE HERE IS, IN ESSENCE, THE FIRST 15 MINUTES OF THE FIRST EVER “TONIGHT” SHOW.

This is something most have never seen, or even knew of, because from this debut video on, till 1965, the 105 minute block of “Tonight” show programming began at 11:15. This is the first 15 minutes of the debut night of September 27, 1954.

It is a little confusing, but I’ll lay it out for you as best I can. This video is the first ever 15 minute version of “The Steve Allen Show”. It is from their new home at The Hudson Theater, where “Tonight” stayed until the show moved to Studio 6B with Jack Paar when the show went color.

For the past year or more, Allan’s show had been a 40 minute local New York show (11:20-12:00), done from the NBC studios leased from WOR at 101 West 67th Street. It was Allen’s success there that caused NBC boss Pat Weaver to create “Tonight”, with Allen as host.

As you will see on the NBC log below, in the Comment section, the 11:15-11:30 segment was officially called “The Steve Allen Show”, but in reality, it was the start of the 105 minute “Tonight” show block of programming.

Initially that portion was only seen on WNBC in New York, but over time, stations watching on network preview monitors began to ask to join at 11:15 to follow thier local newscast.

Other affiliates joined at 11:30 at the “second opening” which you will see alluded to here, and at the top of the next video in Part 1.

By early 1965, only 43 of the 190 affiliated stations carried the entire 105 minute show. After February 1965, Johnny Carson refused to appear until 11:30, and Ed McMahon “hosted” the 11:15 segment. Carson had never been happy with this 11:15 arrangement, and he finally insisted that the show’s start time be changed to 11:30. As a result, the two-opening practice was eliminated in December 1966. More to come! -Bobby Ellerbee

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AeIBJst6evA

Local New York Channel 4 show sponsored by Knickerbocker Beer at 11:15 pm. This episode aired Monday, Sept. 27, 1954 and co-starred Skitch Henderson, Steve a…
[ad_2]

Source

Scroll Up