Posts in Category: Broadcast History

MUST SEE! A True Genesis Moment In Visual Comedy!

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MUST SEE! A True Genesis Moment In Visual Comedy!

What you are about to see is the seed that grew into a forest. This single clip has been cited by Ernie Kovacs, Sid Caesar, Mel Brooks, Rowan & Martin and Monty Python as the root of the comedic arts taking on the very medium by which it is being relayed.

Here, the “fourth wall” is not only broken, but gleefully demolished by a comedy team that few in our generation have ever heard of… Olsen And Johnson.

It’s near impossible to describe what happens here, so you’ll have to watch it, and you be glad you did because this is the first time in the history of moving images that this has been done…and it’s done quite well given the technology of the time. Among other firsts you’ll see here, this could also be the first “move within a movie” overlay of characters “off screen” talking to characters “on screen”.

This is from the film ‘Hellzapoppin’ from 1941, which was based on the long running Broadway play of the same name that starred Olson and Johnson. They wrote the play and are legendary for their volume and range of material. They were famous from the 1920s through the early 50s, but having played more on vaudeville and broadway stages, their legacy is not a lasting as their contemporaries, like Laurel And Hardy or The Marx Brothers who were mostly film stars.

The setup for the brilliant technical manipulations of the film begins with The Three Stooges own Shemp Howard playing the part of a projectionist having a fight. The premise is that this is happening in the very theater that each audience is seeing this movie. This has the effect of taking the audience out of spectator mode and making them participants in the experience.

The consequences of the disturbance in the projection room are played out on the big screen in a way no one had ever seen before and a lot of gags from the film spilled over into the Warner Brothers cartoons of the era. I have yet to see the entire film, but after seeing this, I can’t wait! Enjoy and SHARE! – Bobby Ellerbee

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ouLlA6IQZGI

[From “Kovacs Corner” on YouTube.com] – Returning to what I believe was a great influence on Ernie Kovacs’ comedic style is the zany 1941 film “Hellzapoppin’…
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Don Pardo On NBC’s Studio 8H…Remembering It’s Grandeur

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Don Pardo On NBC’s Studio 8H…Remembering It’s Grandeur

http://youtu.be/v9AkAO0L2qo
At the link is a very unique perspective on how Studio 8H has changed since the days of radio by none other than NBC best eye witness, Don Pardo.

Below, I have included a diagram of how the 8th floor was laid out in the original 1933 floorplans. When it was built, it was more commonly referred to as “the Auditorium Studio”.

8H was not converted to television until January 30, 1950 but inhouse remotes were done from here as early as November of 1943 with Iconoscope field cameras. Those were ‘The Voice Of Firestone’ radio-TV simulcasts, as is the event in the two photos that are from a 1949 simulcast. Studio 8G was converted in ’48 and the four camera inhouse mobile unit here was switched in the 8G control room.
Enjoy and share! – Bobby Ellerbee




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Videotape Ground Zero…A First Hand Account From Fred Pfost

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Videotape Ground Zero…A First Hand Account From Fred Pfost

This is a fantastic, first hand account from Ampex videotape team member Fred Pfost of the entire process of creating the VR-1000… the world’s first commercially viable videotape machine.

This is a rare front row seat to one of television’s biggest ever moments and beautifully told by someone who was there. There are details here you will never see anywhere else, so save this historic treasure and share it with you friends! – Bobby Ellerbee

http://www.ieeeghn.org/wiki/index.php/First-Hand:My_Ten_Years_at_Ampex_and_the_Development_of_the_Video_Recorder

First-Hand:My Ten Years at Ampex and the Development of the Video Recorder – GHN: IEEE Global…

When I first started working at Ampex on February 4, 1952 (4 days after my last final at The University of California in Berkeley, California where I earned my bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering) I spent about a week being introduced around the company to various people and departm…
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Meet The Men Who Gave Us Videotape!

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Meet The Men Who Gave Us Videotape!

In the photo, you see the Ampex Videotape Team…the men who created the VR-1000 and revolutionized broadcasting. Pictured with this six man team is the unit Ampex took to Chicago for the legendary demonstration at the 1956 NAB Convention, to the amazement of all who attended.

In today’s next post, you will be able to read the fantastic first hand account of how all this happened by team member Fred Pfost. To give you an idea of what’s coming, here is Fred’s description of the events of the week of the demonstration in which Ampex took almost 100 orders for the $50,000 VR-1000.

“On April 16, 1956 (a Monday) we demonstrated the Mark lV recorder at an NARTB convention (National Association of Radio and Television Broadcasters), today renamed the NAB (National Association of Broadcasters), at the Conrad Hilton Hotel in Chicago.”

“On the Saturday before the convention started (April 14) we demonstrated the recorder for about 300 CBS affiliates meeting at the Conrad Hilton Hotel. I recorded (from behind a curtain) the opening speech of Bill Lodge, V.P. of CBS, who described all the activities that CBS had been involved in during the past year and that he had a big surprise to announce. After I rewound the tape and pushed the play button for this group of executives they saw the instantaneous replay of the speech.”

“There were about ten seconds of total silence until they suddenly realized just what they were seeing on the twenty video monitors located around the room. Pandemonium broke out with wild clapping and cheering for five full minutes. This was the first time in history that a large group (outside of Ampex) had ever seen a high quality, instantaneous replay of any event. My wife, JoAnn, who had accompanied us to Chicago (as a reward from Ampex for her patience during my long overtime hours pursuing this development) and I consider this demonstration one of the most exciting experiences of our lives. The experience still brings tears to my eyes when I recall this event.”

Enjoy and share! – Bobby Ellerbee


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Unaired NBC Pardo Tribute Tape From 2004…

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Unaired NBC Pardo Tribute Tape From 2004…

This is very good and features bits I have never seen before. There’s even a clip of Pardo dropping in on Letterman announcer Bill Windel, and much more. This appears to be from an NBC party in celebration of Don’s 60 years with the company which would have been in 2004. Enjoy and share! – Bobby Ellerbee

http://youtu.be/gPL-cSEpdZA?t=1sI helped with the clips for this video tribute to DON PARDO for a private NBC party in his honor. This never aired. Thought I’d post it on the sad day of Par…
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Brian Williams, ‘Nightly News’ Tribute To Don Pardo…

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Brian Williams, ‘Nightly News’ Tribute To Don Pardo…

http://www.nbcnews.com/nightly-news/brian-williams-remembers-nbc-colleague-voice-snl-don-pardo-n184371
Here a shot taken in NBC’s 8H last night as Brian Williams closed the ‘Nightly News’ broadcast with a tribute that was, as you would expect, one of the best ever. In the video linked above, he reminded us that every American has heard Don’s voice over a career that spanned four generations, and started two weeks after D Day. Enjoy and share! – Bobby Ellerbee


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What Makes These Two Video Clips So Unusual? Read On!

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What Makes These Two Video Clips So Unusual? Read On!

Part of the answer is Gene Roddenberry, who was born 93 years ago today.

The other part of the answer is ‘The Lieutenant’ which was the first show Roddenberry wrote and produced. That’s where he first met “Spock and Uhura”…Leonard Nimoy and Nichole Nichols. At the embedded link, you see Nimoy in Episode 22, and at this link, you’ll see Nichole Nichols in her first ever television appearance in Episode 1.
http://youtu.be/3E5jtSF12U4?t=1m5s

By the way, the lady in the Nemoy clip is Roddenberry’s soon to be wife…Majel Barrett who he married in ’66 after a divorce from his first wife.

‘The Lieutenant’ ran on NBC in the fall of 1963 but only lasted one season. Roddenberry had always loved science fiction, so in 1964 he developed the idea of a new series about space exploration — “a Wagon Train to the stars,” as he described it — and shopped it around to several studios, most of which were uninterested.

Desilu Productions finally expressed an interest, and NBC agreed to run it after two pilots were done. ‘Star Trek’ debuted September 8, 1966. His new wife, Majel Barrett, provided the voice for the Enterprise’s computer. Ratings were never great, and it only aired for three seasons, but it was a huge success in syndication, and has since spawned an animated series, four spin-off live-action TV series, 11 feature films and a worldwide army of “trekkies”. Enjoy and share! – Bobby Ellerbee

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5fxJdxL3NJs

(Season 1, Episode 22) In the Highest Tradition http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0631545/ creator :Gene Roddenberry
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August 19, 1906…The Father Of Electronic Television Was Born

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August 19, 1906…The Father Of Electronic Television Was Born

108 years ago today, Philo Taylor Farnsworth was born in Beaver, Utah and by age 14, he had worked out the principles for the Image Dissector tube which occurred to him while plowing back and forth on the family farm.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HHy04aN0jfI
The video at this link was done by his great granddaughter, Jessica Farnsworth and is full of rare color film of some of Philo’s first demonstrations in San Francisco and Philadelphia and is well worth the ten minutes it takes to watch.

The photo below was taken after Farnsworth’s only appearance on the technology he created. In June of 1957, he was a guest on ‘I’ve Got A Secret’ and this clip is loaded to start at the beginning of his segment. http://youtu.be/3cspYZyGp1A?t=13m21s

The lady is his wife and assistant, Pem Farnsworth. Enjoy and share! – Bobby Ellerbee


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Please Join Me In…Remembering Don Pardo

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Please Join Me In…Remembering Don Pardo

Instead of me posting a lot of clips and history, I would like to invite you to contribute your stories, photos and videos here in the comments section. Let’s make this a celebration of a life well lived!

I’ll start with a brief note on one this photo, one of Don’s first NBC publicity pictures. It was taken in 1944, the year Pardo joined NBC as radio staff announcer. WEAF was not only NBC’s flagship radio station, but the first in New York City, signing on March 2, 1922. In 1946, the call letters were changed to WNBC, then to WRCA in 1954, and back to WNBC in 1960. Thanks to John Schipp for the photo. – Bobby Ellerbee


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The End Of An Era…

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The End Of An Era…

Don Pardo, the Voice of ‘Saturday Night Live,’ Dies at 96

An announcer whose career began with radio and grew with popular game shows like “The Price Is Right,” he was best known for decades of introducing stars on the sketch comedy.
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ULTRA RARE! ‘The Match Game’…Unaired Pilot Episode

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ULTRA RARE! ‘The Match Game’…Unaired Pilot Episode

This was taped in NBC’s 8H on December 5, 1962 with Peggy Cass and Peter Lind Hayes as guest panellist. Gene Rayburn is the host and Johnny Olson the announcer, but as you will see, the game has changed a lot and so have the questions.

In the closing credits, many of the names of those positions that require a credit are blank, but our friend Dick DeBartolo’s name is there. Dick was the man that wrote the questions and when NBC threatened to cancel the show with six weeks left to go on that first season, Dick saved the day.

It was his idea to change the mundane line of questions from things like “name a kind of muffin” to questions that opened up a more risque train of thought, like “Mary has a nice set of ____”. I filled in the blank with “china”…what was your answer? LOL!

‘The Match Game’ debuted on December 31, 1962 with Arlene Francis and Skitch Henderson as celebrity panelists. The final NBC episode was September 26, 1969. Thanks to Paul Duca for finding this. Enjoy and share! – Bobby Ellerbee

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CAylZ3jxNdg

Digitally Enhanced 2011
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You Never Know What You’ll Find, But There Is TREASURE Here!

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You Never Know What You’ll Find, But There Is TREASURE Here!

At the 2:16 mark, there is a huge surprise! What you will see are a couple of the first non RCA portable cameras in use!

The nearest camera is a CBS/Ikegami prototype camera. CBS contracted with Ikegami to make about 10 of these. Half were sent to CBS owned KMOX in St Louis for field testing in their news department, and the other half went to New York.

The ABC camera is one of several they built in Los Angeles for use on ‘Wide World Of Sports’ and other remote and sports shows. It was made from RCA TK30s.

I can’t make out the camera furthest away, but if ABC and CBS were there (at what is probably a NASA event at Cape Kennedy), you can bet NBC was too. NBC’s portables at this time were triangular shaped, but that is a long camera so I don’t know what that is. Maybe an RCA prototype.

Given that we see RCA TK42s at WCAU in Philadelphia and a Norelco, this has to be sometime after 1965 and most likely 1967. Thanks to our friend in Australia, Troy Walters for sharing this bit of nostalgia with us! Enjoy and share! – Bobby Ellerbee

#t=150″ target=”_blank”>https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JWDT33pM2sM #t=150

It was for me (in television} – Jobs in radio and television in the 1960’s
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A Real Artifact…’I Love Lucy’ Daytime Debut Date Revealed In Promo Script

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A Real Artifact…’I Love Lucy’ Daytime Debut Date Revealed In Promo Script

This is the CBS announce booth copy from Monday, December 29, 1958. Finally, we have the date that CBS added Lucy reruns to their morning roster…January 5, 1959. Until now, all we had was a year, but not a date.

‘The Lucy – Desi Comedy Hour’ debuted in November of 1957 and I don’t think ‘I Love Lucy’ reruns had been on the air since late 1957. The last new show of the original series was broadcast May 6 of ’57 and was followed by reruns until the new CBS fall schedule debuted.

The ‘December Bride’ promo reminds us that it too was a Desilu production. Thanks to our friend Gady Reinhold for sharing this with us. You never know where you’ll come across lost pieces of television’s history. Enjoy and share. – Bobby Ellerbee


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CBS Broadcast Center…Studio 41, 1975

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CBS Broadcast Center…Studio 41, 1975

Remember ‘Beacon Hill’? I didn’t think so…it was a huge waste of time and money for CBS. This was basically “borrowed” version of ‘Upstairs, Downstairs’ about a wealthy 1920s Boston family and their Irish servants. The show lasted less than a season, but did leave behind some interesting photos that were taken by our friend Gady Reinhold.

Studio 41 is the largest of the Broadcast Center studios at over 8,100 square feet. In these shots we see four or five Norelco PC60, dual cabled cameras, at work with one on a Chapman Elektra crane. A couple of the PC60s have the plastic viewfinder hoods that were made in the BC prop shop.

I never knew that Robert Stigwood and RSO was involved in television but they are listed as the producers. Enjoy and share! – Bobby Ellerbee




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Ultra Rare! The Photo And The Video…’Hallmark Hall Of Fame’

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Ultra Rare! The Photo And The Video…’Hallmark Hall Of Fame’

http://youtu.be/cpbPXYsOE6A?t=14m20s
On October 18, 1964, Hallmark’s production of the popular Broadway musical “The Fantasticks” came to television. At the link above, the video is cued to start at the head of this scene in the photo that shows John Davidson speaking to his father, who is played by Bert Lahr.

This was done live to tape at NBC Brooklyn. Although videotape could be edited then, it was still done manually by splicing so the prefered method was still to go live in the east and tape for the west, just like in the kinescope days.

‘The Hallmark Hall of Fame’ debuted on Christmas Eve 1951, with the world premiere of “Amahl and the Night Visitors” on NBC TV. Until 1955, the production schedule was near frantic with an average of 40 new presentations a year. In 1954, the show began color broadcasts and in 1956, it went to a bi monthly format with six or seven shows a year.

The Hallmark anthology series was one of the highest rated and most awarded in television history. For nearly three decades the series was broadcast by NBC, but the network cancelled it in late 1978 due to declining ratings. Since then, the series has been televised by CBS from 1979 to 1989, then on ABC from 1989 to 1995, then CBS again from 1995 until 2011, when that network cancelled the series due to low ratings. As of 2014, the series has earned 80 Emmys, 9 Golden Globes, 11 Peabody Awards and many others.

Thanks to Paul Duca for finding the video. Enjoy and share!
– Bobby Ellerbee


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This Could Be The Start Of Something Big…And It Was!

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This Could Be The Start Of Something Big…And It Was!

In this rare photo, we see the start of Paul Newman’s “other carrier” as a producer and director. This was taken on the set of ‘Hud’ in which Newman starred with Patricia Neal and shows him with a Mitchell NC, 35mm camera. He is literally surrounded by 1963 Oscar winners…Patricia Neal (Best Supporting Actress), and James Wong Howe (Best Cinematography), behind him. ‘Hud’ won three out of seven Academy Award nominations that year.

After working together on other projects, director Martin Ritt and Paul Newman co-founded Salem Productions. The newly created company made a deal for three movies with Paramount Studios and ‘Hud’ was the first. The production was shot over four weeks in and around the Texas Panhandle town and of Claude, Texas. Filming began on May 21, 1962, and the rest of the scenes were finished by the second week of June. The interior scenes were filmed at the Paramount sound stages in Hollywood, California, starting in the first week of July. The film was completed on August 1, 1962.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MNxZKkQ7tMo
Here’s a short clip of Newman and Neal together. Enjoy and share!
– Bobby Ellerbee


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Wonder Where This Is Now? Try The Smithsonian…

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Wonder Where This Is Now? Try The Smithsonian…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-5mAiuJKgtc
Here’s clip of the original Starship Enterprise model behind glass at it’s permanent home in Washington.The original filming model from the ‘Star Trek’ television series has resided at the Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum in Washington, D.C. since it was donated it in 1974.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K_qdTA9SvQQ
At the link is our first ever look at The Starship Enterprise in the first of two pilots for the show. Notice that Captain Christopher Pike is played by Jeff Hunter. This first pilot titled “The Cage” was filmed at Desilu Productions’ studio (now known as Culver Studios), from November 27 to mid-December 1964. Post-production work (pick-up shots, editing, scoring, special photographic and sound effects) continued to January 18, 1965.

NBC considered the fist pilot “too cerebral”, but liked the space angle and ordered another pilot. “Where No Man Has Gone Before” was the second pilot episode. Reportedly, Lucille Ball, who owned Desilu Studios, persuaded NBC management to consider a second pilot, thereby exercising a special option agreement it had with Desilu, because she liked Gene Roddenberry and believed in the project.

“Where No Man Has Gone Before” was written by Samuel A. Peeples, directed by James Goldstone, and filmed in July 1965. It was the first episode of ‘Star Trek’ to feature William Shatner as Captain James Kirk, James Doohan as Chief Engineer Montgomery Scott, and George Takei as Lt. Sulu. The episode title was adopted as the final phrase in the opening voice-over which characterizes the series. Enjoy and share! – Bobby Ellerbee


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Sinatra Welcomes Elvis Back From The Army…

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Sinatra Welcomes Elvis Back From The Army…

http://youtu.be/r4CI8WxyC0E?t=5m35s
At the link above is a very memorable duet…Frank is singing “Love Me Tender” and Elvis is singing “Witchcraft” and they merge beautifully!

On March 26, at 6.15pm, taping for the ‘Frank Sinatra Timex Special…Welcome Home Elvis’ took place at the Fontainebleau Hotel in Miami. It was Presley’s first appearance on television in over three years, and his first serious performance since 1957, making Presley nervous about how he would be received.

Colonel Parker, perhaps due to nerves of his own, had arranged for as many Presley fans as possible to fill the audience, although at least half of it was still made up of middle-aged Sinatra fans. For the occasion, to fit in with Sinatra’s “rat pack” persona, Presley wore a tuxedo.

On July 15, 1959 it was announced that Presley, upon his release from the Army, would be making his first television appearance on Frank Sinatra’s fourth and final Timex-sponsored variety show. For the special, Presley would receive $125,000, an unheard of sum at the time for a single television appearance. Sinatra was not happy about the amount, knowing full well that even he was not being paid that much for the show, but he played along knowing that Presley’s appearance would attract huge ratings for his show… something that his three previous specials had failed to do.

The show aired nationally on ABC-TV on the evening of May 12, 1960 between 9.30 and 10.30pm and drew approximately 68% of the overall television audience. To put that into perspective, the second rated show in that timeslot, NBC’s ‘Ernie Ford Show’, featuring Johnny Cash and Groucho Marx, pulled in an audience share of just 21%. Enjoy and share! – Bobby Ellerbee


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Ikegami’s First Full Size Color Studio Cameras…The TK301

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Ikegami’s First Full Size Color Studio Cameras…The TK301

This Australian studio tour gives us a very rare look at the first Ikegami color studio camera. These are the TK301 A models which came a year or so after the 301s were first deployed by Japan’s NHK Network to cover the 1972 Winter Olympics in Sapporo, Japan.

Although this station has some of the first ENG cameras in Australia, which you’ll see near the end, these Ikegami 301 A studio cameras were not new when this was shot in and probably came out in early 1974.

By February of 1975, Ikegami’s TK355 was on the market (see add in Comment section below) with a new one inch Plumbicon tube. The 301s and 355s were the only two “TK” models Ikegami ever had and the designations changed to the “HK” for studio cameras and “HL” for ENG cameras around 1976. HK was for Handy Kamera and HL for Handy Lookie.

There is more interesting gear that a lot of you worked with here so enjoy this and share! – Bobby Ellerbee

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AvSbNm9vJW0

DDQ 10 Studio Tour Tape for 1982
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NBC’s David Brinkley Breaks The News On Television…

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NBC’s David Brinkley Breaks The News On Television…

In the late afternoon of August 16, 1977, scattered radio reports began to surface on the death of Elvis Presley. It was after 4PM Eastern time when news reports began to confirm the rumors. Many didn’t know till they got home and watched the evening news. Here is the start of that night’s broadcast on NBC.

Do you remember where you were when you heard the news?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jcwcS54aSFM

Newscast of Elvis death 1977
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Elvis Fourth National Show…Ed Sullivan

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Elvis Fourth National Show…Ed Sullivan

Although at first, Ed Sullivan said he would never want Elvis on his show, but Sullivan changed his mind when ‘The Steve Allen Show’ with Elvis as a guest had about twice as many viewers as Sullivan’s show that night (they were competing for the same audience since they were in the same time slot).

After negotiating with Elvis’ manager, Ed Sullivan paid Elvis the huge sum of $50,000 for appearing on three of his shows: September 9, 1956, October 28, 1956, and then on January 6, 1957.

For the first show, Elvis was actually at Television City in Hollywood and two of the photos below were taken in Studio 33. His performances that night were fed live to Studio 50 in New York where Sullivan should have been, but wasn’t. Sullivan had been in a car crash and was in the hospital…actor Charles Laughton filled in as host that night and here is Laughton introducing Elvis that night.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gFxgNNP-3pg

The reason Elvis did the show from Hollywood is because the date coincided with the opening of his first movie, ‘Love Me Tender’.

Elvis’ first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show was a major success. Over 60 million people, both young and old, watched the show and many people believe it helped bridge the generation gap for Elvis’ acceptance into the mainstream.

He returned to New York on October 25 in preparation for his second appearance on the Ed Sullivan’s show on Oct. 28. Below is a photo of Elvis, Nick Adams and Natalie Wood at a few days later at a NY theater seeing ‘The Last Wagon’ in which Adams co starred.

Elvis’ third and final appearance on Sullivan’s show on January 6, 1957, contains the legendary moments when the CBS censors would not allow his entire body to be shown. Seen only from the waist up, Elvis still put on an exciting show, singing seven songs in three segments. In one segment, Elvis and the Jordanaires sang ‘Peace in the Valley’, which Elvis dedicated to the earthquake victims of Eastern Europe.

Sullivan closed the show with a seal of approval for this new family-friendly version of Elvis, saying, ‘This is a real decent, fine boy. We’ve never had a pleasanter experience with a big name’. This was Elvis last television appearance until the Frank Sinatra Special on his return from the Army. When the show was over, Elvis boarded the midnight train to Memphis, where on Tuesday, Jan. 8, he celebrated his 22nd birthday. Enjoy and share! – Bobby Ellerbee




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Elvis Presley’s Second Television Show…’The Milton Berle Show’

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Elvis Presley’s Second Television Show…’The Milton Berle Show’

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U8lZM0eSPHI
At the clip above, you can see the debut of “Blue Suede Shoes” that Elvis performed from the deck of the aircraft carrier, the USS Hancock in San Diego on April 3, 1956. Below is a picture of one of four RCA TK41s there to shoot it in color.

Following the six week stint on ‘The Dorsey Brothers Stage Show’,
Elvis’ next television appearances were on ‘The Milton Berle Show’ on April 3 and June 5. 1956. On April 3, he opened with “Heartbreak Hotel”. Still in in San Diego, Elvis performs concerts on April 4 and 5. Later the San Diego Police Chief announces that if Elvis Ever returns to his city and performs in the way that he did…he will be jailed for disorderly conduct.

Elvis’ second appearance on ‘The Milton Berle Show’ was on June 5 at the NBC Studios but I’m not sure which studios…Hollywood or Burbank. In the comment section, I have added a black and white photo that shows Elvis in rehearsal for the June 5 show with a TK41 behind him, but in the clip at this link, we see a shot of NBC’s Hollywood location. That I know of, only Burbank had color equipment…not Hollywood.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=883n2BhoT3k

Some call this one of his most controversial performances. It was also Elvis at his best. The next day, the press nicknamed him ‘Elvis the Pelvis’. Many described his act by comparing it to a striptease. Jack Gould of The New York Times declared, “Mr. Presley has no discernible singing ability”, while John Crosby of the New York Herald Tribune called Elvis “unspeakably untalented and vulgar”.

About 10 days later, Berle called Colonel Parker to tell him that based on the ‘hundreds of thousands of ‘pan’ letters’ he had received following the show that “you have a star on your hands”.
Enjoy and share! – Bobby Ellerbee


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Elvis Presley’s Television Debut…’The Dorsey Brothers Stage Show’

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Elvis Presley’s Television Debut…’The Dorsey Brothers Stage Show’

Most think that Elvis made his television debut on ‘The Ed Sullivan Show; but actually, this was his first nationwide appearance…over seven months before his first Sullivan show. Coincidentally, both the Dorsey and Sullivan shows came from CBS Studio 50.

Between January 28 and March 24, 1956, Presley appeared on the Dorsey brothers’ show six Saturday nights in a row. This video is Elvis Presley’s television debut with New York disc jockey Bill Randall introduced him. “We think tonight that he’s going to make television history for you,” Randall said. It did!

The four appearance contract, which was negotiated by the William Morris Agency, contained an option for two more appearances. When they were later picked up, Presley’s fee was raised from $1,200 per show to $1,500 per show.

Elvis was respectful of Tommy Dorsey when the two met for rehearsals at New York Nola Studios before Presley’s initial January 28 appearance. At the rehearsal, Jackie Gleason, who produced the Dorsey show said, “I don’t like this guy.” Dorsey disagreed. “I like his kisser,” he told Gleason. “Don’t worry about him. He’s going to be one of the biggest names in show business in a short time.” Dorsey knew talent when he saw it.

There was some irony in Tommy Dorsey providing Elvis a national stage to build his popularity. Presley would soon surpass Dorsey as the biggest-selling recording artist in RCA history. Still, Tommy Dorsey remained an advocate for Elvis.

“I don’t particularly care for his type of music,” Dorsey told a reporter in Charlotte, “but that’s the teen-agers’ choice and if they like it we’ll give it to them. Only time will tell if he has any lasting qualities. The kids want Elvis now and they should be able to have him.”

Enjoy and share! – Bobby Ellerbee

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xu6tjv_19560128-elvis-presley-dorsey-brothers-stage-show-1_musicElvis Presley’s 1st National Television Appearence
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August 16…A Huge Date In American History

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August 16…A Huge Date In American History

On August 16, 1969, it was the second day of music at Woodstock with performances by Canned Heat, Creedence Clearwater, Melanie, The Grateful Dead, Janis Joplin, The Jefferson Airplane, The Incredible String Band, Santana, The Who, Paul Butterfield and Keel Hartley.

On August 16, 1977, The King Died. Today, we’ll take a look at some of Elvis Presley’s very first television appearances and some you have never seen. As you will see, these first shows were in 1956, and except for Steve Allen, all the other appearances were multi week affairs…6 weeks on ‘The Dorsey Brothers Stage Show’, 2 a month apart on ‘The Milton Berle Show’ and 3 appearances on Sullivan in September, October and January. Stay tuned!



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Did He Jump, Or Was He Pushed?

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Did He Jump, Or Was He Pushed?

Overnight, several sources are reporting that David Gregory was pushed from the ‘Meet The Press’ host chair. A stark contrast to yesterday’s polite announcement that Chuck Todd will be taking over.

This weekend, Andrea Mitchell is scheduled to host which gives Gregory no chance to say goodby. Been there done that…coming from the talent side of this business I can tell you that this is a typical ploy when dismissing talent. There’s more in this very good Salon article. Enjoy and share! – Bobby Ellerbee

http://www.salon.com/2014/08/11/meet_the_presss_real_problem_what_to_expect_from_the_chuck_todd_misadventure/


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Welcome To “Mary RIchards” Apartment!

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Welcome To “Mary RIchards” Apartment!

At first glance, this looks like it could be the ‘I Love Lucy’ set as sitcom production is still done basically the same way with the same studio and live audience layouts.

‘The Mary Tyler Moore Show’ was done at CBS Studio Center on Radford Avenue in LA from 1970 till 1977. Actually, MTM Enterprises co owned the property with CBS and the show was produced by her then husband, Grant Tinker.

This apartment set is quite large. I wonder it the WJM newsroom set was just to the left of this? This is the only photo I’ve ever seen of the show in production but would love to know an see more, so please share any pictures and experiences you had with the show.

By the way, please remember to visit the Eyes Of A Generation page daily…I can guarantee you a better experience here that you get viewing this in your timeline. Many times, most of you will miss several of the daily posts! – Bobby Ellerbee


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Just For Fun…CBS Outtakes & Bloopers, Circa 1960

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Just For Fun…CBS Outtakes & Bloopers, Cica 1960

This is not a gutbuster, but there are some pretty funny and interesting moments here with Betty Furness, Captain Kangaroo, Mr. Wizard and others like you have never seen them. There is fire safety PSA done with lots of real fire in a studio that looks like it almost gets away from them. The talent is calm, but I would have loved to see what happened the in the seconds after he finished.

We’ve got outtakes from videotaped commercials, soaps and even a shot with Richard Burton, newsman Richard C. Hottelet and a Douglas Edwards freudian slip. Enjoy and Share! – Bobby Ellerbee

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7bZqUfCJW8Y


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75th Anniversary, ‘Wizard Of Oz’…Rare Deleted Scenes

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75th Anniversary, ‘Wizard Of Oz’…Rare Deleted Scenes

Today is the 75th Anniversary of one of the most iconic films ever made. In today’s first story on the Oconomowoc, Wisconsin premier, it wasn’t pointed out in the news clip, but the “preview” version they saw was 11 minutes longer than the one the Hollywood audience saw at Grauman’s Chinese Theater.

Two scenes were cut and several edited and the final “release” version shown in Hollywood was 2 hours and 10 minutes long.

One of the cuts was a scene where the Witch sends a pink and blue bug (known as the “Jitterbug”) into the haunted forest “to take the fight out of” Dorothy and her friends. When the Jitterbug bit one of the characters, they would start dancing helplessly.

This is perhaps the most famous deleted scene of them all, but the actual footage no longer exists. All there is left of the “Jitterbug” scene is home movies that the composer, Harold Arlen, filmed during rehearsals, and the sound track of the song. In this clip, the first minute of video is filled with stills over the soundtrack, but Arlen’s color, home movie film comes to the rescue with shots that reveal the prop men inside “the dancing trees”, and more.

I’ll add the other famous deleted scene in the comments section below…it’s Ray Bolger’s marvelous “bouncing Scarecrow” footage. Enjoy and share! – Bobby Ellerbee

http://youtu.be/SP5IcbwVhqIDO NOT OWN ALL RIGHTS BELONG TO MGM. This was orignaly going to be sung in the scene when their going to get the witches broom.With Buddy Ebsen as tin man be…
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August 15, 1939…’Wizard Of Oz’ Premieres, BUT…That’s Not All!

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August 15, 1939…’Wizard Of Oz’ Premieres, BUT…That’s Not All!

75 years ago today, ‘The Wizard Of Oz’ had it’s glorious and glittering “official” Hollywood premiere at Grauman’s Chinese Theater, BUT…the the first theater audience to ever see the film was at the Strand Theater in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin on August 12th!

Here’s the story of the real debut from WISN TV in Milwaukee. Enjoy and share! – Bobby Ellerbee

http://www.wisn.com/news/south-east-wisconsin/waukesha/Did-You-Know-Oconomowoc-hosted-World-Premiere-of-The-Wizard-Of-Oz/24773122#!bDPOPP

Did You Know: Oconomowoc hosted World Premiere of The Wizard Of Oz

It’s been 75 years since audiences first hear “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” from the movie The Wizard of Oz. But did you konw that the yellow-brick road was seen in Wisconsin first?
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In Case You Always Wondered…

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In Case You Always Wondered…

If you are like me, you always wonder what we don’t see when shots of famous sets are on camera. Well, here’s what we never saw when and ‘NBC Nightly News’ anchor or correspondent reported from the west coast. On the far wall is the NBC News Los Angeles, backdrop for those shots.

This was part of the network news operation in Burbank. KNBC’s local news originated from a Studio 10, but as you can see, in the foreground there is an update/breaking news desk in this area as well. I hope someone can tell us what the bright spot is on the right wall and what the other large cityscape backdrop was used for.

At this link is KNBC’s goodby to Burbank, Enjoy and share!
http://www.nbclosangeles.com/on-air/as-seen-on/NBC4-Says-Goodbye-to-Burbank_Los-Angeles-243069621.html


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